American Sniper Irks US Muslims and Arabs
By OnIslam.net and News Agencies
WASHINGTON – Facing dozens of violent threats since the release of the “American Sniper” film, US Muslims and Arabs have called on the film crew to denounce its hateful language that promotes discrimination and hostility.
“It is our opinion that you could play a significant role in assisting us in alleviating the danger we are facing,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said in a letter to director Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper, Reuters reported on Saturday, January 24.
According to the Arab-American civil rights organization, more than 100 threatening messages have targeted Muslims and Arabs since last week.
In one of the racist tweets collected by the ADC, a user wrote: “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are—vermin scum intent on destroying us.”
The biographical war drama film is based on the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL sniper who killed 160 in Iraq during the US invasion.
The film was criticized for glorifying war on Iraq as well sanitizing a sniper “who called Muslims savages in his memoir”.
In spite of criticism, the film has been nominated for six Academy Awards.
Joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police to assess the threats, the ADS urged Arabs and Muslims to send copies of hate massages they received.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003 to topple the Saddam Hussein regime on claims of possessing weapons of mass destruction, a claim never proved true.
In 2004, then UN secretary general Kofi Annan described the invasion of Iraq as “illegal”.
Since the invasion, Iraq has plunged into abyss with overlapping civil conflicts that have left tens of thousands of civilians dead.
Iraqis have seen their lives sliding from bad to worse since the invasion, as the country remains gripped by violence and lacks many life essentials.
Though violence in Iraq is a far cry from the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, the country still suffers daily attacks from a stubborn insurgency and from militiamen.
Arab-American activists rejected calls for boycotting the movie, saying such call would create curiosity among people who will try to see it.
“If we boycott it, it will only cause people to want to see it more,” ADC President Samer Khalaf said.
Warner Bros., the studio releasing the film, said that it condemns anti-Muslims rhetoric.
The company, a unit of Time Warner Co, “denounces any violent, anti-Muslim rhetoric, including that which has been attributed to viewers” of the film, Jack Horner, a spokesman for Warner Bros., said.
“Hate and bigotry have no place in the important dialogue that this picture has generated about the veteran experience.”
Since the 9/11 attacks, US Muslims, estimated between 6-8 million, have complained of discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.
A US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
A Gallup poll also found that the majority of US Muslims are patriotic and loyal to their country and are optimistic about their future.
This article appeared on the OnIslam.net site here.