A controversial Islamic lobby group says it consulted with Fox television on the text of a disclaimer that accompanied an episode of the series “24,” which breaks current entertainment-media convention by depicting terrorists as Muslims.
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations – which has seen three of its former employees indicted on federal terrorism charges – sent representatives to meet Jan. 12 with network officials because it was concerned that the series’ portrayal of a Muslims family as a terrorist “sleeper cell” may “cast a shadow of suspicion over ordinary American Muslims and could increase Islamophobic stereotyping and bias.”
“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.”
Last month, Fox spokesman Scott Grogin told WND that as a result of the January meeting, the network agreed to distribute a CAIR-produced public service announcement to affiliates.
But contrary to CAIR’s statement at the time, he insisted Fox would make no request as to when, “or even if,” it is to air.
Grogin also refused to comment on CAIR’s claim that network officials assured the Muslim group they had already removed some aspects of existing episodes “that could potentially be viewed as stereotypical.”
CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed said the group appreciates “Fox’s willingness to address Muslim concerns and to tell viewers that American Muslims repudiate terror.”
The Fox show, which has a story line that runs the entire season, is based on 24 hours at a counter-terrorism unit. In its fourth season, this year’s story centers on a terrorist sleeper cell planning an attack on the United States.
CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association For Palestine, a group identified by two former FBI counter-terrorism chiefs as a U.S. front group for the terrorist group Hamas.
Since 9-11, CAIR has seen three of its former employees indicted on federal terrorism charges.
Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the United States and sent several members to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida. Bassem Khafagi, was arrested in January 2003 while serving as the group’s director of community relations. The previous December, Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, was indicted for financial ties to Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.
Current CAIR leaders also have made statements in support of Hamas and the domination of the U.S. by Islam.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR’s chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America’s highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.