October 20, 2012

Enemy of the Arabs...

Just for a change, I'm going to shut up and let someone else do the talking, at least mostly.  I've just read an article that surprised me completely.  Not because I think it's wrong - though some will be offended by his comment about the Palestine situation, the point is still valid even if it's exaggerated - but because the writer takes a stance that is rather unusual.

I don't know much about this writer, but I do know the newspaper very well, and have known at least one of its editors and many of its writers over the years.  The "Arab News" is the English language sister of "Asharq al Awsat" - a Saudi paper with an international distribution.  The Saudi Research and Marketing Group, if I recall the name correctly, is that country's largest print media stable, producing several regional magazines too.  It is owned by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, formerly Governor of Riyadh, and recently declared Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister - unusually ahead of his older brother Naif, who had been lined up for the role.

Anyway, I won't bother getting into Saudi politics, for now at least.  Suffice to say that this article's appearance under the indirect (or who knows?) auspices of the Saudi heir-apparent, is something very thought-provoking.  But I will leave you to make your own minds up. I don't think this needs any commentary from me.  Read it for yourselves. "Arab Spring and the Israeli Enemy", by Abdulateef al Mulhim


fatima-jane said...

I enjoy your posts.

Thought you may enjoy this observation since it is kinda politically-charged:

I recently saw the Hollywood movie Taken starring Liam Neeson, as well as the sequel Taken 2.

Interestingly, the criminals, the antagonists, were European Alabanian Muslims. Western dressed, blue eyed, with non-arabic names like Marco.

I have a feeling propaganda of this sort against western Muslims (white/caucasian Muslims, or western-culutrualised Muslims of any ethnicity) will be on the rise. The european or western Muslim has increasing visibility, either due to increased conversions to Islam, or increased global awareness of 'born' European Muslims.

Keeping in mind that many Muslims today do not have arabic names, this propaganda is spot on with the Albanian Muslim criminal, Marco.

I say it's propaganda, because the movie played on the moon and star symbol throughout, as the symbol of these criminals. And everytime the albanian boss appeared, the athan was his accompanying music.

Compare this with similar action movies 20 years ago, and the criminals were arab men with names like Ahmed or Ali, who were Muslim. The same athan, and moon and star symbols being used to drill it into the public's brains, that Muslims are to be feared.
THen 9/11 happened, with Osama looking just like those terrorists in those movies.

Keep your eyes open for a huge public event/plot involving blond blue-eyed european Muslims in the next ten to fifteen years.

It could just be a good movie plot, or it could be large scale brainwashing.

That said (and I'm shooting myself in the foot here) I do understand that Muslims (european/arab/dubai) are involved in a large part in this human trafficking business. Which is what the movie is about. (Kinda linked to your post on arabs and prostitution)

But if there are more movies, tv shows featuring another Muslim criminal by the name of Marco/Mathew/Alex, it shows a definite move towards that trend.

The Linoleum Surfer said...

FJ, thank you. I'm not a great believer in conspiracy theories - they tend to require a greater level of both competence and secrecy than any government in history has ever been able to managee!

I haven't seen the second of the two movies you mentioned, and that's interesting. But I did see the first, and much as I like Liam Neeson, it was fairly offensive in its stereotyping too. In that case, it was a more generic Arab bad guys, with the abuser-in-chief dressed up like something out of Disney's Alladin. But the principle is the same.

I guess it's important not to be TOO sensitive. As you mentioned, the fact is that Albania and indeed the Gulf region, are genuinely centres for people-trafficking and prostitution, so the association is natural when writing a screenplay on the subject. But what bothers me is the (non) characterisation that happens afterwards. The one-dimensional, dehumanised "bad-guy" drones, that unlike any other characters in the movie, exist purely to represent a definition of verminous evil, to be disposed of like cockroaches by a righteous white avenger.

It's not just with Muslims, or Arabs, or Albanians. I've seen the same with Chinese, African, Mexican and other vermin-villains. I despair of the effect on the mindset of less thoughtful viewers, that these depictions might have.

But what offends me most is the awful writing. In good movies, the good guy and the bad guy both have complex characters and motivations. I'm not very interested in watching "Taken II" any more than I am in watching "Tekken II". Give me a movie with good dialogue, and I don't care if the bad guy is my Dad. ;)

omanobserver said...

Hi Surfer, apologies for posting this as a comment, but not sure how to get something to you otherwise.

Thought you might be interested in reading (and possibly commenting on?) this article from yesterday's Daily Telegraph.



The Linoleum Surfer said...

Thanks Adnan, you can email me at thelinoleumsurfer@thelinoleumsurfer.com, or message the Facebook page.

Are you working for Oman Observer? (OK, email me...!)

lil-bee said...

I didn't even see this on my feed :/ weirdness .. anyway, haven't read your article yet, but came here to share this (which I haven't read either .. I'm too knee deep with Foucalt to read anything else atm!) -> http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/qatari-poet-jailed-arab-spring

lil-bee said...

Okay, read it. Its interesting in that it sheds light to the inter-country issues BUT that does not mean one should reduce the problems faced by Palestine. I think, in Syria especially, before the recent ceasefire it was like all about Palestine which maybe the government used to move the focus away from their internal problem right, but I think both problems are important. I don't like this mutual exclusive way he looks at conflict because he's like Israel is bad, but not as bad as Arab countries. But why is that even a point? Why does it have to be a you are worse so lets ignore this issue because its not as bad? I think we need to work on everything, not just concentrate on Palestine, or Syria, but BOTH. If that makes sense .. anyway.

lil-bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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fatima-jane said...

in addition to my first comment above about anti islamic propaganda..

The tragedy of boston bombings.

Bombers are from chechnya implying islamic background.

First the propo, then the tragedy and suspects of latest american terrorist attack are just like those in the movie trend of white muslim terrorists. Similarly there is a trend of the happy peaceful arab neighbour in movies.

Islam is rising fast in west, the same powers that invade muslim countries while rest of world cant stop it, may have a new agenda. Watch the trend.

Btw where r u these days? No posts?