Arabs in US Say ‘American Sniper’ Movie Stirs Up Hatred

January 25, 2015  

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says that “serious threats” being made to Arabs and Muslims, following the release of the film American Sniper.

The film is based on a book about sniper Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal, who served four tours of duty in Iraq from 2003-09 and killed more than 160 people, making him the most deadly sniper in American history.

In the book, Kyle writes: “Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq.”

 

According to USA Today, the ADC claimed it collected “hundreds of violent messages targeting Arabs and Muslims from moviegoers of the film,” mainly from Facebook and Twitter.

The ADC said a “majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper”. The ADC also says it is working with the FBI and local law enforcement authorities to look into the threats.

The Arab-American group has sent letters to the film’s star, Bradley Cooper, and director Clint Eastwood, asking them “to help reduce the hateful rhetoric.” “Your visibility, influence, and connection to the film would be a tremendous force in drawing attention to and lessening the serious dangers facing the respective communities,” ADC president Samer Khalaf wrote.

Jack Horner, a spokesman for the Warner Bros film studio, which released the film, told the Reuters news agency that the company “denounces any violent, anti-Muslim rhetoric, including that which has been attributed to viewers” of the film.

He added: “Hate and bigotry have no place in the important dialogue that this picture has generated about the veteran experience.”

Spokespeople for Eastwood and Cooper had no immediate response to requests for comment, Reuters news agency reported.

American Sniper has been a major hit in North America, taking $90m in its opening weekend – a record for a January release.

Kyle was killed in February 2013 on a firing range in his home state of Texas, in an incident deemed to be a murder, which was carried out for unclear motives by a person who was reportedly suffering from PTSD.


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