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Literature review Name Professor Course Institution Date How Hollywood Movies portray Arabs and Muslims After 9/11 The occurrence of 9/11 has since modified the theme of Hollywood movies especially when there is involvement Arab or Muslim characters. The attachment of a group of terrorists to the act, said to be Arabs and Muslims, strengthened the theme of Arab and Muslim terrorists in Hollywood movies…
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Literature review How Hollywood Movies portray Arabs and Muslims After 9/11 The occurrence of 9/11 has sincemodified the theme of Hollywood movies especially when there is involvement Arab or Muslim characters. The attachment of a group of terrorists to the act, said to be Arabs and Muslims, strengthened the theme of Arab and Muslim terrorists in Hollywood movies. After the 9/11 incidents, the Hollywood movies have always associated the Arabs with barbaric acts in the society. They are all viewed as villain in most movies according to Shaheen (2008). In Shaheen’s view, there is need for analyzing the consequences of 9/11 in order to realize the increasing use of Arabs as terrorist characters in Hollywood movies. The terrorism act provided a platform for the American society to strengthen their misconceptions about the Arabs. Movies form an integral part of the society considering that it strongly influences what the audiences feel. This means that the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims as bad is something that the American society identifies with; consequently, prompting the need for understanding the weight of 9/11 in this. Since the occurrence of 9/11, the movies have usually depicted arabs in a bad way especially when considering the four stereotypes stated by Shaheen. The four stereotype influenced by the 9/11 occurrence include fabulously wealthy; sex maniacs; revel in acts of terrorism (Shaheen, 2009). All these stereotypes serve in educating the society about the badness of the Arabs. Shaheen states, “Arabs remain the most maligned group in the history of Hollywood. Malevolent stereotypes equating Islam and Arabs with violence have endured for more than a century...Arab=Muslim=Godless Enemy." The occurrence of 9/11 have just added “sweetness” to the Hollywood movies whereby the movie producers easily gets a way to relate their work of art to the real world. Most of these movies include scenes of bombing with the most recognizable mercenaries being the Arabs and Muslims. The producers make them recognizable by ensuring that they use Arabic accent besides their usual gowns. Then scenes usually take the form of 9/11 whereby the Arabs and Muslims disturb the peace in a given area through bombing. Some of these movies go to the extent of depicting the Arab characters as suicide bombers. This concisely shows the influence of 9/11 on the structure of Hollywood movies. Said provide the history of how Muslims have been perceived by the western media in the past even before the 9/11 terrorism (Said, 1981). The Hollywood films had always portrayed the Arabs as uncultured and barbaric. The occurrence of 9/11 has continued to perfect the view that the Arabs and Muslims are barbaric and cultured. Going in this direction, the Hollywood movies have portrayed these people as having no formal culture to control their deeds. Their association with 9/11 implies that they had little to control them in caring for the lives of others in the society. This meant that the Arab and Muslim culture permitted for the mass killing of people for self-gains. The movies normally depict them as heartless and ready to go on any mission related with killing (Aguayo, 2009). They are the most hired mercenaries in the movies, especially those involving bombing. An evidence of the “barbaric culture” perception is the unique inspections done on the Muslim individuals when entering a given country. Onwudiwe asserts that inspection could be done on Muslims twice that done on the other individuals. The 9/11 occurrence have also made the Hollywood movie directors to depict the Arabs as fabulously wealthy. They are considered fabulously wealthy in the sense that they have money to support luxurious acts such as bombing and making weapons. The 9/11 terrorism was such a planned event which required the masterminds to spend a lot of money and time in making the mission materialize. Further, considering the USA security it is not easy for any individual, who is of average earning, to be successful in carrying out such a action. According to Halse (2012) the serial killers and the terrorists, mostly Muslims and Arabs in Hollywood movies, are usually rich. The rivalry between them usually ends up in a fight involving expensive weapons which are out of rich for the poor. Said asserts that the storyline of these movies normally ends up with the protagonist saving the poor from the barbaric act of the rich Muslims. Consequently, it is overt that the association of the Muslims and Arabs with the 9/11 act triggers the stereotype of fabulously wealthy. The influence of 9/11 on Hollywood movies can best be summarized by Onwudiwe’s view that Movies are representation of what is happening in real life thus, are taking their ideas from what is currently happening in the world (Onwudiwe, 2005). References Shaheen, J. (2009). Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Olive Branch. Halse, R. (2012). Negotiating Boundaries Between Us and Them. Nordicom Review, 33(1), 37-52. Aguayo, M. (2009). Representations of Muslim Bodies in The Kingdom: Deconstructing Discourses in Hollywood . Global Media Journal, 2(2), 41 - 56. Shaheen, J. G. (2008). Guilty: Hollywood's Verdict on Arabs After 9/11. Performing Arts. Said, E. W. (1981). Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine how We See the Rest of the World. Pantheon Books. Onwudiwe, I. D. (2005). Defining terrorism, racial profiling and the demonisation of Arabs and Muslims in the USA .Community Safety Journal 4(2), 4-11. Read More
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