Two years ago, Muslim groups protested when the plot of the hit Fox drama “24” cast Islamic terrorists as the villains who launched a stolen nuclear missile in an attack on America.
Now, after a one-year respite during which Russian separatists played the bad guys on the critically acclaimed series, Muslims are back in the evil spotlight. Unlike last time, when agent Jack Bauer saved the day, the terrorists this time have already succeeded in detonating a nuclear bomb in a Los Angeles suburb.
Being portrayed again as the heartless wrongdoers has drawn renewed protests from Muslim groups, including one that had a meeting with Fox executives two years ago over the issue.
Do they even watch the show? Yes, the bad guys (at least for the moment) happen to be Islamic fundamentalists. The writers also make a point of showing innocent Muslims being caught up in the trouble. They frame the governmental discussions of internment camps as ludicrous. They make the bigot who attacks Kumar look like a dumb lug of a thug (until Kumar kills him anyway). They don’t paint all Muslims as bad guys.
That said, if gay Irish milkmen were blowing up buses and crashing airliners and plotting a global milk empire beholden to Daisy the Cow, I wouldn’t be surprised if “24” had Jack Bauer in drag dropping off half gallon bottles and speaking with a brogue about how much he missed Dublin, in particular the cows.
If these groups would spend more time focusing on rescuing Muslim youths from the harm of fundamentalism, and less time worrying about a television show, then maybe the day of gay Irish milkmen on television would be upon us sooner than we can imagine (although I suspect I might be the only one that has imagined it thus far).