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Jack Shaheen (Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University) has produced an exhaustive study of anti-Arab bias in films from the silent films of the early 1900s to the present.
It's a depressing account. Arabs are treated as sub-humans. They are killed like pigeons in films like 'Rules of Engagement' and 'True Lies'. Few have spoken out against this blatant racism.
It has been allowed to become part of popular culture virtually unchallenged.
If you substituted any other racial group (with the possible exception of the North Koreans!) these slurs would create an uproar.
Jack Shaheen acted as a consultant on the film 'Three Kings' which was unusual in giving a more sensitive and complex depiction of Arabs. Since 9/11 and the war against and occupation of Iraq, however, the Movie industry has reverted to type.
All this has a political effect. One can only imagine how it colours perception of the war in Iraq and the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
A timely work.
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on 14 December 2013
Lovely book that tells reveals a lot of what the people seem to ignore. Reality as Arabian people are dehumanized for entertainment and support for wars. No one cares.
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