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Homeland, TV’s Most Islamophobic Show

With its portraits of Brody and Roya Hammad, "Homeland" warns that Muslims are a hidden danger to fellow Americans.

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It wasn’t always this way. Despite its flaws, Season 1 at least attempted to show how Islam could potentially give Brody peace in the form of his secret, nightly prayers in the garage. “Before I accepted the job, I said I’d feel uneasy if there was any lazy association drawn between violence and Islam,” said Damian Lewis, the actor who portrays Brody. “And wouldn’t it be more subversive if Islam actually became something sustaining for him, was a force for good in his life, poetic, even … nurturing for him.”

But that nuance has all but disappeared in the second season, which has instead been overwhelmed by the twists and turns of the plot, one that’s often asked viewers to suspend their disbelief.

One of the questions the show likes to tackle is whom do you look out for when tracking terrorists? This came to a head early this season when the CIA gang discovered congressman Brody’s allegiance to Abu Nazir and were trying to figure out who Brody’s contact is among the dozens of people he meets with daily. Saul brusquely explains that they will look at all the Middle Easterners and Africans first (“the dark-skinned ones”). “That’s straight-up racial profiling,” a quiet voice pipes up from the corner. “It’s actual profiling,” Saul retorts.

Just when you think you’ve found a silver lining in “Homeland” – that you can’t judge evil by the color of its skin (you do it by its religion!) — you’re reminded that racial profiling still saves time.

While some may say these are hypersensitive complaints in a politically correct obsessed era, the reality is that “Homeland” is not just any show. It has racked up Emmys and attracted an enthusiastic audience, it is being exported around the world, and one of its biggest fans is President Barack Obama.

 

 
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