Hollywood Muslims

Written by: Hamzah Moin

I watched a lot of movies and shows in my time. I like a solid bad guy. Soviets were boring bad guys. By the mid-90s they stopped being cool. We needed more spice. So Hollywood looked at Muslims and was like “Oh, we got something good here”.

Unfortunately, the Soviets still made better bad guys than us. Hell, “evil Muslims” made worse bad guys than those giant tomatoes in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Why are we full of suck? Well, they didn’t get us right… let’s take a look:

The Typical Terrorist

Evil Shenanigans: Hijacking airplanes. Slapping disobedient women. Bombing stuff.
Examples: Any bad guy in 24, Executive Decision, True Lies, Rules of Engagement… (list goes on)

This is for the lazy writer. Can’t think of a cool bad guy that has deep-rooted motivations to do something evil that will get the audience on the side of the protagonist? Just make ‘em a Muslim terrorist then. Their accents alone will make them sound evil. And strangely, swoon-worthy.

The Typical Terrorist will hijack a building or a plane, take a bunch of hostages and demand something from a politician like a Senator or the President of the United States… things like freeing an imprisoned co-terrorist or increasing minimum wage or something.

To date, the terrorists have never won in a movie. You’d think these terrorists would watch other American movies and learn that they always lose. Terrorists: You can’t win against Kurt Russell. Don’t even bother. You’re better off using your resources to make video games. That’s something everyone can enjoy.

But wait… I thought Hollywood studios can’t randomly put “evil Muslims” in movies or shows? Isn’t that politically incorrect? How do they get around it?

The “This-is-not-Islam” Guy

Evil Shenanigans:
Used to be evil until they have a “clarity moment”
Examples: Any sidekick of main bad guy in terrorist movies

Hollywood studios know that you can’t have evil Muslim terrorists in movies anymore unless they want a bunch of angry Muslims at their doorstep (not a pleasant experience for anyone). Or you have Kiefer Sutherland make some public service announcement saying that regular Muslims are incredibly awesome unlike the terrorists but Kiefer can be hard to get a hold of.

So the solution is to throw in a “This-is-not-Islam” guy into the story. The premise is quite simple. He is usually the #2 man of the bad guys. I’m not sure if it’s the constant disregard for human life, the bombing of random buildings, the kidnapping of babies or the realization this isn’t a great way to find a woman but something clicks with the #2 guy. “Wait a minute… this can’t be Islam.” Finally a voice of reason for Muslims has arrived!

So they voice their concerns to their boss by shouting “But boss! This is NOT Islam!” only to be thrown out of a flying airplane or stabbed in the neck or both. Damn.

The Seducer

Evil Shenanigans:
Well, seducing is pretty Haram…
Examples: Tia Carrere’s character in True Lies

The evil terrorists have an ace in the hole … in order for their plans to carry out they need to distract the main character (and the audience) by the art of seduction. That’s right, they’ll grab a hot and evil terrorist-sympathizing Muslim woman to steam things up for our American heroes. Arnold Schwarzeneggar will tell you first-hand how Haram these seducers can get.

They’re kind of like evil Bond girls but they’re Muslim… damn. Whoa, settle down guys. This doesn’t make good wife material. There are plenty of normal Muslim girls out there that don’t want to kill you when you’re sleeping. Well, there’s a few at least…

The seducer isn’t always a woman though. It can be a man too. But a male seducer does a disturbingly bad job of seducing Arnold. That’s one belly dance nobody needs to see.

The Not-So-Muslim

Evil Shenanigans:
Drinking scotch, assassinating people and making out with annoying blonde girls
Examples: Sayid from Lost

I’m a bit of a Lost junkie so I was ecstatic to hear that they included a Muslim character in the mix. Oh… he’s making out with a girl. I’ll give him 70 excuses… maybe the nikkah was a deleted scene …oh … he’s drinking whiskey… that’s probably Pepsi… oh he’s killing someone … dammit Sayid.

He did attempt to pray though. Only to exit his prayer when a Korean guy shouted his name to look at a broken statue’s foot. Awesome concentration there Sayid. Almost as good as the terrorist in Executive Decision who broke his prayer to answer the phone.

The Wise Desert Dweller

Evil Shenanigans:
Blatant shirk
Examples: The guy from The Mummy

If a movie has people running around in Egypt trying to find buried treasure then you can bet your face that there’s going to be a creepy Wise Desert Dweller. This person’s main role is to warn the protagonists that finding said treasure will unleash a curse or a mummy or shirtless vampires that sparkle in broad daylight or some other scary thing.

I don’t know about you, but these guys seem a little too obsessed with this curse stuff. Just recite Ayatul-Kursi and call it a day man. The stuff they say about curses and jinns can get shirkalicious.

TNMWPH/HFAAHCTS – The Normal Muslim Who Practices His/Her Faith And Are Healthy Contributors To Society

Doesn’t exist in any movie.