Seems like every year 24 starts up, every year there is a group that is upset about the identification of Muslims as terrorists. It is a fine line that the producers of 24, and anyone else who covers this topic, dares to tread. It is no question that there are Black, Caucasian, and Asian terrorists. The issue is that in the year 2007 (or 6 years A. 9/11) terrorism is defined by Al-Qaeda – and Al-Qaeda is an extremist Muslim organization. Any discussion about terrorism in this age, fiction or non-fiction, is based on the fear and concern that the current situation generates. Because of this – it’s hard to write a story that deals with terrorism, and not have it include Muslim extremism. To do so would appear to ignore the reality of the situation.
Five hours into the 6th day of 24, I feel that they do a good job walking the balance. Not only do they include terrorists in the organization who are not of middle eastern decent, but they have made strides to show Americans complicit with the terrorist acts either overtly or covertly. But in the end, this will probably not appease the critics.
Al-Qaeda is a Muslim organization, Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization, ergo all Muslims are terrorists? This is obviously not true – but it is the path that the ignorant often follow. Most Muslims are not terrorists. One of the often overlooked things that Bin Laden has done is redefine the way we look at Muslims. Like it or not, it is he that has had the biggest voice in defining what we think of Muslims, and like it or not, he has a following. To not understand this view, would be to ignore the current reality.
I can empathize with the way Muslims feel. I don’t like seeing Blacks portrayed as criminals – but there are Black criminals. What annoys me most is when the assumption is made that all criminals are black (or even most of them). To discuss crime in America, you have to discuss race, and Blacks. To do it fairly you should also cover inequality and racism and the impact that it has. The issue is similar with terrorism. To discuss terrorism completely, the Muslim religion has to be mentioned; but to be fair, the root cause of Muslim extremism needs to be covered also. When we stop doing both, that’s when the critics have a complaint.