Did drama advertise for ISIS?

It is unreasonable for dramas to look the other way and ignore major issues

Turki Aldakhil
Turki Aldakhil
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The Saudi satirical series “Selfie” episode “Under the Ashes” aired a few hours before Saudi twins committed the horrific crime of stabbing their parents to death. Some academics have spoken of an unintentional advertisement that may be caused by shedding light on terrorism.

Links have often beend drawn between dramas and crime often committed later. We respect this vision, but it is unreasonable for dramas to look the other way and ignore major issues, particularly when it comes to disasters such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

When dramas address such topics, they do not do so to serve the purpose of symbolic or unintentional advertisement, or to encourage teenagers to commit ill practices.

Linking that “Selfie” episode and the twins’ horrific crime is meaningless and a huge exaggeration

Turki Aldakhil


Arab cinema has addressed the rise of terror groups since the 1980s. Egyptian actor Adel Imam is famous for this in his movies “The Terrorist”, “Birds of Darkness” and “Terrorism and Kebab.” His recent series “Maamoun and his Partners,” airing during the holy month of Ramadan, sheds light on these crises through the character of his extremist son-in-law Motaz.

It is a great victory for dramas to bravely confront these cases, which are difficult on societies and nations.

The unintentional advertisement that dramas may cause - assuming it exists - is less dire than silence and complete submission to terror groups, particularly when they are balanced by a clear that condemns violence and supports humanity. Linking that “Selfie” episode and the twins’ horrific crime is meaningless and a huge exaggeration.

This article was first published in Okaz on June 28, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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