Monday, August 28, 2006

YouTube Jihad

Now that the new social marketing campaign against suicide bombing has released its Public Service Announcement, which was filmed in downtown Los Angeles and which incorporated several Hollywood-style special effects, I wonder how successfully the Terrorism Has No Religion program will prove to be in the long run. I think this spot may glorify violence as much as it condemns it, by placing the bomber at the center of such orchestral slow-motion destruction. In contrast, a film like Paradise Now presents an implicit but sustained and complex argument against attacks on civilians that looks at how these destructive social actors are being produced by a larger dysfunctional system.

After viewing the PSA, I spent some time on YouTube and found a montage of real bombers, as well as a lounge-singing version of jihadist incitement that romanticizes women who are "martyrs." I also discovered a disturbingly misogynistic parody video with a female would-be bomber. Gender politics also seem to play a role in Michelle Malkin's screed against young Muslim males as well. I came across a lot of anti-Muslim propaganda on YouTube, including the rhetorical dark matter in Moderate Muslims?



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