24 is a heightened drama about anti-terrorism. After 5 seasons, the audience clearly understands this, and realizes that any individual, family, or group (ethnic or otherwise) that engages in violence is not meant to be typical.As someone who watches and blogs the show regularly, I find CAIR's position on the subject offensive. The show has gone to considerable efforts to cast about for terrorists and threats that are not Islamic terrorists - the very folks who murdered thousands of Americans in real life on 9/11. They've even twisted the acts of one character, President Logan, from a snivelling and weak character into the epitome of evil and full of plans within plans behind the terrorist attacks on the US that Jack Bauer himself was trying to prevent.
The show takes great pains to ensure that all characterizations are seen in the overall context of the series. “Bad guys” may ultimately be good and those that seem to be guardians may in fact be the worst kind of criminals. Even the show’s hero, Jack Bauer, is seriously flawed. It’s that acknowledgement of the diverse nature of the show’s characters that makes 24 such a compelling series.
Over the past several seasons, the villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the (Anglo-American) president of the United States. Over the course of the series, no ethnic group has been singled out for persecution or blame. In fact, the show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multi-dimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints.
In the real world, there are new news reports on a daily basis indicating that terrorists are calling for jihad and the destruction of the West and the US in the name of Allah. These aren't militant Quakers we're talking about, but Islamic terrorists. So, the show glosses over the reality and casts about for bad guys who aren't of a Muslim background.
The show's writers have managed to show the nuances and quandaries that face the fictional nation on 24. They created a character I refer to as Bashir who has a dark terrorist past and who has the blood of thousands on his hands, and yet he not only has a change of heart about the terrorist tactics, but offers to assist the US in tracking down even bigger threats. Jack Bauer is forced to kill his trusty sidekick, Curtis, who has a history with Bashir - Bashir tortured and killed members of Curtis' unit after the first Gulf War, because Bashir not only was given a Presidential pardon, but was providing actionable intel to stop a terror plot.
Of course, complaining and inventing controversies are nothing new for CAIR. They exaggerated details of the flying imam case, and only in the last day have they come forward complaining about how a number of Muslims who were making the hajj were prevented from boarding a Northwest flight because they arrived at the gate 20 minutes before the flight departs. Of course, the facts don't help:
Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said Monday that the passengers were denied boarding because they arrived for the flight just 20 minutes before departure, a violation of airline and governmental regulations.It's nothing beyond that.
“These passengers did not meet the standard check-in deadline of 60 minutes or onboard deadline of 20 minutes,” he said. “It’s nothing beyond that.”
CAIR is so busy chasing exaggerated and fictionalized incidents that it doesn't realize the damage it does to the Muslim community in the country that could use a true moderate organization that wants to improve relations instead of pursuing a radical agenda (as evidenced by the numerous ties to terrorist groups among the leaders and former leaders of CAIR).
Cross posted to Blogs4Bauer.