Non-Stop Nonsense: Hollywood and Islamic Terrorism

The Sum of All Fears is a 2002 thriller based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name. In the book, Islamic terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in Denver at the Super Bowl. In the movie, the terrorists are transformed into white supremacist neo-Nazis.

The recently released film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit depicts a terrorist sleeper cell in Dearborn, Michigan which aims to detonate a nuclear bomb under Wall Street. Dearborn, which is home to the largest mosque in North America, has the highest concentration of Muslims per capita of any U.S. city. It is jokingly referred to as “Dearbornistan.” You would expect, therefore, that if there were a sleeper cell of terrorists in Dearborn, some of them might be Muslims. Uh-uh. In the film, the terrorists are Russian Orthodox Christians operating out of a Russian Orthodox Church. That may seem odd, but once you remember that Hollywood has the highest per capita concentration of politically correct panderers, it all makes sense.

Non-Stop is a newly released action- thriller about an unidentified terrorist on board a trans-Atlantic flight who begins to murder one passenger every twenty minutes. When the terrorist is finally identified and dispatched before he can blow up the plane, he turns out to be—are you ready?—an American combat veteran. Not only that, but an American vet who lost his father in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and therefore has an urgent need to wake up Americans to the lack of security at airports.

Non-Stop-Movie-Poster-Liam-NeesonAn interesting sidelight to the story is that one of the initial suspects is a Muslim doctor wearing Muslim garb and a full beard. As it turns out, he is one of the heroes. He tends to the dying and lends a hand to the air marshal protagonist (played by Liam Neeson). Why such an obvious red herring? Probably so the filmmakers can play “gotcha” with the rubes in the audience who are so unsophisticated as to think that a Muslim—let alone a Muslim doctor—could possibly be a terrorist. Never mind that in the real world, some of the planet’s most notorious terrorists are Muslim doctors. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, is a doctor who was once a professor of surgery. Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, is a doctor, and so also is Bashar al-Assad, who was an ophthalmologist before taking over the reins in Syria. Bilal Abdullah, the ringleader of the 2007 terrorist attack at Glasgow International Airport, was a doctor, as were three of the other suspects arrested in connection with the attack. That, of course, proves nothing as far as the majority of Muslim doctors are concerned. But neither does the presence of the noble Muslim doctor on board the Non-Stop flight prove anything about which belief system tends to produce the most terrorists.

 

Speaking of doctors, Bowen, the villain in Non-Stop, is badly in need of psychiatric help. He suffers from a lethal case of “Islamophobia”—which, according to the experts, is an irrational fear of Islam, leading inevitably to discrimination and intolerance against Muslims.  Bowen takes it even further than that. He is so fearful about the threat from Islam that he is willing to blow-up a planeful of people, himself included, just to call attention to the threat.  The film’s producers seem to subscribe to the widely held notion that “Islamophobia” is the chief threat to world security.  Foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have described Islamophobia as the “worst form of terrorism.”  The leftist Center for American Progress purports to have uncovered an “Islamophobia network” in America.  Georgetown University hosted a seminar on “Islamophobia” in February, and a Vancouver University now offers a Ph.D. in the subject.  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has called Islamophobia “a crime against humanity.”

Thus, looked at from one point of view, the producers of Non-Stop can be seen as providing a public service by pointing out the logical consequences of this irrational hatred.  Moreover, they are doing their part in educating the public about the phobic nature of this malady by showing that there is no real basis for this fear: it’s all in our heads. The good Muslim doctor on board proves that point, doesn’t he?  In the world of liberal filmmakers (but I repeat myself) there is no danger from Islam or Islamists, only from people who mistakenly fear Islam.  To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, “the only thing we have to fear is fear of Islam.”

It is fitting that the main action of the film takes place up in the air because the filmmakers seem to have lost all contact with earthly reality.  Back on planet earth, the picture looks a little different.  Never mind the daily slaughter of Christians in Africa by Islamic jihadists, let’s just limit ourselves to some of the more conspicuous examples of jihadist attacks on transportation systems in recent years.

  • On March first of this year, a group of knife-wielding Islamic terrorists burst into the Kunming train station in Southern China, killing thirty people and injuring more than one-hundred.
  • In December 2013, an Islamic jihadist group claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombing attacks in Volgograd—one at a railroad station, the other aboard a trolley—which resulted in at least 34 deaths.
  • On March 29, 2010, two stations of the Moscow Metro System were bombed by Islamic terrorists leaving over 40 dead.
  • Over 200 were killed and 700 injured in Mumbai in July 2006, when Muslim terrorists attacked the train system.
  • On July 7, 2005, 52 were killed and over 700 injured in coordinated attacks by Islamic jihadists against London’s public transport system.
  • A 2004 attack on Madrid’s train system by Muslim terrorists left 200 dead and 1800 wounded.
  • On September 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists hijacked four separate jet liners in a suicide mission that killed nearly 3,000 American citizens.

This list does not include failed terrorist attacks against airline passengers by such Islamic Jihadists as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber” and Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber.” The Hollywood takeaway from all this is that we should keep our eye out for the Islamophobes among us.  Ordinary citizens might, understandably, come to a different conclusion.

Postscript
After putting this article to bed, I turned on the TV to see if I could find a movie to provide escape from thoughts of terror in the skies.  By sheer coincidence, the Movieplex channel was showing The Pilot’s Wife, a 2002 made-for-TV film about terrorists who blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner.  Are the terrorists Muslims?  Don’t be silly.  They are good Irish Republican Catholics.  The pilot is a devout Catholic (well, maybe not all that devout, since he’s also a bigamist) who gets mixed up with the IRA—apparently for religious reasons.

In one scene, the airline agent who is investigating the crash has a Eureka moment and says something to the effect of:  “The Catholic thing, the Irish connection.  I should have guessed.”  The filmmakers seem to take it for granted that blowing up planeloads of people is standard behavior for Irish Catholics who take their religion too seriously.  To drive the point home, the next scene takes place in an Irish cathedral where a young Irish woman, a Celtic-style cross pendant gracing her neck, confirms the investigators’ suspicions about the Catholic-terrorist connection. To hear her talk, you’d think that fighting for the cause is a moral obligation for Catholics.

Meanwhile, in an onion-domed church across the street, a Russian Orthodox priest is issuing orders to blow up the Super Bowl and blame it on Islamic terrorists.

Well, no.  I made up the last part.  That film hasn’t been made yet.  But watch for it at your local cineplex.  It should be coming soon.

William Kilpatrick

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William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

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