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MENA: Which Salafist Movie Would You Watch?

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Film, Humor, Politics, Religion, Women & Gender

“All art is a product of the time it's created in, and reflects that time whether it wants to or not, even if it attempts to escape it by hiding in fantasy,” wrote Stephen Whitty [1]. And movies aren't any different here, and their names summarize all this in a few words, in an catching and funny way, just like a tweet.

Karl Sharro – a Lebanese/Iraqi architect [2] and writer [3] based in London – decided to start a new hashtag where people tweet movie names after putting a Salafist flavour into them.

His suggestion read:

@KarlreMarks [4]: shall we do #SalafistMovies [5]? I have a good one: Salafist of Fury

He then tweeted more suggestions to get the ball rolling:

@KarlreMarks [6]: Come on people, help us get #SalafistMovies rolling: '12 Million Angry Men’

Soon, like with most of the humourous hashtags, this one got spread in no time, and Twitter users in different Arab countries – as well as some non Arabs – started using it.

Here is a sample of their movie selections:

@LamiaMoussa [7]: How to grow a beard in 10 days. #SalafistMovies

@malekmakni [8]: Shave me if you can #salafistmovies

@gihanbabiker [9]: Shaving Private Ryan #SalafistMovies

@SheikhKhalifaPM [10]: No blade runner #SalafistMovies #beard

@aymanfarhat [11]: The Beauty And the Beard #SalafistMovies

@SalahZulfikar [12] : #SalafistMovies eat pray pray again

@HanzadaElShihy [13]: #SalafistMovies I know what you did last Ramadan [14]

@Molka_Chaari [15]: Women in Black #SalafistMovies

@JustAmira [16]: V for Virgin #SalafistMovies

@EmnaBA [17]: Alice au pays des exciseurs #salafistMovies

@EmnaBA [17]: Alice in the circumcisers-land. #salafistMovies

@evildrako [18]: Blanche neige et ses sept burquas #Salafistmovies

@evildrako [18]: Snow While and her seven Burquas [19]. #Salafistmovies

@_MohamedTarek_ [20]: My best friend's fourth wedding #SalafistMovies

@beleidy [21]: My big fat segregated wedding #SalafistMovies

@CandaceHetchler [22]: Haram [23] and the City #SalafistMovies

@LocoRibelle [24]: The BLast Samurai … #SalafistMovies

@Kemety [25]: #SalafistMovies : Liberals at the gates

@sheeriif3amr [26] : My top #SalafistMovies: The Longest Beard. Fasting and Furious. Hairy Potter. How I met your mother(s). Dude, where's the qiblah. Hahahhahah

But, on the other hand, some didn't like the hashtag.

@Omnia_ElMashad [27]: Dear Egyptians, you're not supposed to support Salafist Movies, that's sad. Sincerely, shame on you.

@shafzibit [28]: For an insight in to how Muslim humour is just as stagnant as Muslim science, economic development etc, follow #SalafistMovies

@Nada_Ismail [29]: Is it my dull mood or is the Salafist Movies hashtag actually not funny?

Finally, are those tweets funny, true or stereotypical? What Lily Gataullina wrote here [30] on Mass Media can be applied to Movies and Social Media too.

Mass media became on of the main sources of popular culture in modern capitalist society. Media, however, not only entertains and offers news to people, but also transfers the stereotypes, beliefs and values of the society to reproduce the existing order of social life.

She then added that the most important thing is not eliminating stereotypes but being able to identify them.

I am not quite sure how to combat the usage of stereotypes in media. Once we get rid of one stereotype another will take its place. I think, however, it is very important that people are able to recognize the stereotypes.