"Nothing will be the same again." Americans scarred by the experience of 9/11 often express this sentiment. But what remains the same, argues Jack G. Shaheen, is Hollywood's stereotyping of Arabs. Before 9/11, Shaheen dissected Hollywood's equation of Islam and Arabs with violence in Reel Bad Arabs, his comprehensive study of over a thousand movies. Arabs and Muslims, he showed, were used as shorthand for the "Enemy" and the "Other." In his new book about films made after 9/11, Shaheen finds the same malevolent stereotypes at play. Nearly all of Hollywood's post-9/11 films legitimize a view of Arabs as stereotyped villains-sheikhs, Palestinians, or terrorists. And this happens in every type of film imaginable: one out of four of the movies profiled here have absolutely nothing to do with the Middle East, yet producers toss in weird, shady, unscrupulous Arabs.
The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen
Example in this ebook It were an error to suppose that prejudice is always the offspring of ignorance, inasmuch as the reverse is very frequently true. Not seldom is ignorance the result of prejudice, through a willful refusal to recognize such facts as run counter to the latter. A more accurate simile would, therefore, be…
Along with an examination of a hundred recent movies, Shaheen addresses the cultural issues at play since 9/11: the government's public relations campaigns to win "hearts and minds" and the impact of 9/11 on citizens and on the imagination. He suggests that winning the "war on terror" would take shattering the century-old stereotypes of Arabs. He calls for speaking out, for more Arab Americans in the film industry, for fresh films, and for a serious effort on the part of our government to tackle this problem.