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In initial interview before reaching ambulance, @MsNazContractor, playing the Muslim councilwoman whom Detective Carisi (@PeterScanavino) has already informed us is famous for anti-Semitic remarks, tells him & Detective Rollins (@KelliGiddish) that "those people" are responsible
for her assault. Thus, she confirms her antisemitism. The councilwoman is an barely concealed stand-in for Ilhan Omar, a representative to the US House of Representatives from Minnesota's 5th District. ilhanomar.com @nbcsvu @SVUWritersRoom
Min 0458: A reporter asks Chief Dodds (@petergallagher): "Councilwoman Nasar is an on-the-record anti-Semite. Can you comment?" Chief Dodds doesn't contradict the reporter's assertion, thus implicitly confirming it.
So the Councilwoman's Chief of Staff Aida Golanis (@EliseHudson10) is responding to a question about her boss's alleged antisemitism as she enters a scene: "Nahla is passionate about her beliefs. She is exercising her right to criticize Israel. She is not anti-Semitic." Carisi
responds: "My understanding is that people got offended by her choice of words." I'm not going to rehash the real life backlash that Ilhan Omar faces for supporting Palestinians' rights & criticizing other politicians for their support of #Zionism but -> electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abun…
The episode raises this controversy but doesn't deal with it directly. Indirectly, because Nahla Nasar acts in bad faith for most of the episode, her views (and hence Ilhan Omar's) are discredited.
An example of her bad faith is in the statement of her chief of staff that the only good thing from the assault is that "maybe everyone will realize that she's the true victim here." In other words, how can the antisemitic politician use the crime to advance her political agenda
Min 0623
Nahla Nasar tells Lieutenant Benson (@Mariska) that, because her parents are from Syria, she knows what women go through in war zones & she won't feel sorry for herself. #1, Syria hasn't always been a war zone, so Syrians how immigrated to the USA & raised children here
wouldn't have any special inoculation against trauma. Or this does play into the stereotype that "those people are always fighting, so if we drop a few more bombs on them, what does it matter?" For this reason, victims of USA & Israeli & Russian military interventions are hardly
named, because "they deal with death differently than we do." As a long-time SVU fan, I can remember only a few instances where the rape victim is not personally traumatized. So this stoicism is more Othering.
At the end of the interview in the hospital room, Nahla again repeats her allegation that her assault was planned by the administration of the synagogue, who had lured her there on the premise of "peace." Spoiler alert: it wasn't them. She makes this assertion without evidence,
thus reducing her credibility and the credibility of her political views.
I tried to search to see if there was a Holocaust Exhibit Room at the Amsterdam Avenue Synagogue at 360 West 89th St. According to Google Maps, that address isn't a synagogue, but the a Google search reveals places to go in #NYC to learn more google.com/search?q=holoc…
MIn 0949: Bob Ari, playing the role of Rabbi Ezra Zuckerman: "What happened to Ms. Nasar was terrible, but what she was saying, repeating tropes, normalizing antisemitism, that's how it started in Germany."
So the episode balances Nahla's bigotry with that of the mother of Michael, a boy attending a meeting about "birthright to Israel" (aside-when can Palestinians take this trip?), who says that because Nahla wears a hijab, she must then believe in Sharia Law. ICE-T @FinalLevel
Detective Tutuola then responds, "So she's a terrorist?" Unfortunately, Tutuola's response makes it seem that believing in Shariah Law = being a terrorist. As we'll see, the episode's assertions on "Shariah Law" are dangerously anti-Muslim.
And Nahla's Chief of Staff jumps on the jumping to conclusions without evidence, antisemitism bandwagon by asserting "This was a hate rape. And we all know who is responsible. Is the NYPD afraid of being accused of antisemitism?"
At minute 1345, Councilwoman Nasar (@MsNazContractor) is helping a constituent. Her Chief of Staff Aida Golanis (@EliseHudson10) stands behind her, fawning.
Just in case you start at all to sympathize with Nahla, when she recognizes the two Jewish boys from a demonstration in front of her office, she makes another false accusation & says some more racist statements.
Min 1435: "This boy grabbed my hijab and spat in my face."
"These people are Islamophobes."

So @SVUWritersRoom just wanted you to make sure that you believed Nahla was a bigot. "These people." It didn't bother them that in doing so they add their voices to the people who minimize #Islamophobia.
Just in case you didn't get the message, Nahla (Arabs, Muslims, Ilhan Omar are all European-style bigots): "It's in their blood." (14:39)
And, because Nahla cares more about scoring political points & harming Jews than apprehending her assailant, she concludes that these two Jewish boys were her rapists.
Then Nahla's office, because they are sneaky, bad people, leak a doctored video of the demonstration despite Chief Dodd's request for them not to do so. When one of the falsely accused Jewish boys yells in her face and touches her hijab, Nahla convincingly turns it to political
advantage, playing the "victim card."

Boy hisses to Nahla: "You're an antisemite."

Nahla: "Stop spitting in my face like some kind of animal."

Boy grabs her shoulder and sticks finger in face: "Hey, don't you dare call me an animal!"

Nahla: Are you trying to rip off my hijab?
Boy: What?! (in disbelief at Nahla's accusation)

Nahla: You all saw! An act of aggression no different than Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

Boy: You're a liar! She's a liar!
Then Nahla does TV interview claiming she tried to "defuse the situation."

The clever detectives of @NBCSVU discover that Nahla had called the local news outlet which broadcast the video prior to the altercation. @Mariska has a Eureka moment: "She orchestrated the whole thing!"
"A hoax?"

District Attorney Peter Stone (@philipwinchestr): Maybe that's not the only hoax!"

Dramatic long tone. Cut to commercial.
When Stone & Benson confront Nahla in her office, she nods in understanding: "Everyone's so worried about the Jews."

Did you get the FedEx package @SVUWritersRoom sent you: Nahal is an ANTISEMITE!!!!!
When Stone brings up the lack of evidence in her case, Nahla accuses Benson & Stone of not believing that her sexual assault happened. She then sarcastically asks, "I wonder if my headscarf has something to do with it."
Stone gets judge to compel local news outlet to provide the whole video, which shows that Nahla "initiated" the confrontation. And, sure enough, if you didn't get the memo that Nahla is ANTISEMETIC, here's the dialogue:

Boy: Why do you say these hateful things against the Jews?
Nahla: Well, why do you sanction genocide against the Palestinian people?

Boy: We don't!
Another demonstrator: Nobody here thinks that!

Boy: You are the ones that want to push us into the sea.

Nahla: Who's paying you to come down here, huh? The Zionists from AIPAC? You're
all not real Americans.

Boy: I'm a Jewish-American.

Nahla (sneering): So it's all about the Benjamins, then, isn't it?

Carisi: She's taunting him!
Of course, this plot twist is a retelling of the confrontation between the Covington Catholic High School students in Washington, DC for an anti-abortion rally & Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder. While liberals initially supported Phillips, when the students' PR machine
kicked into high gear, liberals ceased backing Phillips and either believed or considered likely that he was to blame for the confrontation. For more information, read @IndianCountry @lakotalaw newsmaven.io/indiancountryt…
Defamation Lawsuit Against @washingtonpost — a Dangerous Attack on the First Amendment lakotalaw.org/resources/wapo… #CovingtonCatholicHighSchool #NathanPhillips #libel #FirstNations
Just like the episode didn't actually deal in a meaningful way with the accusations of antisemitism leveled against critics of #Zionism & defenders of #Palestinian rights, the episode also didn't deal with the confrontation in Washington DC. The episode, by portraying Nahla as
lying about the fictional confrontation, also implied that Nathan Phillips was lying about the confrontation with the students from Covington Catholic High School. @SVUWritersRoom basically take two painful episodes from real life, casually come down on the side of the powerful,
& then, what, go out 4 a celebratory meal at Applebee's? Unfortunatley, that's not the only terrible stereotyping in the episode. At 23:10, evidence from Nahla's cell phone leads Tutuola & Carisis to a lesbian bar, where they witness Nahla, without hijab, ordering a "Hendricks
martini, extra dirty." In the context of this show, Nahla is not simply a lesbian who chooses to conceal that part of her life. Her double life is further evidence that her political causes are also lies. It also contributes to #Islamophobia. Bigots constantly accuse Muslims of
lying to conceal their agenda of conquest & pillage & disregard for non-Muslims. Of course, whenever bigots & xenophobes want to scare people, they use a foreign word to describe it. In this case, it's #taqiyya. theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/featur… Thankfully, this didn't make it into the
SVU episode, but the repeated lying by the Muslim characters in the episode, especially Nahla, the assault victim, will contribute to this false idea. And if you think I'm exaggerating, here's the Google search for the #taqiyya. It's a veritable smorgasbord of ignorance &
prejudice. google.com/search?newwind…

And Nahla's really recovered from concussion & rape nicely. Hitting the club!
One good point in the episode is the discussion the detectives have about Nahla's sexual orientation. @Mariska asks why can't she be a devout Muslim and a lesbian. @PeterScanavino observes that LGBT children in households of various religious beliefs can be difficult. The ICE-T
(@FinalLevel) comes in with a club & smashes all that: "If we were in #Iraq, they'd throw her off a roof." So in addition to Muslims being hopelessly anti-Semetic, they are also viciously & homocidally homophobic. Is it too late to remind ppl in #USA that, prior to their country
invading & occupying #Iraq & destroying the country, nobody was throwing gays & lesbians off of roofs? Is it too late to remind them that the people who created #Daesh #ISIS met in #USA military detention camps? lawfareblog.com/isis-was-born-…
LGBT Muslims face many challenges &, in many cases, severe persecution. But it's not a monolithic tale, and, in the case of European Christianity, isn't it a little rich to wag the finger at Muslims for #homophobia? It's kind of like your co-worker who recently quit smoking &
won't shut up about your nicotine addiction. Here's a list of resources for LGBTQI Muslims mpvusa.org/lgbtqi-resourc…
Also, check out "Islamic Law & Same Sex Unions" by Junaid Jahangir & Hussein Abdullatif worldcat.org/oclc/1032024362
Also check out "Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections" by @kecia_ali muslimmediareview.blogspot.com/2010/10/review…
Pew Research polling shows that Muslims in the USA have become more accepting of homesexuality in recent years motherjones.com/politics/2017/…
Coming back to the episode, @KelliGiddish hits the nail on the head when she says, "Fine, [she can be an observant Muslim & a lesbian], just don't run for office & lie about who you are."
Of course, the Muslim parents of Nahla live Bay Ridge! nytimes.com/2019/02/03/nyr…
So, when we finally get to an interview with the actual perpetrator, Masud Faraj, @haditabbal, nearly the first words from his mouth are "Terrible what these people did to her."

--"these people" --

Can't @SVUWritersRoom figure out a new way to present Muslims as antisemetic?
Being an idiot perp, Masud lies 2 @PeterScanavino @KelliGiddish in 1st interview about his alibi, thus raising suspicion.

At 29:35, as he's being arresting, he suddenly affects a foreign accent. "Not in the least. She hates men." Did director, Fred Berner, put him up to that?
On the witness stand, @MsNazContractor pronounced @haditabbal's name as Masud Farhaj. Do @SVUWritersRoom not know that Faraj & Farhaj are two different names?

فرج Faraj is a common Arabic name.
فرهاج Farhaj is not an Arabic name. I did find it as the name of one of the
victims of the #Christchurch massacre. رحمه الله He was from Hyderabad in #India. So, if you're going to do an episode slandering Syrian, Arabs, Muslims, etc, at least get there names right.
At 3146, we near peak #Islamophobia. We find out that Nahla, when she realized that Masud discovered her sexual orientation, realized that he had raped her "because he felt that I had violated his honor." Oh boy, honor killings!!! 20 seasons of L&O SVU, with all kinds of men
doing all kinds of crimes to their spouses, but when Muslim husbands attack their wives, it's all about the honor.

Separating "honor killings" from the general category of misogynistic domestic violence is a tactic #45Regime @TheJusticeDept used to massage statistics in support
of #MuslimBan. sojo.net/articles/new-d…

"It seems having a full picture of threats to domestic safety wasn’t the main aim of this report, so much as presenting immigration as a direct threat to white America."
Masud Faraj (@haditabbal) spit on the ground in front of his wife's female lover. What class! - Thankfully, this occurred off camera, but it did help the bar's staff remember when he came around so that they could ID him from street video.
Hold on to your seats, though. We're about to dive into the real #Islamophobia. Stone gets Masud to admit on the witness stand that he didn't consider the divorce because it was only through the civil law, not the religious law, because he's a "Conservative Muslim."
What does that term mean? That I don't invest all my money in penny stocks? That I believe in supply-side economics? There is no recognized category of Muslims who call themselves "Conservative Islam" akin to "Conservative Judaism." This is another example of ignorant writers
imposing categories on something they don't understand, with the harm falling on people they don't know.

& now, drum roll, please! Stone achieves peak #Islamophobia!

"Mr. Faraj, do you follow Shariah law?", while holding a black leather bound book that looks like a Bible.
Masud says he does follow Shariah law.

(35:35) Stone opens the book in his hand & says, "Shariah law states that homosexuality is immoral" Apparently reading from the text, "If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four reliable witness from amongst them
and, if they testify, confine them to houses until ..." what? He asks Masud, who under the pressure of Mufti Stone's knowledgeable probing, cracks & says, "Until death do claim them. I should have killed her."
The passage Stone reads is an approximate translation of

وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا
this is the 15th ayah of Sura al-Nisa (4:15).

In Stone's closing arguments, he rebuts rather pathetic work of Masud's defense attorney by saying the known "facts" of the case. Among them:

"We know that his religion tells him that homosexuality is immoral & punishable by death."
Many Christian defendants have asserted Biblical justification for a crime, yet nobody every treats those statements seriously. Yet, Stone & @SVUWritersRoom wants to treat Mufti Peter Stone as the last word on what Islam mandates, as if it is relevant to the case. Can every
prosecutor, when faced with with an assault on an LGBTQI person, if a Muslim happened to have opportunity, be convicted simply because of Stone's interpretation. & Let's assume that we Muslims are supposed to act on this passage of the Quran. Are we to do it as vigilantes? Where
were the witnesses? Is rape mentioned in the Quran as a punishment for a crime? I have no problem with Muslims being slimy victims, witnesses & perps in @NBCSVU. Just don't drag legitimate political issues such as support for restoration of Palestinians' rights & First Nations'
resistance to continued colonialism & erasure & serious social issues such as domestic violence & homophobia through an ignorant filter of @SVUWritersRoom's understanding of Islam.
After the guilty verdict (thank God, Masud was evil), @Mariska goes full white savior on Nahla. "No more secrets, Nahla. You're free now."
Thankfully, Nahla's parents affirm their love & pride in their daughter. This might have given the episode a fraction of redemption, but ...
A man wearing a kufi/taqiyya (Egyptian)/skull cap throws stones & hits Nahla in the forehead. He's screaming, "You're a disgrace. Allah will punish you!" Two court officers struggle to restrain him, he's so powered by fanaticism.

That was Anthony Mecca's big break in acting.
Fearmongering over shariah justifies all kinds of ignorance in #USA, & @SVUWritersRoom bolstered it, thank you very little. For example, in my county, an advocate of hanging up The Ten Commandments in our courthouse explained that the document collection her organization was
proposing established the true basis for American Laws & Government, as opposed to Shariah law. (fast forward to minute 7 if u need to)
"questioning [political candidates over shariah] had no real significance to our lives within America beyond keeping alive anxieties about Muslims being a potential fifth column." by @DawudWalid auburnseminary.org/voices/sharia-…
Some politicians have taken up the unfounded idea that American Muslims somehow wish to impose Islamic law on U.S. courts as a campaign issue. Other politicians seek to score political points by demonizing anything foreign or international. aclu.org/bans-sharia-an…
There's no book, even the Mushaf (the printed representation of the Quran), that anybody can hold in one's hand like Peter Stone did & say, "This is shariah law." For a non-specialist Muslim to hold forth on what is or isn't shariah law in a criminal case would be rejected as
audacious. How is a DA in New York suddenly supposed to know how to make judgments in accordance with God's will? Shariah fearmongering is white supremacist, reactionary politics fullerstudio.fuller.edu/u-s-social-con…
.@shanfaraa has written a scholarly article about #shariaLaw, but I'm not sure that it will give TV writers much usable content. But avoiding the mistakes of this episode might help stem fascism. laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/his…
The season featured @welliver_titus as a powerful lawyer who raped a prominent defense attorney & runs/partakes in an underage sex trafficking operation. Nobody ever examines his religious or psychological beliefs which cause him to commit crimes. Why can't TV portray a Muslim
criminal like it does a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh or atheist criminal?

I've blogged about portrayals of Muslims in TV shows. muslimmediareview.blogspot.com/search/label/T…

Thank you for reading this thread. It was longer than I intended....
Hang on, I have one more thing I must rant about. This episode had an amazing hijab fetish. Tearing the hijab off of a Muslim woman is terrifying. Hijab signifies religiosity. Nahla wanted to "fit in" in high school, but, when she married Masud, she began wearing hijab. When she
is at the club, she's not wearing hijab. Nahla accuses Stone & Benson of being prejudiced against her because she's wearing a hijab. Why does this piece of cloth do so much work in people's minds?
Sometimes things don’t happen organically & normalisation needs helping hand. But route there isn’t via ever-more-exclusive obsession with images of people wearing hijabs, in order 2 reassure people that Muslims 2 can be attractive & have bodily functions. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
Non-Muslim show producers might think hijab is of such importance because of the number of actual court cases in #USA & #EU dealing with the legality of discriminating against Muslim women who choose to wear it. @USEEOC v @Abercrombie npr.org/sections/codes…
European Court of Human Rights ruling in LACHIRI c. BELGIQUE forbade courts from denying entry to Muslim women covering their heads opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/case-wa…
and many more. But some Muslims obsess over this as a litmus test of a woman's religiosity. Here's one perspective of **** many *****

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Wearing the Hijab by @SaudiYankee

So can TV people get past this piece of clothing?
PSS Rant 2 - For the most part, I think Jews & Muslims live rather amicably in #USA. This episode makes it seem like every interaction between a Jew & a Muslim is kindle linked to a tank of gas.
Muslims and Jews Face a Common Threat From White Supremacists. We Must Fight It Together.

People should check out @joelfendelman's @DAVIDTheMovie, about a Muslim family's interactions with Jews from a Brooklyn yeshiva. muslimmediareview.blogspot.com/2014/02/film-d…
Pew Research had a poll about attitudes towards various religious groups conducted in May-June 2014 pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how…

Jewish attitudes towards Muslims were chillier than all groups except white evangelical Protestants, and, in turn, Jews were even chillier towards white
evangelical Protestants. (Take that, Christian Zionist fanatics like John Hagee & Robert Jeffress). Attitudes of Muslims towards other religious groups were not included in the report, likely due to insufficient sample size. Regardless of the chilly polling data, my unscientific
personal circle shows that Muslims & Jews interact more comfortably than Muslims & white Christians, primarily because of the regard for accommodation each group is used to making & requesting & similar professional aspirations. Things may be different in NYC for local reasons.
PPS 3 - I was going to do this thread from my memory of watching the episode, but I decided to rewatch it & do screenshots. Watching it a second time allowed me to get past the shock of the crazy plotline to see the facial gestures & body language & hear the tones of the actors'
voices. It also allowed me to record "microaggressions" which I would have neglected if I had written this from memory of watching 1 episode. Assuming that the vast majority of communication is subconscious through body language, voice tone, etc, watching this episode a 2nd time
led me to believe it is far worse than I originally thought. Most viewers will only watch the episode 1 time, and they would subconsciously imbibe all of the anti-Muslim stereotypes I've described here.
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