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    16 Times TV And Movie Writers Proved They Knew Nothing About Muslims

    Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!

    🚨 SPOILERS AHEAD 🚨

    Having representation in media is great...when done correctly. But have y'all ever watched something that made you cringe because of how inaccurate it was?

    Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud / Via media.giphy.com

    For Muslims, this is wayyy too common. Here are some examples of how TV shows and movies missed the mark completely.

    1. There's always a woman who takes off her hijab for ✨dramatic effect✨ or (usually) to seek validation from a boy. Let's start with Dr. Dahlia Qadri of Grey's Anatomy.

    Dr. Qadri felt the need to use her hijab as a tourniquet on a patient when they pull a metal rod out of their leg.

    Not only is this inaccurate from a medical standpoint since hijabs are not sterile at all (considering they're on our heads all day) but also, she's in a hospital??

    No bandages, just vibes I guess.

    2. And there are characters like Nadia in Elite who removes her hijab and it's treated like she's finally feeling "free." And of course, there's Guzman who's just in awe.

    Twitter: @EliteNetflix

    Who knew it was every hijabi's dream to take their hijab off? Maybe I missed the memo.

    This is literally the most common and most inaccurate trope there is. If there's a hijabi, her hijab just HAS to come off at some point for whatever reason.

    ✨It's the only way.✨

    3. Too often the way Muslims are shown praying looks...off. Let's take Marjan from 9-1-1: Lone Star as an example.

    When you make an effort to include a Muslim character but can’t be bothered to research how Muslims pray. Accurate representation matters ⁦⁩ ⁦@911LoneStar⁩ 🤦🏽‍♀️

    Muslims pray five times a day so it's an important part of our daily routine and it follows certain steps.

    But I need to know why no one took the opportunity to look up a basic prayer tutorial on YouTube because this ain't it.

    4. And when Nabil's former girlfriend *appears* while he's praying in Tiny Pretty Things.

    A Muslim man prays in a dance studio.
    Tiny Pretty Things / Via Netflix

    Now it starts off with him praying normally. I'm cool with it.

    Then it gets weird when his girlfriend, Cassie, appears out of nowhere telling him he's "finished."

    A woman in a white dress stands in front of a mirror, facing away from it.
    Tiny Pretty Things / Via Netflix

    Ma'am, it doesn't work like that...

    And they just start dancing??

    A woman in a white dress and a man in a black leotard and black tights embrace each other in a dance studio.
    Tiny Pretty Things / Via Netflix

    Prayer mat: gone. Also his outfit changed? So many questions and thoughts on how strange this scene was.

    5. We also have to constantly sit through trauma porn. In the two-part Season 18 finale of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, we follow the investigation around a hate crime committed against a Syrian Muslim family.

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit / Via Peacock

    In the opening scene, a family of four, the Samras, is being attacked by masked intruders who shout obscenities at them and make deragotry comments towards the women.

    It's almost like the writers took extra care to throw in every single anti-Muslim slur in a matter of five minutes.

    6. Also, in the same Law & Order: SVU finale, one of the suspects is later held hostage by two men described as being Middle Eastern who wanted revenge for what happened to the Samras.

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit / Via Peacock

    Throughout both episodes, it's mentioned a little too casually that neither the family nor hostage-takers had any ties to terrorist groups. As if all Muslims do??

    And then the finale ends with there being a bombing at a mosque in East Harlem.

    So basically Muslims are either the victims of terrible crimes or perpetrators of terrible crimes. Lovely.

    7. There's a moment in #RollUpToTheClubLike, an episode of Degrassi: Next Class, where Goldi Nahir has her hijab snatched off following a terrorist attack in Belgium.

    Degrassi: Next Class

    She's approached by two random people while out with Winston who ask her if she was involved in the attack and if her book says "it's okay to kill."

    Winston even suggests she take it off which is a very strange thing to say considering they were close friends.

    They then yank her hijab off and push Winston aside when he tries to stop them.

    Degrassi: Next Class

    If Muslim representation always defaults to the negative experiences they deal with, then it's time to rethink who's writing these stories.

    8. And of course, what's Muslim representation without women wearing burqas, being saved from oppressive situations? Like these women in Iron Man 3 being rescued from a sweatshop in an unidentified Middle Eastern country.

    Iron Man 3 / Via Disney

    Please rich Americans, come save us!!

    9. And Abra (Abed Nadir's cousin) in Community, who literally has a full-blown argument with her uncle about jumping in a bouncy house.

    NBC / Via Netflix

    She's later seen in said bouncy house without her burqa.

    Also, the episode description says everything we need to know: "...Shirley's unruly sons help liberate Abed's Afghani cousin."

    Who doesn't love a fresh cup of ✨liberation✨ in the morning?

    10. And the kidnapped women in the scene where T'Challa comes to Nakia's aid in Marvel's Black Panther.

    Marvel's Black Panther / Via Disney

    Everyone loves a good savior story. But what else is new?

    11. Also, the lack of Black Muslims in lead roles is glaring.

    DC's Legends of Tomorrow / Via CW, Ramy / Via Hulu, Hala / Via Apple TV, Stephen Scott / © CTV/Epitome Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection, Mr. Robot / Via TNT, Michael Parmelee / Via CBS

    While these characters and their storylines may be spotty at times, they're still allowed to have full lives and experiences. But they're almost always non-Black.

    Is it too hard to find Black actors (preferably Muslim) to play key roles?

    12. Or in the rare instances that they are in key roles, they're often behind bars. Like Alison Abdullah, the only Muslim character in Orange Is the New Black.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    She also takes her hijab off at completely random moments, like during the riots or when she's with friends and shows them her bright red hair to make them laugh.

    13. There's also Kareem Said in the HBO series Oz, who leads a group known as "The Muslims."

    Oz / Via HBO

    Like OITNB, Oz takes place in a correctional facility, but why is it that all of the Muslim inmates are Black?

    Coincidence? I think not!

    14. And Ali from South Central, who attempts to steer Bobby, a gang member, straight.

    South Central / Via Warner Brothers

    The fact that Black Muslims have been portrayed as convicts for 20+ years brings up an even bigger conversation of how Black people are represented in general.

    But hey, it's ✨representation✨ though, right?

    15. And if they're not in prison, they're treated like an afterthought. For example, you mean to tell me that Nabila in The Walking Dead is the only Black Muslim that survived the zombie apocalypse?

    The Walking Dead / Via AMC

    And even then, she's treated like a sidekick most of the time. It feels like the writers just threw her in there for ✨diversity✨ while letting Siddiq, the other Muslim on the show, take all the glory.

    16. And to be fair, in Ramy there are prominent Black characters (playing Ramy's fiancée and her father), but in my opinion their stories weren't fleshed out well.

    Ramy / Via Hulu

    After Season 1, viewers were not happy with the absence of Black characters, especially with it taking place in New Jersey. Insert Zainab and Sheikh Malik.

    However, their relationship turns sour when Ramy cheats on Zainab the night before their wedding (and doesn't tell her until their wedding night). So she's gone as quickly as she came.

    What a romance.

    Is it too much to ask for representation that doesn't play into overplayed tropes or harmful stereotypes?

    It doesn't take much to find Muslim writers, directors, producers, crew and actors to create authentic stories that don't leave us feeling misrepresented and misunderstood.

    Saturday Night Live / Via media.giphy.com

    In the meantime, I'll be looking for representation that's done right and waiting for someone to hire me as a writer or consultant because I am TIRED.

    OWN / Via media.giphy.com

    Correction: Goldi Nahir in #7 was not approached by classmates, as was stated in an earlier version of this post.

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