After reviewing and analyzing more than 900 American films over 20 years, Jack Shaheen, professor emeritus of mass communications from Southern Illinois University, concluded that American films always portray Arabs with the most typical and ugly image. In his book “Reel Bad Arabs,” he organized Arabs in American media into four categories: rich oil sheikhs, machine-gun wielding terrorists, greedy merchants or villains with crooked noses!
Old Hollywood films like “The American Ninja,” “The Mummy Returns” and others, have masterfully portrayed the Arab man as a deceitful and treacherous tent dweller, camel owner, woman lover. Meanwhile, they depict the Arab woman as a weak, ignorant, uneducated and ravished person.
The purpose of all that is to stereotype and distort the image of Islam and Muslims, and to solidify the image of the ugly Arab and Muslim in the eyes and collective conscious of the West, even in the eyes of and conscious of our Arab and Muslim societies, while beautifying the image of Jews and Western man.
What’s noticeable after the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is the release of many films aimed at erasing the image of the disgraceful crimes that Americans have committed in the countries they have invaded and portraying heroes, according to their standards, who played a role in the liberation of Iraq.
An example of what Hollywood is showing these days is the story of Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” a U.S. Navy Seal who co-wrote his story with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.
Kyle, also known by the moniker “Legend,” served in Iraq from 1999-2009, where he had 160 confirmed kills out of 250 Iraqis who he brags about killing in his book and televised interviews.
According to the Arabic saying, “assure the killer that he is doomed to be killed sooner or later,” Kyle and a companion were shot and killed two years ago by an ignoble man.
The “American Sniper” movie, which depicts the agonies and miseries of American soldiers, whether while in Iraq or after returning to the United States, is one of many attempts to embellish the image of the American occupation of Iraq like many previous similar attempts in the films “The Hurt Locker” and “The Pacifier.”
Hollywood tries repeatedly to display the American soldiers in the best image possible, and conceal the shameful images they left in Iraq and Afghanistan, and before that in Vietnam and Japan.
Since we mentioned “The American Sniper” movie as an example, I will demonstrate what this movie tried to establish — even though Arabic movie theaters are currently showing the film, despite the fact that it puts terrorism and Arabs and Muslims under one category, and despite the dirty cussing uttered in the movie against Muslims.
This movie talks about terrorism occurring in Fallujah and Ramadi. Everyone knows about it, who lives in these regions. In certain parts of the movie, it even links the holy Quran with bombs and arms.
Then it goes on to portray how Kyle grew up a Christian by repeatedly focusing on the Bible that he always carried in his pocket during his childhood and then while he was in Iraq with his occupying army, under the commands of Bush, who once said that this was a crusader’s war.
This movie tries to tie Sunni Iraqis with terrorism, while it fails to recall the Shiite terrorism against the Sunnis of Iraq as well as American terrorism, which killed more than 1 million Iraqis beside the raping, displacement and scandals of the prison detainees.
It’s an attempt to bury the truth about what they did in Abu Ghraib prison, and the ugly crime of the child Abeer al-Janabi’s rape, as well as the rape of a girl after massacring her family and burning them in their house to hide their crime.
It’s an attempt to hide how the soldiers urinated on dead bodies and took pictures next to them, as well as the continuous looting of Iraq’s riches under the support of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
That’s the reality of what the occupying American soldiers did in Iraq, not the delusional heroic acts that they promote to wipe out their dark history, impossible to forget. Similar attempts were made at glorifying the heroism and strength of the American soldier in the Vietnam War, while disregarding the scandals and atrocities they committed there.
Today Hollywood is not only defaming Arabs and Muslims but also distorting the ugly American history, spread around the world and in Muslim countries in particular, that concerns the reputation of the U.S. Marines, Special Naval Forces, the 5th Battalion and the Helicopters Unit who all committed unimaginable atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq. These movies are just vain attempts at disguising the true ugly face that oozes blood, hatred and murder.