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Daily News Online
Daily News Online
Friday 25 December 2009

MTV an unwitting tool for Western propaganda?

Hollywood - source for Western imperialism
Hameed Abdul Karim

"Those who tell the stories also rule society"
- Plato in his 'Republic' 

This may surprise many, but Hollywood is the leading propagandistic source for Western imperialism. In other words, Hollywood is the sleek and sophisticated PR Company working hand in glove with the West's ruling elite along with other section of the print and electronic media. 

Jack Shaheen gives evidence of this in his book The Reel Arabs - How Hollywood Vilifies a People when he quotes an incident where then Defense Secretary William Cohen hosted a dinner for Hollywood luminaries at a cost of US $ 295,000 because, according to the US Government, Hollywood helped immensely in creating a favourable atmosphere for recruiting. 

The Bridge over River Kwai
A scene from the movie The Bridge over River Kwai. Courtesy: Google
Establishing the link between the Pentagon and Hollywood, he goes on to cite another incident where Donald Baruch then head of the Department of Defense (DOD) cautioned the producer of The Bridge over River Kwai not to go overboard with negative images of the Japanese in movies that are sanctioned by the US Government because that might be detrimental to America's national interests. 

Unfortunately the same rule doesn't apply to the Arabs in particular and Muslims in general as was evident in the movie Jewel of the Nile telecast by MTV on Friday December 18 after its news bulletin. 

Take for example the scene where 'Sheikh Omar' the Arab Muslim villain and ruler of the desert kingdom dupes the nice and very white reporter Joan Wilder to write his biography while all along all he wanted was to bed the pretty white blonde. 

And what's the emphasis here? Arab 'Sheiks' are crazy over white blonde women! Of course, our superwoman realises this - albeit a bit late in the day - and does a few heroic things, along with Jack Colton, her boyfriend, to bring down the evil Arabs. 

When Ms. Wilder discovers that her host is a scheming scoundrel she remonstrates with him and he tells her that if he wanted the truth to be conveyed to the world he would hire '60 Minutes' but he wouldn't do that because the Western media cannot understand the spirit of his good vision. 

What's the bite here? Oooh, the Western media is sooooo good! 

Jewel of the Nile 

No Hollywood hate movies of the same theme as Jewel of the Nile are free from the standard fare. And sure enough in this movie too you find Arab women dressed rather shabbily, moving about in the background like zombies carrying all sorts of things on their heads - like as if they were beasts of burden. 

In comparison our Joan is smart and clever too! Oh, yeah, there are the belly dancers too to complete the picture of a depraved society and camels and chickens, beggars and hook nosed vile looking hawkers are thrown in to ensure that no positive image of Arabs ever enters  the viewers' minds. 

As expected you find the same old filthy market place just outside the palace with all the attendant fanfare of filthy Arabs going about life with idiotic looks on their faces and dressed in soiled clothes like as if they lived in the most primitive of societies. Arabs are presented as messy desert dwellers and as some kind of buffoons you would expect to see in your local zoo. 

Islam is not spared either. The word 'Sheikh' in Islam is one that is used respectfully to describe a religious leader or a devout man. But in this movie our 'Sheikh' is a clown who can only do some stupid things, like jumping from a rampart using his umbrella for a parachute. 

American heroes 

Incidentally, he seems to be the only one in possession of an umbrella in the entire desert kingdom! In one scene the Sheikh, a.k.a. 'Jewel', runs away from Omar's goons alongside our American heroes and the dimwitted fellow wanted to know 'whether we are jogging'. 

With a look of disdain our heroine says 'yes' and the 'silly sheikh' is happy he's catching up with what's in vogue in the U.S. 

In another scene we have a 'towel head' Arab welcoming our American heroes in the traditional manner offering them food and drink. In response the junior hero Danny de Vito asks 'you got a toilet?' The insinuation here is that the bloody Ay-Rabs are un-hygienically and so don't bother to have toilets like those in the good old West. Little does the poor fellow know that it were the towel head Arabs who had not only toilets but also public baths in Spain long before the notorious Spaniard C. Columbus was born!
It was the same Arabs who provided the world with the fundamentals of science, mathematics, astronomy and botany among many other contributions that helped the Europeans to come out from their dark ages?
Arab seamen pioneered navigational techniques, enabling them to traverse the oceans as Jack Shaheen points out in his book. 

One reason attributed to the vilification of Arabs and Muslims is to de-humanise them so that it would be easier for the world to accept their slaughter and the plunder of their lands by the US, Britain, Israel and the rest of the West. 

That's happening right now in front of our eyes in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Or else how would you imagine a woman like former US Madeline Albright saying that it was alright to slaughter six hundred thousand Iraqi children for the cause of democracy? 

Instead of giving the Arabs and Muslims their due place in history, Hollywood deems it fit to vilify them and had done just that for over a hundred years now and it looks like TV Channels like MTV have become unwitting tools in the propagation of ridicule and hate that Western imperialism spreads, via Hollywood, around the globe to perpetuate its hegemony and its superiority complex. 

Daily News – 25 December 2009

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