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Cries of Islamophobia Over ‘Law and Order’ Episode

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The cast of Law and Order SVU (Photo; Flickr/sol419/CC2.0)
The cast of Law and Order SVU (Photo; Flickr/sol419/CC2.0)

Popular prime time show “Law and Order: SVU” (Special Victims Unit) faced accusations of Islamophobia and racism over what some were calling an “extremely offensive” storyline. Yahoo Entertainment reports:

“Viewers easily spotted references to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Kentucky high school student Nick Sandmann and former Empire actor Jussie Smollett in the penultimate episode of the season. A controversial comment that Congresswoman Omar said in a February tweet that she’s since deleted was quoted by the episode’s main character, a Muslim city council representative.

A high school student accused of sexually assaulting that character was initially said to have worn a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, which is what happened in the ongoing case of Smollett, who’s been accused of faking a hate crime against himself.

It also featured a video clip depicting a student in a confrontation with the councilwoman that was found to have been taken out of context, which proved to be the case in a January video first circulated by the Washington Post [of the Covington high school student]. (The family of the student depicted in that video is now suing the newspaper for $250 million, CNN for $275 million and Law & Order: SVU’s network NBC for another $275 million, all for defamation.)”

The “Law and Order” episode starts off with a provocative scene on racism and anti-Semitic attacks and ends with an intense cross examination involving Islamic sharia law. The cross examination on sharia law can be viewed from the 34:29 mark onward.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) quickly put out a press release criticizing the episode as “Islamophobic” and have requested a meeting with producers.

However, we should all decide for ourselves. Was the “Law and Order” episode Islamophobic? Was there racism? Or is it time for us to bringing difficult issues into prime time TV?

What was done right, and what could the producers and writers at “Law and Order” have been done differently?

You can watch the full episode on NBC by clicking here.

 


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