The Art of Stereotypes

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The art of stereotypes

"Stereotypes are the generalization of a person or group of people" (Grobman). Stereotypes have been around for centuries. During the late 20th century, stereotypes about Muslims increased in Hollywood movies considerably. They revolved around Muslim men who are all bearded, cold-blooded and enjoy hijacking airplanes. As for women, it is believed that they are odalisques and slaves who have no voice and are fully controlled by men. A film made by Alaa Eldin El Dajani called "The art of jihad" discusses these stereotypes. Dajani is a Muslim who probably didn’t like the Muslim stereotypes like any other Muslim, so he decided to make film to inform Westerns about Muslim people, their lives and their religion. The film involves three main characters; an artist "Sandow Birk", a scriptwriter "Karman Pasha" and a poet "Mohja Kahf", who all have one thing in common with Dajani which is raising awareness against Muslim stereotypes; each in his own way. I believe this film might be informative to all Hollywood movie makers and would correct the wrong ideas they perceive about Muslims because it uses sympathy and logic.

Firstly, in "The art of jihad" (Dajani), Pasha a Muslim scriptwriter wrote a script of a show that presents what Islam is about. For example, stating some of their traditions and how not all of them are terrorists like some people might believe. A trailer of the show revealed that "the greatest jihad for Islam wasn't fighting the unbelievers, but rather fighting evil and any bad thoughts that occurs to you" (Pasha). The part about the greatest jihad in the show was said by a Muslim FBI agent. This explains that Muslims are not like what some movie producers think; bearded terrorists who like to bomb anyone who they dislike or have difference in opinion or religion with. Distorting the image of Muslims is depicted in movies such as "Death Before Dishonor" (1987) where Muslims are shown as terrorists bombing the American embassy...
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