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.?
It?s not considered polite to suggest that some American Muslims might not be with us, but there is too much evidence to ignore in the name of political correctness. The radical Islam we are fighting is not found only in places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but right here inside our borders.
Virtually ignored by the entire mainstream media last week was a groundbreaking 67-page report issued by human rights group Freedom House, which detailed the poisonous contents of Saudi-funded and sponsored materials found in prominent American mosques.
On mosque library shelves were vitriolic Saudi screeds urging Muslims to, among other things, completely dissociate themselves from the ?infidel? society, including refusing military service and citizenship. Other materials encourage Muslims to ?curse? Jews and Christians, and still others encourage outright violence.
Many, or even most, mosque-goers may not be brainwashed by such bloodthirsty teachings, but is it even possible that such materials could be found in prominent American mosques if the entire Muslim community truly ?stood firmly beside their fellow Americans??
One group of Muslims that has not denounced ?all forms of terrorism? is the one that pushed Fox to air the tolerance-touting ad: CAIR.
When four Americans were murdered (and burned, hanged, and mutilated) in Fallujah last year, CAIR pointedly refused to condemn the murders, only saying that mutilations were contrary to Islam?a position almost identical to infamous Fallujah cleric Sheikh Khalid Ahmed.
The Washington Post in November 2001 asked a CAIR spokesman to condemn Hamas or Islamic Jihad. He refused, explaining, ?It?s not our job to go around denouncing.? Asked a similar question about Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called such queries a ?game? and added, ?We?re not in the business of condemning.?
Worse still, for several months after 9/11, CAIR even refused to condemn Osama bin Laden for the murder of 3,000 Americans.
Veteran fans of ?24? know from the three previous seasons that the ultimate enemy might still be off-camera. But all of us know that an organization that refuses to condemn the enemy is the enemy.