Who Hates Who? Hollywood's Poison: Reel Bad Arabs

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Postby Attack Ships on Fire » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:46 am

AlicetheKurious wrote:Attack Ships on Fire, your ignorance is overwhelming, exceeded only by your thinly-disguised racism.

I'll even respond to your idiotic question:

Do Arabs (and we are talking in a general sense here, not specific countries or regions) dress in blue jeans and a rocker t-shirt like a stereotypical American teenager?


Image

(Above) Teenagers at this year's [Cairo International] Bookfair

Well, many do. Duh.


Of course there are some Arabs that dress in blue jeans. There are also some Americans that dress in traditional Arab clothing from different facets of Arabic culture. Again, I was referring to a general sense, vast tracts of land and peoples and culture in America and compared to the same in Arabic lands. And you give me a specific example. I can find a photo of happy American or western nations citizens of Arabic descent wearing traditional Arabic clothing. I see them all the time at my local mall, shopping in my grocery store and so on. But by and large the majority of people in my western country wear traditional North American style clothing and fashion. I still think my example is a solid one.

AlicetheKurious wrote:
Afghanistan was under the brutal oppression of the Taliban before 9/11 and many horrible crimes were committed against average citizens by that ruling body. Saddam Hussein was a dictator in Iraq and committed genocide against the Kurds as well as murdered his own people in cold blood. I consider both of those examples of Arabic terrorism, to a degree. I also consider suicide bombers, like the ones waging their war in Pakistan and Israel, terrorists too.


Lovely that your memory only extends as far back as the Taliban, with regard to Afghanistan. Your opinions only make sense in the context of a HIGHLY selective and amazingly ignorant reading of history.


I beg your pardon? First off, the Taliban were around before 9/11 and in operation in Afghanistan more than a decade ago. Second, I didn't know that one of your conditions of using examples was time restrictive. Third, after reading your responses to mine I see that you have no mention of the fact that I brought up Egypt's Six Day War in '67 (or the matter that I believe Israel started it, but I'll get to that later in this message.) You are picking and choosing from my examples to try and paint a picture that a) I don't care about incidents that happened out of the recent times and b) that I'm some kind of anti-Arab bigot. I think that is a lousy thing to do in a debate. You aren't debating the facts that you brought up or that I brought up, you're trying to accuse me of personal biases when in fact I have shown in my earlier responses to you that I'm anything but pro-US, pro-Israel or forgetful of the middle east's past.

AlicetheKurious wrote:The same with Iraq, in which the Americans have now murdered more than two and a half million innocent Iraqis during a decade of inhumane sanctions, followed by "shock and awe", invasion and occupation, not to mention the rape and pillage and torture in which they so gleefully engaged. The American atrocities in Iraq have, incredibly, made Iraqis yearn for the good old days of CIA-asset Saddam Hussein, even with his American-supplied chemical and other weapons, and his American-sponsored war of aggression against Iran, which cost the lives of over a million Iraqis and Iranians.


I share your anger about the atrocities being committed in Iraq by the United States in its war of lies. However, that should have nothing whatsoever to do with a response to my polite and well-reasoned response to your example of Egypt as a wonderful example of positive middle eastern tolerance. You completely side-stepped and dodged every one of my points that I gave as an example and instead turned to a screed about the injustices being committed in Iraq. You moved the goal posts, so to speak. Why? You're the one that brought up Egypt as an example and I took the time to research and present my response to you.

AlicetheKurious wrote:As for the suicide-bombers "in Israel", how very terroristic they are, compared to the lovely Israeli one-ton bombs that are dropped from the sky on population centers. I suppose that, in order to comply with your standards of civilized behaviour, the Palestinians would have to use billions of US taxpayers' money to commit genocide against the Israelis.


At first I found it baffling that you would come back with this arguement, like I'm pro-Israeli policy or something. In case it went over your head, I was making a point that a suicide bomber isn't a good thing, no matter if the suicide bomber is Palestinian, Iraqi, American, Israeli or whatever nationality. Most suicide bombers that I read/hear about in my news are of Arabic descent and I understand that is because they don't have the privileged of being anonymous killers like the ones in Washington. Nevertheless, I also read headlines where innocent people have died as a result of suicide bombers. And yes, before you blast me back like there hasn't been any loss of Palestinian lives, I know fully well that more innocent Palestinians have died in that conflict over the years. But for God's sake, don't you find the death of an innocent Israeli child just as horrifying and tragic as the death of a Palestinian child, or are you trying so hard to dismiss any suffering of innocent Israelis because the Palestinians are due for their own payback? And how much is enough?

AlicetheKurious wrote:
"Syriana" was unfair to show a young Arabic man slow realization to become a suicide bomber?


You didn't see Syriana, that's not at all what it was about. You're talking out of your ass, as usual. In fact, even with its many faults, Syriana's plot was about what happens to an Arab leader with integrity, who wants to defend and protect his country's interests. In a scenario all too familiar for those who know anything about our region's history, he is murdered by the CIA in a false-flag terrorist explosion, so that he can be replaced by a corrupt, pro-American dictator.


Now you're telling me that I didn't see the movie...*sigh* I used one specific example from "Syriana" to try and get you to share your viewpoint on whether it was improper for an American-made movie to show an Arabic young man as a suicide bomber and you once again dodge my question and instead accuse me of not seeing the movie and being ignorant of the several storylines contained in the movie.

And just for the record, and to prove you wrong, "Syriana" wasn't solely about the Arab leader. There are several storylines in that movie including Jeffrey Wright's one where he's back in Washington and never steps foot in the middle east; there's George Clooney's slow realization that he's been working for the bad guys all of these years; and there's the point of view of the young Arabic man who comes to the belief that the only positive difference he can make to change his world is by blowing himself up. It is most certainly not solely about the Arab leader.

AlicetheKurious wrote:As for human rights under the US-supported dictatorship in Egypt, you know, the one that US taxpayers bribe to the tune of billions of dollars every year to protect Israeli and American "interests" at the expense of Egyptians, it makes me sick when assholes point to that as an example of how that proves that Egyptians are not as wonderful and delightful as Americans.


Again with moving the goal posts. Are you actually trying to make be believe that it's all the fault of the evil United States and Israel that homosexuals are beaten by Egyptian police, or that journalists can be fined for writing criticism about politicians? Are you for real?

Alice, you would have had me on your side if this were a discussion about how the US interferes with foreign countries with its economic and military subterfuge. But the conversation wasn't at that point yet, and I have tried to address your arguments with my own. I get it now: you don't want to see any faults or flaws with middle eastern culture. You are using this "discussion" as an opportunity to present how wronged the middle east is by the west, by all of its citizens and nothing that I can say will lead you to admit that the middle east isn't a land of peaches and cream.


AlicetheKurious wrote:Egypt has been brought to its knees by decades of being sucker-punched on the one hand by the Americans, who have literally gutted its economy and propped up a corrupt, oppressive government; by the Israelis, who have infiltrated and almost totally destroyed its agricultural base, leading to a massive deterioration in quality of life and public health; and by the American sock-puppet Saudi Arabian regime, which used billions and billions of petro-dollars to introduce and promote a poisonous brand of fanatic Wahhabism combined with sexual/moral corruption that has devastated Egyptian society.


For the most part I agree with you, but that's not what I was debating with you a couple of posts earlier, and that's not what you were debating either.


AlicetheKurious wrote:Generation after generation of Egyptian human rights and democracy activists, men and women, Muslims and Christians, have been jailed, exiled or murdered by the US-sponsored dictatorship. For you to point to the US as the beacon of light, in contrast to which Egyptians wallow in darkness, is the height of hypocrisy.


I love how you've now assumed that not only am I pointing out that the US is somehow all-virtuous and noble and that Egyptians are in darkness. That's just how the right-wing neocons do it over here, you know?


AlicetheKurious wrote:Get the f*ck out of our country, get your grubby, blood-soaked fingers out of the Middle East, and let its people decide how to run their own countries.


And I love how you have automatically assumed that I simply must be an American citizen.

AlicetheKurious wrote:Decade after decade, we have sent you our best and our brightest: our doctors, our engineers, our scientists, our professors, our hard-working employees, while you have sent us your spies, your weapons of mass destruction, your depleted uranium shit, your exploiters, your blood-suckers, and your bribes to the worst and most corrupt, whom you elevated to rule over us.


Yes, because the doctors, the humanitarians, the relief workers, the educators, the scientists and I'm sure one or two politicians, reporters and religious leaders all were out to get you. For someone that thinks that I'm out to paint all of the citizens of the middle east with a brush of one color, here you are proving that it's a wonderful trait common in all humans no matter their birthplace or homeland.

AlicetheKurious wrote:Keep pointing your smelly finger at us, while your boot is on our neck and your other hand is up our ass. We want freedom, and we want human rights, not because some Amerikan / zionazi hypocrites are expressing "concern" about the state of freedom in Arab countries, but because these are the rights for which we have been struggling since the dawn of the last century, against YOU and your kind.


There's a lot of anger in your words and I think it comes from having experienced some of the nasty crimes the west has committed against the middle east. Again, getting back to the original point of this thread and to something that I said earlier: then why don't some rich and entertainment-minded middle eastern investors get behind a film studio that hires middle eastern stars, writers, directors and so on and get a bunch of Arab-owned and made, mainstream escapist films out into the world's marketplace? Beat America at its own game! Make money from the dumb west that love to see aliens blast the shit out of our cities and zombies devour our population! Al Jazeera is a great example of how to beat the west at its own game, and furthermore, produce not just a profitable, high profile news agency but also win accolades and awards for its journalism. Make an Arabic Hollywood -- no one is stopping you and some of us over here would pay to see your films.

AlicetheKurious wrote:
Technology is used in the middle east just as in the western world. The advances to medical, scientific, agriculture and so on have benefited the middle east just as much as the west. So if the middle east wants to play with the same kind of toys as the western world, why can't the Arabic standards of social justice, human rights and tolerance be held accountable to the rest of the world? We're all human beings and thus every one of us should have the same rights as the other person.


Fuck you.


And on that note and final ad hominem, I bid your adieu. Life's too short to debate with someone that isn't interested in hearing a point of view that isn't in full 100% agreement with your own. I've taken enough time to try and fashion a reasonable response to your examples and concerns and I don't appreciate you ignoring my points (save for your photo of Egyptian students in blue jeans, thank you). I think all you want to hear right now is universal condemnation for the wrongs that have been committed against the middle east, and even if a westerner like myself who agrees with you on the fact that the middle east has been abused and used by western powers for decades, if I don't fall in line with your thinking that all aspects of the middle east are untouchable and without criticism, then I'm one of your enemies.

I also don't like to take time out to engage in discussion with people that tell me to fuck off, so I guess that's the end of our discussion. I hope that you do see enough change and reparation for all the injustices that have been carried out against your region of the world but I also hope that human rights continue to take root for all the peoples in the middle east.
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Postby Uncle $cam » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:23 am

Speaking of Edward Said as AlicetheKurious does, I think many RIers would find the book, The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy Edited by Emran Qureshi and Michael A. Sells

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/catalog/ ... 126662.HTM

very enlightening. I can not stress how eye opening this book is...

I read Emran Qureshi and Michael A. Sells important editied essays entitled: The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy for a class a few years ago where the silibus for this particular course was outstanding, we read, 'The oxford history of the Crusades' by Jonatahn Riley Smith, Joseph Canning's 'History of Medieval Political thought 300-1450' among others, and the tapastry that our prof weaved through the readings and discussions was very enlightening.

"A collection of first-rate essays that offer much-needed critiques of parochial, xenophobic, or merely simplistic Western approaches to Islam, Muslims, and the Muslim-majority world. These writings offer acute analyses of, and responses to, those writers who ought to know better (e.g., Bernard Lewis), those who don't want to know better (e.g., V.S. Naipaul), and those who need to know better (e.g., Robert Kaplan). Collectively, they expose the faults of the Samuel P huntington's "clash of civilizations" dehumanizing approach of to the contemporary world and remind us how much it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy recently. This volume needs to be on the reading list of every thoughtful American before it is too late."

If you really want to educate yourself pick up a copy of Samuel P huntington's "clash of civilizations:and the Remaking of World Order" at a used book store, (no need to give him and his publishing company more money than the Five million dollars that the nut job right wing think tanks paid him for writing it. It is a manual in barbarity and 21st century imperialism. The manifesto of empire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations
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Postby AlicetheKurious » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:46 am

Attack Ships on Fire said:

...then why don't some rich and entertainment-minded middle eastern investors get behind a film studio that hires middle eastern stars, writers, directors and so on and get a bunch of Arab-owned and made, mainstream escapist films out into the world's marketplace? Beat America at its own game! Make money from the dumb west that love to see aliens blast the shit out of our cities and zombies devour our population!


As a matter of fact, the Arab-American film producer Moustapha Akkad who started out with $200, made a fortune with the Halloween series of horror films and built an international film production company. He made several films that were enormously popular throughout the Middle East, including "Omar Mukhtar, Lion of the Desert", which I mentioned earlier, and his other epic, "The Message", about the origins and spread of Islam.

Both movies have almost totally been ignored by the Hollywood dream factory, despite being excellent films, with all-star casts that included Anthony Quinn, John Gielgud, Irene Pappas, Oliver Reed and Rod Steiger, doing some of their best work ever.

Interestingly, despite their huge popularity among Arab people, they were banned by the same regimes and "jihadist" organizations that were busily creating "al Qaeda" under the direction of the CIA.

Around 10 years ago, Akkad had gone a long way towards realizing his dream of obtaining financing from various Arab investors in order to create an alternative to the zionist-controlled Hollywood film industry. He was working on his next big epic, a movie about Salahuddin, who fought off the crusaders invading Jerusalem.

But it was not to be...

Moustapha Akkad, 72, and his daughter Rima Akkad Monla, 33 were among the 58 people killed at the Hyatt Hotel in the triple bombings in Amman, Jordan, Nov. 11, 2005**, that left scores of others injured.

Akkad was in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel with his daughter Rima who had just arrived from Beirut that same night, when the blast hit the hotel. Rima was killed instantly and Moustapha suffered a heart attack and internal injuries as a result of the explosion.

Akkad was best known for producing all eight films in the famed "Halloween" horror film series. In addition he produced and directed "The Message" 1977, and "Lion of the Desert" 1981, to bring the story of Islam to the west. Both films starred Anthony Quinn.

Rima, daughter of Moustapha and Patricia Akkad, grew up in Los Angeles. She was an avid polo player who graduated from the University of Southern California in 1995, with a degree in international relations. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Middle East Studies at the American University in Beirut, where she met her husband Ziad Monla, 35.
Her husband’s family owns the Monla Hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon. The couple, married for six years, has two sons, ages 2 and 4.

Jordan Prime Minister Adnan Badran accompanied the funeral motorcade to the Syrian border. The Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Attari and other officials received the cortege at the Jaber Crossing on the Jordanian-Syrian border.

Burial services for Moustapha took place in Aleppo, Syria. Moustapha’s family, Syrian officials and members of the public attended. The burial services for Rima took place in Tripoli, Lebanon, with her husband Ziad Monla, his family and friends in attendance.

Moustapha Akkad Biography:

World famous film producer and director, president and producer of his Trancas Films International, in 1978, formed Filmco International production, producing and distributing on a low budget the first of the Halloween movie series.

Born in Aleppo, Syria, 1933, he moved to Los Angeles in 1954. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he received a B.A. in Theater Arts and an M.A. in Cinema studies. He worked as a production assistant for MGM’s Ride the High Country. He also directed and produced the CBS-TV program "As Others See Us," distributed by United Artists and syndicated throughout the USA and overseas.

He also formed Akkad International Productions, producing and directing documentary programs, features, and TV series. His international reputation was established by films such as: Caesar’s World, The Message, Omar Mukhtar: Lion of the Desert. The Message tells the story of the beginnings of Islam. Omar Mukhtar is one of the first large scale war films which documents the colonial presence of fascist Italy in Libya. He also produced the Halloween series, A Measure of Fear and Boarding School.


http://www.arab-american-affairs.net/archives/akkad.htm

** This is an error. Akkad died on November 11, two days after the attacks on November 9, or 11/9 -- Alice.



*******************************SNIP**************************



The most serious al-Qaeda terrorist strike in Jordan came on November 9, 2005, with nearly simultaneous suicide bombings directed against three large Western chain hotels in Amman. These were the Radisson SAS, the Grand Hyatt, and the Day’s Inn hotels. Only four Americans and two (non-Jewish) Israelis were killed in the attacks despite being the professed terrorist targets. [And despite these hotels being very popular with Israeli tourists -- Alice]

The majority of the victims were attending a wedding party at the Radisson SAS for a Jordanian couple of Palestinian origins.

The bride’s father and nine other family members died in the attack. More people might have been killed had a fourth suicide bomber been able to blow herself up in the attack on the Radisson. This woman’s explosive suicide belt failed to detonate, and she was apprehended by Jordanian police attempting to flee the scene.

Elsewhere in Amman, Palestinian Authority Lieutenant General Bashir Nafe, the head of West Bank security, was killed in the Grand Hyatt hotel explosion.

The internationally known film director, Moustapha Akkad, along with his daughter, was also killed at the Radisson SAS hotel.


Link



*********************************SNIP*********************************


Akkad's daughter Rima died instantly when the bomb went off in the lobby of the Hyatt, but Mustapha died two days later, on 11 November. He was 75, his final ambition unfulfilled, to do a film on the Kurdish Muslim legend, Salahuddin al-Ayyubi, better known in the West as Saladin. Akkad and his family lived in Los Angeles, but he will be returned today to his native Aleppo, while the body of his daughter Rima will be returned to Lebanon where she lived with her husband.

The blasts that rocked Jordan was of course attributed to the ubiquitous Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi is a mysterious man who, many believe, died in 2003. Jordanian authorities attributed the blasts to three suicide bombers, but an early report from Reuters said that at least one of the bombs exploded in a false ceiling in one of the hotels. A story appearing in the Ha'aretz Daily said that Israeli tourists avoided one of the hotels, the Radisson, after being forewarned of the attack. But this was later denied. How Ha'aretz got it so wrong we shall never know.


http://beta-blogger.blogspot.com/2005_1 ... chive.html



***************************************SNIP*********************



Israelis evacuated from Amman hotel hours before bombings

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

A number of Israelis staying on Wednesday at the Radisson hotel were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by security personnel.

The Foreign Ministry stated Wednesday that no Israeli tourists are known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives of Israel's embassy in Amman were in contact with local authorities to examine any report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are often a number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including in the hotels hit Wednesday.

Israel's counter-terror headquarters on Wednesday recommended Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel warnings regarding Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many Israelis still visit the country. Many also visit other regions such as the Jordanian Arava and the ancient city of Petra.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/643661.html


The above link is broken. I found the quote Here


Ha'aretz later retracted their report, saying that no Israeli tourists had been evacuated, after all....

In yet another broken link, this time from the Los Angeles Times:

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israelis staying at the Radisson on Wednesday had been evacuated before the attacks and escorted back home "apparently due to a specific security threat."

Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counter-terrorism official, said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.

"It means there was excellent intelligence that this thing was going to happen," said Guiora, a former leader of the Israel Defense Forces who now heads the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "The question that needs to be answered is why weren't the Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?"


The original link is dead. I found this quote Here



***********************************SNIP***********************************



Updated: 2:39 p.m. ET Nov. 9, 2005
AMMAN -
A blast at the Radisson hotel in the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday was caused by a bomb placed in a false ceiling, police sources at the scene told Reuters.

(c) Reuters 2005. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


Also quoted in the same discussion board as the other quotes.


********************************SNIP********************************


Now you know why I tend to post articles in their entirety -- it uses up a lot of space on the thread, but with links going dead all over the place, I want to preserve the info before it disappears down the memory hole.

Nevertheless, through a wonderfully convenient series of events, "al Qaeda in Iraq" announced that there had been four suicide bombers, tipping off authorities to look for a "fourth suicide bomber", a woman was found still wearing a bomb belt that had "failed to explode", she confessed that she was working for "al Qaeda in Iraq", headed by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and voila! the whole case was neatly wrapped up.

(CBS/AP) The televised confession of an Iraqi woman — accused of being the fourth would-be suicide attacker — set Jordanians buzzing Monday, with some expressing joy over her capture and others venting anger over her deadly plans.

Still others questioned if she was really involved in the bomb plot that killed 57 people in Wednesday's attacks on the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels.

Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi went from rural Iraqi obscurity to global notoriety overnight after her confession was aired Sunday in a broadcast beamed not just across Jordan, but throughout the Middle East and beyond.

"I sat there watching and couldn't understand how she could be speaking so coldly," said Adel Fathi, 29. Three of his relatives were killed in the Radisson wedding party reception that was bombed by al-Rishawi's husband.

"What are these people made of?" asked Fathi, who closed his women's accessories shop early and joined millions of others who watched the confession.

Al-Rishawi, from the militant hotbed of Ramadi and the sister of a slain lieutenant of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was arrested Sunday.

CBS News correspondent David Hawkins reports al Qaeda in Iraq tripped up when it claimed responsibility for the Amman bombing and said it sent four suicide bombers including a husband and wife team. Since only three suicide bombers bodies were found, it tipped off authorities to hunt for the fourth.
...
Al-Rishawi's wasn't the first televised confession by terror suspects detained by Jordanian police. In April 2004, at least four Jordanian and Syrian militants linked to al-Zarqawi detailed their plot to launch chemical bomb attacks in Amman, particularly against the General Intelligence Department.

In her television appearance, al-Rishawi opened her dark fur-collared body-length overcoat to reveal two crude explosives belts — one packed with RDX and the other ball-bearings. They were strapped to her waist front and back with a thick binding of silver tape.

"It was scary to see her with her bomb but at least we know who she is and she can be punished," said Anwar Nazih, a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Many Jordanians, however, expressed doubt al-Rishawi's confession was real or that she was even involved in the plot.

"I don't buy it. There are many contradictions, and it just doesn't make sense," said Mohammed al-Fakhiri, a 33-year-old mobile telephone shop owner in the Jordanian, capital, Amman.

"The first thing she would have done is get rid of her explosive belt," al-Fakhiri said. "So how come she was caught with it."

He also said al-Rishawi claimed that her husband had detonated his explosives apparently before she fled.

"So how come she wasn't wounded?"

Jordanian Deputy Premier Marwan Muasher told reporters Sunday that her husband noticed she was having problems detonating her bomb and pushed her out of the wedding ballroom before blowing himself up.

Al-Rishawi said her husband exploded his belt and she couldn't detonate hers. But it wasn't clear from her comments whether her husband blew himself up before her bomb malfunctioned of after.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/ ... 2442.shtml
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Postby Seamus OBlimey » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:05 pm

Not sure I'm not missing the point here, I haven't re-read the whole thread but re Star Trek, isn't Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi (Dr. Bashir) an Arab?

And Robert Adame Beltran (Chakotay) is the son of first generation Mexican-American parents and refers to himself as being “Latindio”.

"Since at least 2003, Beltran has collaborated with actors in the LaRouche Youth Movement" EEK!
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Re: Who Hates Who? Hollywood's Poison: Reel Bad Arabs

Postby MinM » Wed May 26, 2010 10:51 pm

Image
"Sex and the City 2's" stunning Muslim clichés - Film Salon - Salon.com
It's hard to overstate the offensiveness of the fabulous four's exquisitely tone-deaf trip to Abu Dhabi

I'm a heterosexual, Muslim dude who until recently thought pleated khakis and loafers were "hip" and mistook Bergdorf Goodman for an expensive Swiss chocolate. So it is not surprising that 40 minutes into "Sex and the City 2," a 150-minute cotton candy fantasy accessorized with materialism and fashion porn, I was comatose with boredom.

But I was defibrillated by the film's detour into Abu Dhabi (really Morocco and studio sets) and what can only be described as an Orientalist's wet dream. After discovering they will visit the Middle East, the ladies whip out hall-of-fame Ali Baba clichés: References to "magic carpet" (a double entendre, naturally), Scheherazade and Jasmine from "Aladdin" come in rapid succession. Upon hearing a stewardess give routine flight instructions in Arabic, Samantha behaves like a wild-eyed child hearing a foreign language for the first time. "I wonder what she’s saying. It sounds so exotic!"

Michael Patrick King's exquisitely tone-deaf movie is cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists who still ignorantly and inaccurately paint the entire Middle East (and Iran) as a Shangri La in desperate need of liberation from ignorant, backward natives. Historian Bernard Lewis, the 93-year-old Hall of Fame Orientalist and author of such nuanced gems as "The Arabs in History" and "Islam and the West," would probably die of priapism if he saw this movie. It's like the cinematic progeny of "Not Without My Daughter" and "Arabian Nights" with a makeover by Valentino. Forget the oppressed women of Abu Dhabi. Let's buy more bling for the burqa!

Our four female cultural avatars, like imperialistic Barbies, milk Abu Dhabi for leisure and hedonism without making any discernible, concrete efforts to learn about her people and their daily lives. An exception is Miranda, whose IQ drops about 100 points as she dilutes the vast complexities of a diverse culture into sound bites like this: "'Hanh Gee' means 'yes' in Arabic!"

Only it doesn't -- it's Hindi and Punjabi, which is spoken by South Asians.

She also incorrectly tells the audience that all women in the Middle East have to cover themselves. And, yes, nearly every single Middle Eastern female character in "SATC 2's" imaginative rendition of "Abu Dhabi," is veiled, silent or subdued by aggressive men.

Like curious visitors staring at an exotic animal in the zoo with equal doses of horror and fascination, the four "girls" observe a niqabi female eating French fries by carefully lifting her veil for each consumed fry. After witnessing this "Ripley's Believe It or Not" event, Samantha declares, "It's like they don't want [women] to have a voice."

If our cultural ambassadors truly cared about saving Muslim women, they surely would try to help them during the film's interminable two and half hour running time, no? Sadly, instead, these incredibly shallow mock-feminists can't even bother to have one decent conversation with a Muslim woman, because they're too immersed in picnics on the desert and singing Arab disco karaoke renditions of "I Am Woman." In fact, Abu Dhabi is just peachy when it's a fantasy land where they ride around in limos and get comped an extravagantly vulgar $22,000 hotel suite. However, only when that materialism is taken away do they worry, in only the most superficial way, about sexual hypocrisy and women's oppression.

Meanwhile, the perpetually self-absorbed Carrie finds enlightenment in the simple, wise words of her Indian manservant Gaurav, who functions as the movie's life-changing, magical minority. And Samantha, our "Western" avatar of freedom and liberation, offers a juxtaposition to the silent, oppressed Muslim women by making immature puns like "Lawrence of my Labia" and performing fellatio on a sheesha pipe in public.

The movie uses only two broad colors to paint the Middle East: One depicting an opulent Eden for our blissfully ignorant protagonists to selfishly use as a temporary escape, and the other showing an oppressive dungeon populated by intolerant men that cannot comprehend cleavage or bare shoulders.

Consider the film's painful climax, in which Samantha, now wearing shorts and a low-cut top, spills dozens of condoms from her purse in the middle of a crowded market. Right before the condom explosion, the Islamic call to prayer, the Adhan, is conveniently heard for no discernible reason. The angry, hairy men, overwhelmed by anger and shock, decide to abandon their daily activities and busy life to encircle Samantha and condemn her as a harlot and slut, but not before Samantha proudly holds the condoms up high and dry humps the air telling the men she uses them to have sex. Because they cannot tolerate a sassy, back-talking, condom-using female baring her legs, they decide en masse to spontaneously chase all four women. Appearing like an oasis in the desert, two mysterious women in a burqa silently nod to the four girls, who subsequently follow the women into a secret room revealing the existence of a secret book club attended by a dozen niqabi women, who disrobe to reveal their hidden designer clothes, fashionable shoes and makeup.

OK, a bubble gum approach to reality is to be expected from "SATC2." And one could imagine a scenario in which the frothy light comedy could be used to erase mutual misunderstandings. After all, Muslim women around the world, who religiously watched the show, would love a strong, empowered Muslim female "SATC" character who could enlighten Western audiences about the complex, and at times oppressive, reality of Middle Eastern women while simultaneously rocking Ferragamos. Instead, the film exists in a wacky cultural vacuum blissfully unaware of its own arrogance and prejudices.

Apparently, we're meant to believe Muslim women in the Middle East are equally self-absorbed, vain and materialistic. After completely dissing the Middle East, its people, its religion and its culture, it's "Sex and the City" that truly insults the Muslim women, by silencing them entirely.

Wajahat Ali is the author of "The Domestic Crusaders," a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney's in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.

'Sex And The City' Cast Abu Dhabi As The City? Really? : NPR
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Re: Who Hates Who? Hollywood's Poison: Reel Bad Arabs

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Mon May 31, 2010 9:49 pm

Sigh. Ops.

Anti-Arab agit-prop for an offensively shallow audience.

Here in the US the 'Sex in the City' show serves as anti-female/urban/secular agit-prop.
CIA runs mainstream media since WWII:
news rooms, movies/TV, publishing
...
Disney is CIA for kidz!
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Re: Who Hates Who? Hollywood's Poison: Reel Bad Arabs

Postby MinM » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:26 pm

@BuzzFeedNews

Navid Negahban shares how he recruited Afghans to be part of a Hollywood movie for "12 Strong"
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MinM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:46 am wrote:
@funnyordie: Homeland’s Navid Negahban (Abu Nazir) has some tips on how to become Hollywood’s next favorite terrorist: http://ow.ly/p81Aw

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Who Hates Who? Hollywood's Poison: Reel Bad Arabs
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