Muslims from negative characters to positive characters in Hollywood
One of the bitter truths of the Hollywood world is that despite all its claims to enlightenment, it relies only on racial and ethnic characters, and this aspect further promotes the nervousness within the viewers.
This becomes even more pronounced when ‘villain’ is chosen for a Hollywood movie. Although the end of the Cold War is decades ago. What is shown on the screen in the present era, Russia is still the home of the bad guys, and the Germans are still extinct.
One of the reasons is that a large number of bad German Nazis have participated in TV programs since World War II. From the beginning of the new century, Arab Muslims have been the biggest victims of ‘role-playing’ on screen.
Even before 9/11 in the United States, Arab Muslims were portrayed as a source of oil because of luxury, cruelty to women, sexual lust and terrorism. The only difference is that this kind of propaganda against Muslims has been reinforced in the 9/11 and later in the war on terror.
A large number of ordinary people have been killed by right-wing. Extremist groups associated with white racist movements. But according to Hollywood, the common people are the most feared by Muslims.
The main reason for this is the sensational TV series 24 and ‘Sleeper Cell’ after 9/11. Looks like US TV has made Islam and its followers its biggest enemy.
The biggest Islam phobia show on TV?
The Homeland series accurately reflects former US President George W. Bush’s words, “You are with us or with the terrorists”. In which the Muslim character is shown either as a terrorist ally or with the US government. Agree to become a device.
The Homeland series
The series is now back with its eighth and final season, and most of the Muslim community is waiting for it to end.
In 2011, the premiere of the series proved to be the most hypocritical drama on screen. Beyond this, how every evil has been linked to the Muslims, this series has even declared Muslims as a hidden threat to American citizens.
Former US President Barack Obama was also a big fan of the show, which was well-received and a show of culture. It is regrettable that the operators of this show for many years found little importance in getting the basic details about the Islamic world.
In the first series there were many controversial scenes. Arab characters were given Persian names. A remarkable and beautiful city like Islamabad was portrayed as a terrifying hell and battlefield. This series has a long list of such flaws.
Sue Obedi, director of the Hollywood Bureau of the American Public Muslim Council, says such ridiculous and negative beliefs and attitudes are having a bad effect on Western society because of such unfounded information about the Muslim community. One can formulate a specific opinion that can have dire consequences.
Investigative reports prove that such negative reflections on Muslims have a direct impact on public opinion and support policies that are dangerous to Muslims and impair their rights. Or justify the use of force against them.
On the other hand, the positive reflection of Muslims and the direct relationship with them have positive effects.
The reaction of the Hollywood star
Obedi says that accurate representation is not only important because of how others view Muslims, but also because it is important for how Muslims view themselves.
This issue has been revealed in 2017 by Hollywood’s famous Muslim actor Riz Ahmed. Heis also the star of the famous films Rogue One and Venom.
Speaking in the lower house of the United Kingdom, he warned that ‘negative propaganda has made Muslims an easy target of extremists due to lack of diverse representation on screen. For the wealthy Islamist fighters, it is the form of James Bond. So is that right? Everyone thinks he is fine. Have you seen propaganda videos of the Islamic State? It all looks like action movies. Where is the alternative statement? Where are we telling our children that they too can be the heroes of our stories? ‘
According to the Muslim Hollywood actor, an organization like Dawat-e-Islamia takes advantage of this situation and presents its leaders as heroes. People take the message seriously in which they see the importance, the partnership, and the importance of it. People want representation in which we fail.
Has the era of Islamophobia on TV come to an end after the end of the Homeland series?
Indeed, such show-makers have now taken into account the concerns of Muslims. Over the past few years, Muslim heroes have been introduced to such a series, perhaps a deliberate attempt to dispel the negative impression of the former.
The new Muslim heroes
The series, which began in 2003, revolves around the police, when the NCIS was subjected to major controversy, with critics accusing the series of promoting the notion that every Muslim is a secret terrorist. But it has now brought a notable improvement to another show, NCIS: Los Angeles.
One of the main characters in this series is seen by Sam Hannah, a Muslim senior spy and former Navy SEAL.
She is the first Muslim main character to play on American TV screens. Her religious beliefs are part of her role, while she is fully American and patriotic.
In the series, a hijab veil Fatimah is portrayed as a special spy girl. She is very fond of money and wants to buy everything.
Religion has not been targeted this time, though the only hint about her hijab was made in the mouth of an extremist Muslim saying, ‘She wears a hijab but is nothing but a spoiled American girl.’
Similarly, in the fifth season of American crime drama series ‘Blind Spot’ on American TV, a girl wearing a hijab is seen working for the US agency FBI.
But in this role he was not given any unnecessary attention to his hijab, but the character is known for his stupid jokes.
The character of this normal hijab girl is quite different from the role in the Homeland series in which a girl wearing a hijab works for the CIA, and she is reprimanded by the agency’s senior officer Saul for her hijab. Reminds them of their enemy.
In the next episodes of the show she wears a hijab and is shown as a very loyal spy.
Muslim and patriotic
Last year, Tom Clancy of the same kind appeared on Amazon in an attempt to dispel old prejudices.
The show reprises the role of Ryan Bass, the US agency CIA director James Greer. In this show he is shown an African American who embraces Islam.
There is a memorable scene in the first series in which James Greer expresses indignation at a French law enforcement official with the views of Islamo Feiba that he does not think about until he becomes a Muslim.
Bringing such Muslim characters to the screen is a deliberate attempt by Hollywood to be worthy of patriotism, pride, heroes and leadership positions.
Muslims are not only tied to American values.
It shows that Muslims are not only tied to American values. They are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country.
Now in the script of such a show, those who practice Islam in a positive and peaceful way are not just an exception but a practice.
The Homeland series, for example, has given such trends a new perspective. In this series, Danny Galvez, a CIA agent, is immediately suspected when he reveals his Muslim identity.
Danny Galvez is considered patriotic despite being a Muslim later on in the show.
An Arab Muslim actor has been cast in the CBS channel’s most-watched series FBI last year.
Zikki was given the role of Special Agent OA Zidane, an actor who belongs to the same religion and nationality.
Interviewing at the Harper’s Bazaar program, Zaki revealed that he was often portrayed as a terrorist or a bad guy.
The representation of Muslim characters on the small screen is a welcome thing. Their role is still limited to a sensational and regional political issue. The Muslim characters who play the role of ordinary life still do not appear.
Inspired by Riz Ahmed’s speech, Shaf Chaudhry and Saadia Habib, the inventors of Raz test, said that the situation could only improve when Muslim writers were given the task of writing their own stories as well as their own stories.
The Raz test examines a character’s degree to what extent he or she meets the conditions. It is seen that whoever the character talks to is a victim of terrorism or a terrorist himself, has the character been shown to be unnecessarily angry or presented as a threat to either the extremist, conservative or western lifestyle. Either the character is anti-female or he is in the form of an oppressed woman himself.
Being one of these characters also means that the film has failed the test.
In the current situation, Hollywood needs to know the nature of the problem. Taking care of these issues in the role of the film is of the utmost importance. – the Ritz test administration.
Renowned American author and TV producer Raza Aslan has emphasized that the need is not to create a positive impression but to depict the true image of Muslims.
According to Aslan, Muslim identity is one of many other identities that exist in one character.
However, they think such a change is occurring.
‘No more questions arise. Improvement is also taking place now that there are more Muslim filmmakers, writers and actors who are getting a chance to tell their story. More importantly, now that we are seeing representation of Muslims everywhere, Muslim producers are now seen working in the studios. Now they are also decision makers. This will now make a difference in my view of the views of Muslims in Hollywood. ‘
The reality is that this is not the final destination of the trip, says So Obaidi, director of the Hollywood Bureau for America’s Muslim Public Affairs Council. No thriving community can achieve the desired representation in a short time.
Obedi agrees. “I used to say that we are traveling to a new beginning. Now I say we have started a new journey,” he says. We are now seeing more Muslim roles and stories on screen. Holloway’s arrival on screen is the beginning of this new journey. ‘
Ramey is a Muslim comedian who plays the role of Egyptian American comedian Ramee Yousef. Who was presented for the exhibition last month, being compared to ‘Lena Dunham Girls’.
Obedi acknowledges that there is still a long way to go for representation on the Muslim screen.
‘The fact is, this is a new journey in the industry, this is not the destination. No crushed segment can ever achieve true representation. It is important to be involved in a process but more importantly involved. ‘
It is important to present the characters beyond the concept of good and bad Muslim. Ramé and Aziz Ansari’s movies like ‘Master of Nin’ or ‘The Big Ask’ are excellent examples.
According to Reza Aslan, Hollywood does not have good or bad intentions. Its sole purpose is to make money and the focus of its thinking is money. She is worried about it. This industry does not intend any improvement in the world. Nor does it want to do anything bad in the world. The purpose is just to make money. This is something that you can please Hollywood. I have been doing for the last ten years.
When Hollywood is told that if you stop making fun of brown people, you can make more money then they will stop doing so.