What has Fox?s hit TV show ?24? done to prompt TV Guide to report ?24 in Hot Water? and Entertainment Weekly to ask, ?Has ?24? Gone Too Far???
Its bad guys are terrorists who are? Muslims. That?s it.
Few of us need reminding that we are not simply waging a war against terror, but against the radical Islam that animates the enemy. The enemy is not coincidentally Muslim, but they are the enemy because their radicalized version of Islam tells them to be. ?24,? so far at least, understands that.
What makes ?24? this season so special, though, is that it?s the first entertainment production in the post-9/11 era to accurately portray the enemy. The Monday night hit features the Araz family, Turkish Muslim immigrants who live in suburbia?and are a sleeper cell for an unnamed terrorist outfit.
In recent episodes, the teenage son starts developing a conscience, and his father senses something is amiss with his only child. So, the father has a member of his goon squad take away his son to have him murdered. (The plan failed.) He felt his son had become too Americanized in his years here, and no longer regarded him as his own flesh and blood.
Explaining to his wife how he could have ordered the murder of their son, he said, ?We?re all expendable.? One of the other terrorist operatives from a previous episode also saw himself as expendable, driving head-on into an 18-wheeler when he believed he was being followed by police.
This, of course, is part of the Jihadist ideology, where little value is placed on individual life. And ?24? deserves credit for getting it right.
Instead of kudos, though, ?24? has courted considerable controversy. Making the most hay has been CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which bills itself as ?America's largest Muslim civil liberties group.? A CAIR spokesman complained to Entertainment Weekly, ?They are creating a new stereotype.?
What ?new? stereotype? Muslims as terrorists? Blame the news for that one. Wait, no, blame the Jihadists the world over who still wish ?death to America.? No one, including ?24,? is claiming that all Muslims are terrorists, but as ?24? Executive Producer Joel Surnow told Entertainment Weekly, ?Muslims are the terrorists right now.?
Facts be damned, Fox bowed to CAIR?s scare tactics and agreed to air a public service announcement, with ?24? star Kiefer Sutherland directly addressing the camera. Unfortunately, the spot included a line that may not be entirely true: ?the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism.?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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