Thursday, January 25, 2007

Muslims Call For Media Censorship

"Rather than portray the Arab culture and Islamic religion in a positive or neutral light, the [Disney] producers associate it with harsh punishments and oppressive practices."

Do I even need to write anything after that? "Harsh punishments and oppressive practices" in Islam? You're kidding...If I hadn't seen Aladdin I never would have guessed!

It didn't stop with Fox's "24" --Once again Muslims are calling for censoring when it comes to Islam being portrayed on the big (and small) screen.

"...A report by the Islamic Human Rights Commission argues that films as diverse as The Siege, a portrayal of a terrorist attack on New York starring Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis, the Disney film Aladdin and the British comedy East is East have helped demonise Muslims as violent, dangerous and threatening, and reinforce prejudices.

The study, titled The British media and Muslim representation: the ideology of demonisation, argues that Hollywood has a crucial role in influencing how the public views Muslims.

A survey conducted as part of the research revealed that Muslims in Britain felt negative images of their faith on the big and small screen had consequences in their daily lives. Those interviewed "found a direct correlation between media portrayal and their social experiences of exclusion, hatred, discrimination and violence".

The authors call for more power for cinema censors to be able to curtail or even decline certification of "objectionable material", as well as more effective media watchdogs and increased responsibility in coverage of issues involving Muslims on the part of newspapers and television." (source)

If I were them I'd be worrying more about censoring the actual news (Iran realizes that -that's why blogs are illegal) than fretting over a movie starring a flying carpet.

I searched for random attacks on Muslims because they're Muslim and couldn't find a thing... (and I don't mean a vandalized school in Canada, the report said "violence").

To be fair, I asked myself if I would censor movies like "Zoo" (a film at the Sundance Film Festival about Man-Horse love) or the new Dakota Fanning movie "Hounddog" (where the 12 year old is raped on screen) if I had the power to do so. But it's not a fair comparison... this isn't about depicting someone unkindly -it's about not glorifying illegal acts. I didn't protest or even pen one letter over "Saved" and I'm someone that went to Christian school from 1st to 12th grade.

The best way I can think for them to improve their image at this juncture of time is to stop talking. Shhhh! Each time you whine, light something on fire, cut someone's head off or sue, you only fuel the disdain.

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