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An Arab-American Jack Bauer fan

Posted by Richard on February 9, 2007

Opinion Journal has a very nice column entitled "In defense of ’24’" by Syrian-American writer Emilio Karim Dabul. Dabul is a fan of both the fictional Jack Bauer and his real-life counterparts:

I am an Arab-American as well as a fan of "24." The two things are not mutually exclusive, despite what the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other such groups have to say about this season’s opening episodes possibly increasing anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice in American society.

Most of the terrorists represented in "24" through the years have been Arab Muslims. Why? Well, probably because most terrorists today are, in fact, Arab Muslims. …

There is a dangerous trend in the U.S. today that involves skirting the truth at the risk of offending any individual or group. When Bill Cosby talks to African-Americans about self-respect and responsibility, and says publicly what many have been saying privately for years, he’s branded a "reactionary," "misinformed," "judgmental," and so on. When "24" confronts America’s worst fears about al Qaeda–whose goal remains to kill as many Americans as possible whenever possible–the show is said to be guilty of fueling anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice.

Well, here’s the hard, cold truth: When Islamic terrorists stop being a threat to America’s survival, viewers will lose interest in "24," because it will have lost its relevancy. Until such time, I will continue to watch "24"–because, believe it or not, the idea that there are Jack Bauers out there in real life risking their lives to save ours does mean something to me.

Dabul is decidedly not a fan of CAIR. Bravo for him, and I’m glad he’s speaking out. I only wish that an Arab-American speaking out unequivocally against terrorism and its apologists, aiders, and abettors like CAIR weren’t so noteworthy. I wish this were commonplace, a "ho-hum" event instead of a rarity.

Go read the whole thing.

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