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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Planet of the Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, ...

In order to desensitize Germans over what the Nazis where about to do to Jews, Gypsies, the disabled and others, Nazis engaged in a concerted media campaign to demonize and dehumanize such people. Articles, cartoons, posters, and movies reinforced that hateful propaganda. When the time to implement the killings came, most people did not care about those victims anymore.

Many questions bother me. Where were the average people when they were being fed this virulent propaganda? Why no one objected? Did they really enjoy the vilification of other races, religions, and ethnicity? What if enough good Germans stood up and said no, could that have prevented the mass killings? Only Allah (God) knows.

What about the present day?
Which is the one group that Hollywood still enjoys demonizing? (so do right-wing politicians and extremist evangelicals; but that another story for another day)
Answer: Arabs and Muslims.

A study done by Professor Jack Shaheen and published in his book "Reel Bad Arabs" shows that out of 1000 films that have Arab & Muslim characters (from the year 1896 to 2000) 12 were positive depictions, 52 were even handed and the rest of the 900 and so were negative!

Watch this trailer-esque montage spectacle of Hollywood's relentless vilification and dehumanization of Arabs and Muslims. It is no wonder that no one cares when we hear about over 600,000 Iraqis who died due to our illegal invasion of Iraq or the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians killed, wounded, imprisoned, or ethnically cleansed by Israel.

The fact is that Hollywood has long worked on desensitizing Americans about anything Arab or Muslim. (As it did earlier, and many times today, for Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and others...)

Is it possible for Hollywood to entertain without having to degrade others?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd say that Osama bin Laden really negatively affected how the world sees Arabs and Muslims. Arabs and Muslims in America were just people who wanted the American way of life to my way of thinking. 9/11 changed all of that in my mind. Osama bin Laden and murderous Islamic groups around the world are causing people to distruct Arabs and Muslims, not hollywierd.

Anonymous said...

To tack on to the last comment, it would be better to quit deluding yourselves that everyone else is the problem. The true problem is the deplorable behavior of Muslims around the globe. That is why everyday people are "Islamophobic." Recognize the problem and fix it. Others will respond accordingly.