August 18, 2005
Meet Muhammad Hassan aka Mark Copani, World Wrestling EntertainmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (WWE) "first post-9/11 Islamic terrorist character" who recently lost his job because of this:
On a Smackdown episode that was broadcast nationally on the very night of the (London) train and bus bombings, Hassan ordered his sidekick into the ring to face the much bigger, meaner wrestler known as the Undertaker. Hassan convinced Daivari that he needed to be sacrificed "for the greater good."
While the Undertaker was pounding most of the life out of Daivari (wink wink), Hassan led a crew dressed in matching al-Qaeda-looking outfits into the ring and garroted the Undertaker with wire. Hassan and his cellmates then carried DaivariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prone body out of the arena over their heads, martyr-style. [LINK]Okay, first let me say that I'm really sympathetic to the outrage expressed by Arab civil rights groups on this one -- especially when the WWE had the gall to claim that Hassan is symbolic of "the angst of Arab-Americans living in post-9/11 world." Not to mention Hassan's ungraceful exit from the ring:
So Hassan had to go. In his final match, the characterÃ¢â‚¬â€who WWE only weeks earlier had claimed was meant to bring sympathy to Arab-AmericansÃ¢â‚¬â€was sent into retirement with a brutal beating at the hands and feet of the Undertaker as the Great American Bash crowd roared.
"WWE called and told us they were going end the character," says al-Qatami (spokesperson for the D.C.-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee). "They didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say they were going to wait until he got thoroughly pummeled."That's when I started giggling. Guess my sensitivity gene is taking the day off.