As student studying the Middle East and it’s intricacies, I find movies and tv shows depiction of ‘The Arab’ intriguing. I recently watched the movie, Team America: World Police, which might I tell you, signified the importance of being an informed on political issues.
This film becomes increasingly important in the post-9/11 era. Often depicted as ‘the other’, or less commonly used ‘saracens‘, Muslim Arabs are most commonly depicted as terrorists after the attacks by al Qaeda on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
This becomes important when analysing movies and how they impact our perceptions and opinions about stereotypes. Team America, a comedy, uses the events of 9/11 in order to depict racial and cultural stereotypes on Muslims. Using culturally insensitive scenes in which Muslims repeatedly say ‘Derka Derka’ instead of Arabic I find perpetuate notions of ‘Islamophobia‘.
There can be no denying the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, The Islamic State and the Taliban are perfect examples of terrorist organisations with Islamic interpretations laying the foundation for these terrorist activities.
After the recent attacks on a truck in which an explosion occurred in Afghanistan, claiming the lives of 5 people, groups such as the Taliban still run rampant. Additionally, an attack on a maternity ward, claimed the lives of 24 individuals of which 2 newborns and 16 women as a result of terrorist activities. It is still unknown as to who is responsible for this attack.
My fear is that citizens will one day be consumed with nothing but hate for the ordinary Muslim walking down the street with a hijab. Hate-filled crimes can occur as a result of movies perpetuating these common stereotypes.
Overall, the comedic and light-hearted nature of Team America: World Police was a refreshing perspective, however we as citizens should be cautious about the influence of such art forms.