"You share the same religion with men who cherry picked the bible to justify slavery. Those assumptions you made, those quick generalizations; what about the vengeance and the blood shed in the old testament, the Crusades, the Inquisition… are these events guided by a religion of peace? No, they are guided by self-important men who think they know more then the God they claim to worship. This was not the work of religion; it was arrogance, it was hypocrisy, it was hate. Those horrible men who hijacked those planes hijacked my religion that day too. They insulted my God. So, no, this isn’t “too difficult”. It’s a privilege to be able to serve this victim to show him that care and love that was so absent that day." - Arastoo Vaziri
Once again, I turned to television this week when I began to think about Middle Eastern stereotypes. The quote above is from the television series "Bones," during a recent episode about 9/11. It is stated by a Muslim character, who is asked if a case on a 9/11 victim is too difficult to handle. I feel that this quote speaks loudly and clearly to the topic of Middle Eastern stereotypes. For the most part, media does not cater to this view on Muslims and people of the Middle East. Like in Disney's Aladdin, the image of a violent and bloodthirsty people is usually portrayed. Until I saw this episode and read about it for class, I never realized the strength and history of this stereotype. It had not occurred to me that before 9/11 I had been feeding on bits of stereotypes against a whole people. When the news and war on terrorism sprouted I always thought that was the reason for all the bad vibes and feelings around the Middle East, I did not realize how far back the stereotype extended.