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Hollywood Movies About Muslims

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(salam)

Hollywood movies about Islam, Muslim, Terrorism, wars and tortures

Do you guys remember that in the old days (prior to 9/11), movies about Muslims Terrorist had fairly simple plot, bad Muslims trying to blow stuff up and white people saves the day (Executive Decision by Steven Seagal), The Seige (same kind of plot). :dry:

Well…they are still making movie about Muslims and Terrorism but plots are more complex and sophisticated. When and how did this change come about? :huh:

What do you guys think?

i) Are these movies simply propaganda/tools to brainwash the audiences?

ii) Or do you think these movies are helping to differentiate between bad Muslims (who are terrorist) vs regular Muslims (who are mostly decent, law abiding citizen).

iii) Used by certain government to justify their actions (like tortures and war on terror).

iv) Others?

Here is a list of interesting movies

Syriana (2005)

The Kingdom (2007)

Rendition (2007)

Body of Lies (2008)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Unthinkable (2010)

Have you seen any of the movies? Do you think these movies help or hurt us more? :unsure:

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salam

well, it makes me so angry when i watch these kinds of films! i have seen the hurtlocker preview but not the movie, however i was watching From Paris With Love and the plot they depicted was that muslims are brain washing normal people into their terrorist motives and causing them to blow things up! it also depicted a conspiracy that there was a organised terrorist plot against the American government. what kills me is that they have Allah's name painted all over the walls in the so-called terrorist hangouts, and like you said, the American hero (in this case Trevolta) comes saves the day from the bad muslims!

i think its like they are promoting hate towards us, its sickening. while i understand that there are individuals who call themselves muslims (the unspeakable Wahabis) have a tendency to blow things up (usually its us shias being blown up by their bombs), people should educate society that not all muslims are bad, not make some blockbuster hit movie showing us to be this highly organised crime of terrorism, drugs and prostitution (thats what the film showed).

salam

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There is a very good movie called Traitor which came out in 2008. It's about terrorism and brainwashing and stuff but the main FBI guy admits that terrorists don't represent Islam and it's about how this terrorist guy changes his ways and leaves this life. There is a beautiful bit of dialogue at the end:

Muslim: You know that the Qu'ran says that if you kill an innocent person it's as if you've killed all mankind?

FBI: It also says that if you save a life its like you've saved all mankind... You're a hero

So I think films about brainwashing Muslims aren't problematic in itself, because it's what happens and it's a depiction of real life. But I'm sure audience members are vigilant enough to decipher that these brainwashing sessions are happening in remote places, therefore it doesn't represent the majority of Muslims. In fact, I thought something like Executive Decision was pretty anti-Muslim, which was pre 9/11.

Films like Syriana and Hurt Locker I don't think are strictly about Muslims, they just are set in a Muslim country and it's used as a backdrop rather than the main focus. Again, we can't also escape the fact that some of the stuff they portray is reality and it really goes on. In the Hurt Locker, the American soldiers are nice to the civilians, it's only the bombers they have problems with (but this could be argued that they are sugarcoating things - fantastic film nonetheless). Also, did you know that the director of Syriana had a meeting with Sayed Fadlallah (ra) before filming so that he could get information for the film? This shows that some of these films are quite honest and just want to depict reality.

Something like Unthinkable, you could argue that it's aim is to justify torture but I thought it was quite a deep film and made you think "what would I do?"

I think currently, the word terrorism is only associated with Muslims, allbeit a minority, that's why the films are being made about this. You can't blame them in a way but it would be nice to see terrorists from other cultures portrayed in films (which there are many - just they aren't given as much attention). It used to be Russians but now it's Muslims.

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So I think films about brainwashing Muslims aren't problematic in itself, because it's what happens and it's a depiction of real life. But I'm sure audience members are vigilant enough to decipher that these brainwashing sessions are happening in remote places, therefore it doesn't represent the majority of Muslims. In fact, I thought something like Executive Decision was pretty anti-Muslim, which was pre 9/11.

I truly wish it were so. Try talking to many Americans, however, and you'll realize they really do live in their own little world, their own little bubble, and close themselves off to all things not CNN or Fox News. Trust me, this might seem obvious to the more educated, worldly, well-travelled, and accepting (the kind that's okay with gays and nincompoops and all other things liberal) of Westerners, but the phenomenon of knowledge isn't as widespread as it might seem. Ignorance is rampant when it's not needed, unfortunately.

Also, did you know that the director of Syriana had a meeting with Sayed Fadlallah (ra) before filming so that he could get information for the film? This shows that some of these films are quite honest and just want to depict reality.

That's quite interesting! I had no idea.

salam.gifwa

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I truly wish it were so. Try talking to many Americans, however, and you'll realize they really do live in their own little world, their own little bubble, and close themselves off to all things not CNN or Fox News. Trust me, this might seem obvious to the more educated, worldly, well-travelled, and accepting (the kind that's okay with gays and nincompoops and all other things liberal) of Westerners, but the phenomenon of knowledge isn't as widespread as it might seem. Ignorance is rampant when it's not needed, unfortunately.

Ah yeah, Americans might take it a tad worse, over here in England it's probably not as bad.

I think proper action films that aren't meant to be taken seriously (like Executive Decision, True Lies etc) may be a touch anti-Islamic, but I've never really be offended because they are meant to be entertainment and it doesn't really give a political message.

Factual films like Syriana, Hurt Locker etc just use it as a backdrop and also you cannot deny that some of the things that go on in those films actually do take place in real life.

Because Islam and terrorism is a current issue, that's why in the last decade more movies have been made about it.

20 years ago, you would see in every movie that the villains were Russian or something else.

But I agree with you in a way - we can only wish EVERYONE was as open-minded but I still think only a small minority take Islam to be like that portrayed in films. The film Traitor which I talked about in my first post has an accurate portrayal - it shows that Islam in the wrong hands can be devastating but when in good hands, it is beautiful - which is a fact we cannot deny.

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well, to tell you the truth i haven't seen the above mentioned movies (I don't like movies and i am not a fan either) but i think the aim of these movies is to portray muslims as bad terrorists, serious guys shia muslims have been more targeted by terrorist acts and bombings than any other sects or religons, why isn't that shown? Like i agree that some of this is true and that wahabi's do all these sort of acts but there are the other side (us muslims) who are more affected than any other by these disgusting acts, why don't they show how muslims are affected and become isolated because of these acts?

Like last year sometime there was a non-muslim Russian woman who blew herself up at a train station, but people cover these up because they are not muslims? if it was a muslim than omg the whole world would talk about it and make it such a big deal...

So yeah i think they are biased and to some degree rasict?

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well, to tell you the truth i haven't seen the above mentioned movies (I don't like movies and i am not a fan either) but i think the aim of these movies is to portray muslims as bad terrorists, serious guys shia muslims have been more targeted by terrorist acts and bombings than any other sects or religons, why isn't that shown? Like i agree that some of this is true and that wahabi's do all these sort of acts but there are the other side (us muslims) who are more affected than any other by these disgusting acts, why don't they show how muslims are affected and become isolated because of these acts?

Like last year sometime there was a non-muslim Russian woman who blew herself up at a train station, but people cover these up because they are not muslims? if it was a muslim than omg the whole world would talk about it and make it such a big deal...

So yeah i think they are biased and to some degree rasict?

Some do have these intention, some are just trying to depict reality, most doing the latter. The fact that there are an abundance of these sort of films in the last decade may suggest they are trying to make Muslims look bad, but on a film-to-film basis, I just think it's trying to show reality. That's just my opinion though.

If you also see the 1999 film Three Kings, that is about Americans in Iraq during Saddam's time and it's very sympathetic to Shias as it shows them being oppressed.

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salam

well, it makes me so angry when i watch these kinds of films! i have seen the hurtlocker preview but not the movie, however i was watching From Paris With Love and the plot they depicted was that muslims are brain washing normal people into their terrorist motives and causing them to blow things up! it also depicted a conspiracy that there was a organised terrorist plot against the American government. what kills me is that they have Allah's name painted all over the walls in the so-called terrorist hangouts, and like you said, the American hero (in this case Trevolta) comes saves the day from the bad muslims!

i think its like they are promoting hate towards us, its sickening. while i understand that there are individuals who call themselves muslims (the unspeakable Wahabis) have a tendency to blow things up (usually its us shias being blown up by their bombs), people should educate society that not all muslims are bad, not make some blockbuster hit movie showing us to be this highly organised crime of terrorism, drugs and prostitution (thats what the film showed).

salam

(wasalam)

I don’t become angry while watching because I know that these are just actors “acting”. However there was a part in the movie ‘Hurt Locker’ that is very gripping. When the terrorist attached explosive device on the translator (Iraqi) who was powerless to save himself. Few years ago, these types of explosion (in the market places and suicide bombing) were everyday activity in Iraq. This movie is just showing the ugly reality of Muslims who committed these vile acts.

I have not watched the movie ‘From Paris With Love’. I have added this movie to my movie list. Thanks for the recommendation.

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(wasalam)

I don't become angry while watching because I know that these are just actors "acting". However there was a part in the movie 'Hurt Locker' that is very gripping. When the terrorist attached explosive device on the translator (Iraqi) who was powerless to save himself. Few years ago, these types of explosion (in the market places and suicide bombing) were everyday activity in Iraq. This movie is just showing the ugly reality of Muslims who committed these vile acts.

Yeah same, I don't get angry.

That scene in Hurt Locker is phenominal!

I didn't like From Paris With Love - thought it was boring and cheesy.

But if you want to see some pro-Muslims films, check out Traitor (2008) and Three Kings (1999).

Edited by Replicant

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(salam)

There is a very good movie called Traitor which came out in 2008. It's about terrorism and brainwashing and stuff but the main FBI guy admits that terrorists don't represent Islam and it's about how this terrorist guy changes his ways and leaves this life. There is a beautiful bit of dialogue at the end:

Muslim: You know that the Qu'ran says that if you kill an innocent person it's as if you've killed all mankind?

FBI: It also says that if you save a life its like you've saved all mankind... You're a hero

So I think films about brainwashing Muslims aren't problematic in itself, because it's what happens and it's a depiction of real life. But I'm sure audience members are vigilant enough to decipher that these brainwashing sessions are happening in remote places, therefore it doesn't represent the majority of Muslims. In fact, I thought something like Executive Decision was pretty anti-Muslim, which was pre 9/11.

Films like Syriana and Hurt Locker I don't think are strictly about Muslims, they just are set in a Muslim country and it's used as a backdrop rather than the main focus. Again, we can't also escape the fact that some of the stuff they portray is reality and it really goes on. In the Hurt Locker, the American soldiers are nice to the civilians, it's only the bombers they have problems with (but this could be argued that they are sugarcoating things - fantastic film nonetheless). Also, did you know that the director of Syriana had a meeting with Sayed Fadlallah (ra) before filming so that he could get information for the film? This shows that some of these films are quite honest and just want to depict reality.

Something like Unthinkable, you could argue that it's aim is to justify torture but I thought it was quite a deep film and made you think "what would I do?"

I think currently, the word terrorism is only associated with Muslims, allbeit a minority, that's why the films are being made about this. You can't blame them in a way but it would be nice to see terrorists from other cultures portrayed in films (which there are many - just they aren't given as much attention). It used to be Russians but now it's Muslims.

I watched the movie traitor. That was a good movie. If you liked this movie then you should definitely watched ‘Unthinkable’. This movie is seriously sick. It is a combination of mind game and torture. It is rated R for violence and gore (mostly the CIA was torturing a convert to Islam who planted nuclear bombs in three American cities). Half way in the movie, you no longer know who is worse, the terrorist or the CIA. The torture part was very terrifying; they showed you everything; man getting his finger chops, water boarding, electrocuted, neck slashing and others.

Initially, I also thought they were trying to justify torture. But then it become like a mind game. No matter how long and how hard they torture him; they couldn’t get the information out of him. Then they did the unthinkable. I’ll let others find this out for themselves. Not giving out spoilers here.

I think Syriana was the first movie that was very original and unique. It equally portrays everyone as evil, greedy or victims of circumstances. I didn’t know about the director of Syriana meeting Sayed Fadhullah. Was this reported somewhere?

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(salam)

I watched the movie traitor. That was a good movie. If you liked this movie then you should definitely watched 'Unthinkable'. This movie is seriously sick. It is a combination of mind game and torture. It is rated R for violence and gore (mostly the CIA was torturing a convert to Islam who planted nuclear bombs in three American cities). Half way in the movie, you no longer know who is worse, the terrorist or the CIA. The torture part was very terrifying; they showed you everything; man getting his finger chops, water boarding, electrocuted, neck slashing and others.

Initially, I also thought they were trying to justify torture. But then it become like a mind game. No matter how long and how hard they torture him; they couldn't get the information out of him. Then they did the unthinkable. I'll let others find this out for themselves. Not giving out spoiler here.

I think Syriana was the first movie that was very original and unique. It equally portrays everyone as evil, greedy or victims of circumstances.

(wasalam)

I watched Unthinkable a couple months ago - I thought it was quite thought provoking. You are right about not knowing who is worse. But when they did do the 'unthinkable', it was pretty shocking, I didn't they would go THAT far.

Interestingly, that film went straight to DVD and didn't get a cinema release so not many people would have seen it.

Edited by Replicant

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Some do have these intention, some are just trying to depict reality, most doing the latter. The fact that there are an abundance of these sort of films in the last decade may suggest they are trying to make Muslims look bad, but on a film-to-film basis, I just think it's trying to show reality. That's just my opinion though.

If you also see the 1999 film Three Kings, that is about Americans in Iraq during Saddam's time and it's very sympathetic to Shias as it shows them being oppressed.

Yeah sure i agree that they are showing reality, sometimes, but the people who watch this don't know, they quickly blame muslims and will hate muslims even more...

I havent heard of the film the three kings, inshallah i'll try to have a look at it.

Thanx for that

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Ive seen most of the movies on that list and the reason I believe they are more thought provoking is that the nature of the truth is being redefined, news networks such as Aljazeera have come up and how things are presented has changed. Movies cater to the taste of the times and with a more questioning audience the simple plots which give a one sided approach dont appeal to everyone. It needs to be more balanced.

The explosion of the internet and how many sources are available such as blogs etc has also increased which means people have a ready medium in which to inquire and research more easily, now on the train to uni I can google a event and have it come up and read it on the go, or download a podcast on it from another country, which means a person has mutliple access to sources of information.

These new movies such as unthinkable and Syriania are redefining how islam and the world is being seen, along with new sources of information like the wikileaks reports are all contributing to a more "open" society which cant be feed propoganda as easily as before. So alhamdillah and inshallah this continues and intellectual muslims help channel all these sources to present the true side of islam

Peace

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I think Syriana was the first movie that was very original and unique. It equally portrays everyone as evil, greedy or victims of circumstances. I didn’t know about the director of Syriana meeting Sayed Fadhullah. Was this reported somewhere?

The director of Syriana talks about this. He doesnt quite discuss the content of the meeting, but more about how he got to meet Seyyed Fadlallah.

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If you want to hear about or see a ridiculous movie, watch "Not without my daughter" which depicts the civilians of the IRI as barbaric people.

Albert Molina happens to be in it lol.

The funny thing was that the movie was filmed in Israel, ain't that a kicker?

In response to the vicious propaganda, a Finnish small time director, made a documentary called "Without my daughter"

that includes interviews from the husband and a former friend of the woman, who left her husband and tried to kidnap the daughter from Iran and return the child to the U.S.

The husband and the woman's former friend, show the other side of the story, of how this American woman was full of it and how terrible she was.

All the guy wanted was to help his fellow Iranians during the war, he was a doctor, but she didn't want him to help those war victims at all, and wanted to return IMMEDIATELY to the U.S. with their daughter.

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(salam)

On 1/11/2011 at 9:13 PM, ShiaBen said:

If you want to hear about or see a ridiculous movie, watch "Not without my daughter" which depicts the civilians of the IRI as barbaric people.

Albert Molina happens to be in it lol.

The funny thing was that the movie was filmed in Israel, ain't that a kicker?

In response to the vicious propaganda, a Finnish small time director, made a documentary called "Without my daughter"

that includes interviews from the husband and a former friend of the woman, who left her husband and tried to kidnap the daughter from Iran and return the child to the U.S.

The husband and the woman's former friend, show the other side of the story, of how this American woman was full of it and how terrible she was.

All the guy wanted was to help his fellow Iranians during the war, he was a doctor, but she didn't want him to help those war victims at all, and wanted to return IMMEDIATELY to the U.S. with their daughter.

Not without my daughter is an old film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Without_My_Daughter). It’s so biased and negative...probably a lot of people saw this movie and now has a very bad view about Muslims and Islam in general.

I am currently watching the movie ‘Without My Daughter’. Did you know that the movie is available online at youtube. It looks interesting and sad too.

The father has not seen his daughter since she was 6. Sad really. :( (In part 5 they mentioned that they denied the father even visitation right or see his daughter).

In part 2 of this movie, he stated that Betty had only high school education. She had no talent as a writer. The book ‘Not Without My Daughter’ is written by a man named William Hoffer (I did not know that!).

Anyone of you watched old black and white movies about Muslims who were mostly from a desert tribe who were war-like people. They are either shown raiding another tribe, possessing a lot of women in their harem or kidnapping white women for slavery.

This changed though. In 80s and 90s, movies about Muslims mostly portray them as barbaric wife beaters, backward, Quran clutching terrorist.

In part 3 of the youtube video clip (Without my daughter), the white guy in the green sweater said, ‘Americans seems to need to have someone to hate, especially to demonize now that the cold war is over and the communists are gone…..villains in movies are likely Arab terrorist….”

To some of you who are in mid 30s or 40s, what do you remember most about Hollywood movies that contain Muslims characters or cultures?

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Why shouldn't Hollywood do that?

I personally know real life people who are like copies of those ''bad guy terrorist muzzies'' in those movies. Okay, granted, they do not kill people and neither are they planning on overthrowing anything, but their philosophies and hate are 100% the same and they wouldn't think twice if they lived in a country run by the Taliban to ask for intern jobs as beheaders. Crazy people like that actually do exist in our midst. Some of them are even shi'a.

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Is this the appropriate forum for this discussion?!

However;

The Kingdom & Body of Lies were the most supreme movies on terrorism, not to forget Iron Man 1, where we had a Pakistani actor playing the villain, the same guy who was captain of the enterprise spaceship that gets destroyed by the by the Romulans, in Star Trek. However, Body of lies was the most intense movie ever made on terrorism. Leonardo Dicaprio has improved soo much that he is already a legend, I mean the list of his movies is a mind blowing one. Body of lies wasn't against Muslims in general but was specifically against wahabis, there is actually mention of "wahabi money", when he is about to b beheaded.

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;)

I would say that the main problem is a bias and imbalance. There are plenty of movies about Muslims bombing places or gun running, but where are all the movies that show Jews stealing Arab land? I don't think all the portrayals are intended to be negative, but those who manage what we are fed in films and television pick what they know they can use to achieve their goals in creating negative sentiment. The only movie I've seen personally where Muslims were portrayed without any terrorists whatsoever was Pitch Black with Vin Diesel. :dry:

To be fair, some portrayals of terrorists as mentioned are not meant to condemn Muslims, it's just there is an overabundance of such portrayals that I think it is harder for a film to be made where there are no Muslim terrorists in the film at all. If Muslims are portrayed in films, it seems like there HAS to be at least one character central to plot that is a crazy insurgent or mercenary which can affect those with little knowledge in how they see Muslims.

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(salam)

Hollywood movies about Islam, Muslim, Terrorism, wars and tortures

Do you guys remember that in the old days (prior to 9/11), movies about Muslims Terrorist had fairly simple plot, bad Muslims trying to blow stuff up and white people saves the day (Executive Decision by Steven Seagal), The Seige (same kind of plot). :dry:

Well…they are still making movie about Muslims and Terrorism but plots are more complex and sophisticated. When and how did this change come about? :huh:

What do you guys think?

i) Are these movies simply propaganda/tools to brainwash the audiences?

ii) Or do you think these movies are helping to differentiate between bad Muslims (who are terrorist) vs regular Muslims (who are mostly decent, law abiding citizen).

iii) Used by certain government to justify their actions (like tortures and war on terror).

iv) Others?

Here is a list of interesting movies

Syriana (2005)

The Kingdom (2007)

Rendition (2007)

Body of Lies (2008)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Unthinkable (2010)

Have you seen any of the movies? Do you think these movies help or hurt us more? :unsure:

I've seen "Syrianna", "Body of Lies" but can't remember enough about them.

I do remember "Hurt Locker" and I did not think of it as "anti-muslim" but a depiction of the bomb squad dealing with national resistance.

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