Fiza Najeeb in the Poly Post of California State Polytechnic University of Pomona (thanks to Nicolei) asserts that it is movies like “United 93” that make people have a low opinion of Muslims. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that the movie is generally accurate in its portrayal of the hijackers, and that maybe people have a low opinion of Muslims because there are Muslims who do things like that.
“United 93” is the type of movie that evokes emotion in audiences. Along with feelings of shock, sadness and hurt comes a strong sentiment of anger and hate. When something as major as an attack on your country happens, generally, two things are bound to happen.
First, people develop a strong sense of patriotism and unity toward the rest of their fellow citizens. Next, people develop a thirst for revenge toward the perpetrators. In this case, the way this film portrays the antagonists would be those who fit the Muslim profile.
See? It’s profiling! Why, this film has made the perpetrators seem to be Muslims! This will make people want to defend themselves! (What were the perpetrators in fact? Methodists? Nor was their Islam tangential or unrelated to what they were doing. It was, in fact, by their own accounts their primary motivation.)
…Like everyone else, I relived the moments of that life-altering moment. And even though, I, like the rest of the audience, was American, I left the theatre with a strong sense of discomfort and isolation from everyone.
I am an American-born Muslim and I find it hard to be comfortable and patriotic in this country when overhearing comments such as “I can’t believe those Muslim people” or “this movie makes me really mad at those Muslims.”
It’s unfortunate that I overheard two people represent the beliefs of many people in the United States. The amount of ignorance and intolerance against Muslims can be largely attributed to media such as “United 93.”
No, if there is any genuine intolerance of Muslims in the U.S., aside from CAIR’s largely trumped-up “hate crimes” reports, it can be largely attributed to anger on the part of Americans at crimes committed by Muslims in the name of Islam daily around the world. Fiza Najeeb could more profitably work to end that intolerance by trying to keep Muslims from being terrorists, not by lecturing Americans about how they should deplore an accurate depiction of actual events.
Oh, and also: how many other films depict what Najeeb objects to in “United 93”? I can’t think of any. Where is this alleged barrage of media showing Muslims as terrorists? Again and again we have seen how the media goes out of its way not to do this: we hear endlessly about “extremists,” “militants,” and “insurgents.” When was the last time you saw a headline from AP or Reuters referring to “Islamic jihadists” committing some act of violence? I thought so.
When the opening scene portrays a terrorist praying to God for strength and guidance to carry out a suicide mission while screaming “God is great” in Arabic (Allahu Akbar) and terrorizing passengers, it is easy to see how people would associate the religion of Islam to a religion that preaches terrorism.
Yes it is. Now: did this actually happen or not? Does it happen all the time or not? Of course it did happen, and does happen. Fiza Najeeb needs to face the implications of that, which are far more serious than the fact that these true events were shown in a film.
When people are emotional, they have the tendency to be extremely irrational. You would think the absurdity of the idea of a major religion preaching violence and terrorism in the name of God is common sense, but many people seem to forget that terrorism is a religion of its own.
Here we go again. Muslim preachers around the world preach violence and terrorism in the name of God. Again and again we have seen this, and seen Muslim clerics arrested for terror offenses. Just take a dip into the archives here and you’ll see these things again and again. You would think the absurdity of the idea of a columnist blaming those who depict this fact rather than those who actually do these things would be common sense, but apparently it isn’t.
While terrorists responsible for the devastating occurrence of Sept. 11 identify themselves as devout Muslims on a religious crusade, the Quran specifically states, “Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” But many Islamic nations, excluding Iraq, has sympathized with the United States” situation.
This is a reference to Qur’an 5:32, but Najeeb leaves out part of the verse. Here is the whole thing: “We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” That “unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land” is a large loophole.
Leaving aside the fact that this verse is directed to the Children of Israel, not the Muslims, there is also 5:33-4: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
So in context, the verse Najeeb cites is actually a warning of dire punishment in this world for those who oppose Allah and Muhammad. Now why doesn’t she tell us that?
According to an article by James Beverly printed in Christianity Today, “Iran has vehemently condemned the suicidal terrorist attacks in the United States,” and printed a story in Iran Today expressed their sorrow and sympathy for America.
Hey, that’s swell. It’s clear that Iran is solidly in America’s corner, and condemns violence in Islam’s name. How reassuring!
The issue of ignorance is already a big issue in the United States with the news attaching the word “Islamic” with the word “extremist” and/or “terrorists,” and ignorantly throwing around words like “Jihad” and “Shari”a” without knowing their true meaning.
Fiza, I hereby volunteer to be cured of my ignorance. I invite you to have a public discussion with me on jihad and Sharia. You can explain to me the true meaning of these terms, and I will explain to you from Islamic sources why I think what I do about them. And we’ll have a discussion about the implications of it all. Contact me at email@example.com to set this up. I look forward to hearing from you.
The power of the media has been severely underestimated. When the Twin Towers fell, the media replayed images of the incident, the mind-numbing devastation that resulted and the importance of showing unity and displaying patriotism.
The media puts strong emphasis on the Patriot Act as a weapon against the war on terrorism, which is translated into patriotism as a weapon in the war on Islam.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, hate crimes against Muslims went up from 4 percent (pre-9/11) to 9 percent in 2003.
On April 24, 2004, a woman in Pennsylvania was a victim of verbal harassment when a woman yelled at her in a parking lot saying that the American troops were in Iraq and Afghanistan so that women wouldn’t have to dress like her.
She then proceeded to repeatedly hit her with her shopping cart. The Muslim woman requested employees to call security, but they refused.
If this incident really occurred, it is abominable. The woman with the shopping cart is a boor and should have received a citation, or been arrested for assault if she really hit her with the cart. It is a good thing that she didn’t saw the poor Muslim woman’s head off, or blow her to smithereens with a homemade bomb filled with nails.
It’s absolutely ridiculous that a small faction of people have come to represent the followers of an entire faith.
That’s up to peaceful Muslims like you to combat, Fiza. Not non-Muslims.
Despite the continuous reinforcement of certain misconceptions, there is no justification for committing hate crimes.
Indeed. I trust you are telling the same thing to the jihad groups.
Violence inflicted on innocent people in the name of patriotism is the very definition of terrorism.
So now a manical woman with a shopping cart is a terrorist, just like the 9/11 hijackers. Sorry. I’m not buying.
Because of the amount of time Greengrass put into focusing on religion, the message of unity and patriotism is lost in feelings of anger and resentment.
Greengrass himself is on your side, Fiza. He was just depicting the hijackers accurately.
What could have been a valuable movie is just another source of media fueling ignorance into an already ignorant nation.
So evidently you would have preferred that he gloss over or ignore entirely their Islamic piety and motivation? Shouldn’t you instead applaud the movie for depicting this, and as a Muslim moderate declare your determination to work among Muslims to ensure that no Muslim ever does such a thing again?