By Joseph El-Khoury
Let’s face it! It is a bad time to be a young Arab male. But what for me has been a mere nuisance, has the potential of a humiliating damaging effect on the self-esteem of generations of young Middle Eastern, Asian, African men who from a young age are bombarded with images of ‘evil men’ who look like their fathers, uncles and them. Moreover, this phenomenon is not new and precedes 9/11, the 1980s and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whether in works of fiction or on the 10 o'clok news these dark skinned men are almost always depicted as evil, unreliable, deceitful, untrustworthy, irrational, fanatic, immoral. Whenever in addition, the script require them to be attractive, the character is played by a European actor with European features, suitably dressed and tanned for the occasion. The problem is so extensive that someone managed to write a book about it in 2001(Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood vilifies a people by Jack G.Shaheen).And if Hollywood has the power to create such an image then it has the power to modify it. What a better way to contribute to the ‘war on terror’ than to release an Arab Batman or a Pakistani Spiderman. Or even better… just tell the truth!