A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Monday, January 29, 2007

24 is on tonight!

And check out this column at NRO by former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and the chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, M. Zuhdi Jasser:

Why Do They CAIR about Jack Bauer?:

Yet again, the old, tired “major” American Muslim organizations have come out in full force to object to something unobjectionable. This time, they’re angry about the storyline of 24, the highly popular TV drama on Fox.
[. . .]
As an American and as a Muslim, I find 24 to be not only a profoundly engaging program, but one whose portrayal of Muslims in quite fair.
[. . .]
Any ethnic group can, of course, voice complaints regarding its portrayal in pop culture. From the frequently maligned American Italian community in organized-crime dramas to the Russian community that was the focus of last year’s 24, no ethnic group is entirely safe from the silver screen. But the sad reality is that such crime rings or “networks,” which exploit ethnic and religious communities, exist; and they do affect our security.

For American Muslims, though, 24 offers an opportunity to address a key question: To the extent Muslims have a bad image on TV, what can we do to change that?

All patriotic American Muslims who watch 24’s evil Muslim characters unfold their plot to destroy the U.S. quite naturally are enraged. We have an overwhelming desire to reach into the TV set and let all the non-Muslim characters witness a Muslim leading the nullification of this radical Islamist threat.

But the public face of American Muslim activity against terror — and the against the ideology that feeds it — has so far been inadequate. Other than press-release condemnations, there has been virtually no palpable public effort from the greater Muslim community in this regard. If that public movement against Islamism existed, 24’s writers would probably have included it in the story line.

So if this drama hits too close to home, perhaps offended Muslims should use this TV program as an emotional stimulus for change. To this point, the Muslim community has been able to completely avoid any real debate over Islamism. In fact, we see now a movement in England and the West to blame the West’s foreign policy as a root cause of terror rather than the real root cause — theocratic Islamist ideology.
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