:: Open Dialogue on Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim Messages in the Media ::
Wednesday, October 18
7:30 - 9:00 pm
5151 Penn Ave
(Penn Avenue and N. Evaline Street in Garfield)
The vilification of Arabs and Muslims in the popular media and Hollywood
is unfortunately no surprise.** You're probably not shocked by
Hollywood's use of dehumanizing stereotypes, but would you be surprised if
a progressive publication used negative stereotyping of Muslims to express
political dissent? The latest Partisan Project has a poster that equates
Senator Rick Santorum's religious fanaticism to that of the Taliban,
adding an iconified beard and head-wrap to balance the equation.
Many of us already realize how consistent and recurring themes in the
popular media reveal the dominant value systems. If we permit disparaging
depictions of Arabs and Muslims in our own media, what does that say about
our values? If we really support anti-racist values, how can ethnic or
religious scapegoating be a means to achieving that ideal?
Come join us in examining how anti-Arab racism has slipped under the radar
in the progressive community in Pennsylvania. As part of our analysis, we
will view the short film, "Planet of the Arabs" by Jacqueline Salloum, a
montage documenting Hollywood's relentless denigration of Arabs and
Prayer space will be available at 6:40 for those observing Sundown
prayers. Refreshments will be served before the discussion at 7:00.
** In a pre-9/11 survey of 1000 films that have Arab & Muslim characters
created between 1986 and 2000, 12 were positive depictions, 52 were
even-handed and the rest were negative (Shaheen). These films reflect an
environment of suspicion of and hostility towards Arabs and Muslims that
has only grown worse since 9/11 in the US, where they are a target for
racial profiling, racially motivated violence, and religious intolerance.