Antar, the bulling thug

I recently saw a video on YouTube which was filmed in Europe of a man dressed in a GCC outfit and fake beard throwing a bag on strangers who panicked and ran away assuming the bag had explosives in it. Though I believe that the actor’s Arabic Islamic outfit had nothing to do with the element of surprise, and that people would naturally panic and run away when strangers throw something at them regardless of their attire, the idea of dressing up in Arabic clothes developed in the director’s mind as a result of the stereotype images of Arabs.

For the west, ignorance, wealth and lust have always been stereotype characteristics of Arabs and they recently added ‘violence’ to this impression after the crimes committed by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda. I do not think that the west is wrong in describing us as violent people. It is rather a tangible fact in our societies as we practice violence on daily basis in all our practices, debates, terminology, the way we bring up our children and even in times of sadness or joy.

Many of us find joy in firing gunshots during weddings. Violence also prevails amongst motorists on Arab streets. Our songs are filled with sadness, desertion and parting while we rarely find a song with lyrics or a joyful relation between two lovers. Touchiness, impatience and being jumpy are the characteristics of an emotional character abundantly found in our societies.
Such traits do not exist in the Japanese who are known to be placid or the British who are cold-tempered. It is also notable that Arab culture has been and is still promoting violence in various epic and historical movies with scenes of war such ‘Al-Nasser Saladdin’ and ‘Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed’, which might have been the natural result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Notably, ‘Historic movies’ here refers to Islamic ones whereas pre-Islam period was portrayed on screen through movies about Antar Ib Shaddad, who was a trouble-maker, fighter and a bullying thug.–Al-Anbaa

By Salah Al-Sayer

This article was published on 11/09/2017