Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Terrorism has no religion

Last night for reasons unknown, I stayed up till around 4:30 am after returning home at about 11:45pm. I watched, 'Snatch' on MBC2 again, and following that I saw what was possibly one of THE most pointless movies ever, Waterworld. That took a good 3 or so hours and that's probably what kept me up for so long. In fact at 4:30am when I DID go to bed, that damn movie was still going on. And I'm glad I didn't stay awake to find out what happens. That movie sucks. Kevin Costner should stick to producing. Or anything BUT acting.

Either way, terrible acting notwithstanding, during that time, I saw a very interesting advertisement. Well it wasn't an advertisement per se, it was more of a publicity video of sorts. It was a video about the war in Iraq, but not between the Americans and the Iraqis but rather between the warring sects of Sunnis and Shi'ites.

The video was well shot. It started with POV (Point of View) shot of a man with a cloth masked over his face being hustled somewhere by loud men yelling at him in Arabic. Finally, when the mask comes off, the hostage is facing one of his captors, a man clad in army fatigues, a black vest and a black balaclava, sporting an AK-47. The POV shot stops and then the camera pans out and you see the hostage strapped into a chair with 3 such men around him, one in front and 2 behind.

Simultaneously after this, the director plays a flashback in black and white. A busy Iraqi marketplace. Families and people on their daily hustle and bustle minding their own business, doing their own thing etc etc. Focus on, we see our hostage with his family. He has a beautiful wife and two lovely children around 6 and 8 years old. A boy and a girl respectively. Quite the family picture.

Scene changes back to the present: The captor smashes the butt of his AK - 47 into the hostages face, and asks just one question:

" Enta Sunni walla' Shi'e ? "

Translated: " Are you Sunni or Shi'ite? "

Once again the camera pans back to the marketplace where this near perfect family goes about buying groceries and meeting familiar faces. Suddenly, there's a disturbance as an old BMW swerves dangerously into the market place.

Camera pans back to the hostage scenario. Captor hits Hostage again. Again he asks, "Enta Sunni walla' Shi'ie?"

Four men burst into the marketplace brandishing AK - 47s and firing wildly into the air and at random stalls. People duck and fall everywhere to try and avoid getting shot. Mothers grab their children while men try to cover their entire families.

Another hit to the face. "ENTA SUNNI WALLA' SHI'E?!"

The family in the marketplace gets dispersed, the father fell away from his family near the feet of one of the gunmen. The gunmen continued their rampage for some time. Finally when they felt they did enough they grabbed some men, shoving one into the back seat and another into the trunk, before flooring the pedal of the old BMW and zooming out of there.

Another hit. Followed by another. "ENTA.... ENTA SUNNI WALLA' SHI'E??!"

Slowly, people in the marketplace stood up. The sounds of frantic mothers and scared children are commonplace. Men are yelling at everyone, asking if anyone's hurt, has anyone been shot.

Hit. Hit. Hit. "SUNNI WALLA' SHI'E??!!!"

The mother of the family stands up and does a quick head count. She's fine, her two children are fine. Where's her husband? She remembers the gunmen snatched some people. Then she remembers her husband falling at one of the gunmens feet.

The hostage was thrown out of his chair onto his knees. The butt and his face were acquainted once again. "Enta.. Enta ajibni.. Enta Sunni? Ow, Enta Shi'e?" (You.. you answer me. You Sunni? or You Shi'ite?)

The mother gets frantic as the reality of the situation dawns upon her. Four masked gunmen drove into the marketplace and after a wild rampage took to captives. One of them was her husband. She begins yelling in disbelief. Her children huddle at her feet.

The gunman moves away from the bloodied face of the husband and father. He points the rifle to his forehead.

"Enta Sunni walla' Shi'ie. SUNNI WALLA SHI'E!??!?!"

Through bloody eyes, the husband looks at the gunman.

"Iraqi," comes the response.

Fade away.


The message appears. It was simple and concise. No explanations were necessary.

Al IrHab. La Deena Laha.

Terrorism. It has no religion.




Uzma said...

Wow, I want to see that ad...

Brainiac9 said...

That ad is intense. I wish I could think of a variation on it that would help deal with the North American version of the "us vs. them" mentality. The only problem is that if it's wearing military fatigues, north americans don't see it as terrorism (even if it so often is).

Alt.Ctrl.Del said...

Stunning. Very well written description, but the ad...I definitely agree with the statement. Compelling piece of work.