Maybe Farid-ul-Haq initially missed the “Islamophobia” in “Wonder Woman 1984” because one has to strain so hard to see it at all. What exactly constitutes “Islamophobia” is never defined in this article; it is taken for granted that everyone knows what it is, and it appears that Farid-ul-Haq thinks of it as an irrational prejudice against Muslims. He bases his case that “Wonder Woman 1984” (which I haven’t seen and have no intention of seeing) is “Islamophobic” on its “featuring a Muslim character as one of the bad guys” while not having “a single Muslim character playing the role of a good guy.”
Farid-ul-Haq thus takes for granted that Hollywood must never portray Muslims as “bad guys,” despite the existence of Islamic jihad terrorists all over the world, or at least must not do so without a balancing Muslim “good guy.” Why must Hollywood act as a PR service for Islam? Farid-ul-Haq would likely say that it is because Muslims are particular targets of “hate and discrimination in the real world,” but this is actually not true. The FBI listed 995 anti-Jewish “offenses” in 2019, and 219 anti-Muslim “offenses.” Even one is too many, but 219 offenses against Muslims in a year in a country of 330 million actually shows that such offenses are quite rare, as they should be. Would Farid-ul-Haq agree that Hollywood should show four and a half times more Jewish “good guys” than Muslim “good guys,” so as to combat “hate and discrimination” against Jews? Must Hollywood always balance portrayals of “bad guys” who really exist in the world with “good guys” from the same group? Would Farid-ul-Haq want every movie that features a neo-Nazi to feature also a good German for balance?
Farid-ul-Haq is also enraged at “Wonder Woman 1984” because a character was depicted as “swatting away a pendant, inside a taxi, with the name Allah and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) written on it.” However, a commenter on his article states: “Thanks to this article, I’ve re-watched this scene over and over, and it looks to me that Steve is swatting the rear-view mirror to get it out of the way so he can climb out of the taxi after crashing it into the armored vehicle. Watching it frame-by-frame, it’s obvious he’s aiming for the mirror and not the pendant. The other issues brought up I can see, but I don’t see the pendant one.” Even if the character were swatting away the pendant, must Hollywood also abide by Sharia provisions mandating absolute reverence for Islamic religious objects? Has Hollywood ever shown similar deference toward Christianity, the cross, the Bible, the name of Jesus, etc.? Here again, why should Muslims and Islam be singled out for special consideration?
“Addressing the Islamophobia in ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’” by Farid-ul-Haq, The Geekiary, December 27, 2020:
Turns out, along with being problematic when it comes to consent, Wonder Woman 1984 also features Islamophobia. Sigh! At this point, if you’re out there supporting Wonder Woman 1984 while ignoring or excusing certain narrative issues, I don’t know what to say to you.
This piece contains minor spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984. Consider yourself warned.
Full disclaimer, while I rolled my eyes at Wonder Woman 1984 featuring a Muslim character as one of the bad guys, I didn’t pick up on the blatant Islamophobia during my initial viewing. I got to know about the implications of the scene in question after I decided to head on over to the Muslim side of Twitter.An action sequence during Wonder Woman 2 occurs in Cairo. Maxwell Lord goes to meet Emir Said Bin Abydos and take over his oil empire. The Muslim character’s wish is to construct a wall and regain control of his ancestral land.
During the final moments, the movie also had a character in mujahideen-looking garb wishing for nuclear weapons.
Yes, it felt weird this movie didn’t have a single Muslim character playing the role of a good guy, especially after the first Wonder Woman had a Muslim character be one of Diana’s friends. But it is what it is. I would like Hollywood to do better, of course.
Now, coming to the most problematic and Islamophobic scene that involved Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). I was surprised when I saw tweets about said scene and how blatantly Islamophobic it was to show Steve swatting away a pendant, inside a taxi, with the name Allah and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) written on it.
Turns out, my mind didn’t even register such a moment. Instead of realizing what had transpired onscreen, apparently, my brain did something and I thought Steve had quickly placed the pendant on the dashboard before crawling out of the taxi to help Diana.
I rewatched the scene and was quite disappointed to see the scene for it was. In my opinion, there was no reason for such a scene to exist. It served no narrative purpose other than Steve being shown throwing away the names of two beings held in high regard in the Muslim community.
Such artistic content uses fictional Muslim characters to challenge the “interpretations” of Islam that continue to be used to encourage hate and discrimination in the real world….
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