Home Box Office (HBO) has announced it is developing a series on Islamic terrorist recruitment to be set in Minnesota where Somali Muslim invaders have taken to the streets in protest. With yet another Hollywood docudrama about Somali Muslim terrorist wannabes in the works, a new generation of Muslim jihadi apologists from the hotbed of terrorist recruitment in Minneapolis asks: Why must it always be about Islamic terrorism? (Because there is no other kind that is both an imminent and existential threat to America)
MPR News (h/t Maurice) Rapper and singer K’naan faced a hostile reception from dozens of Somali-American protesters on Saturday at a block party in Minneapolis. He had just begun performing on a stage on Cedar Avenue, the beating pulse of the East African community, when demonstrators essentially shut him down.
“Him being a Somali, I would expect more of him,” said Filsan Ibrahim, 27, one of the organizers of the protest. “He has such a big platform. He could use his name and celebrity to change that narrative and say, ‘There’s more to us.'”
On Saturday, Ibrahim donned a purple scarf and grabbed a bullhorn to describe to the crowd what she anticipated from the cable TV show. “It’s going to be talking about how the Somali kids in Cedar are terrorists!” she cried.
The source of their hurt is K’naan’s latest project, an HBO series that several media reports have described as a drama about jihadi recruitment set in Minnesota, which also involves director Kathryn Bigelow.
The Hollywood Reporter says the show will “unveil what is considered a world that’s hidden in plain sight” and “draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment.”
Someone next to her held up a sign that read, “Stop exploiting the Somali community.” K’naan left the stage before making a comment about “ignorant” people.
On Twitter, some pressed him to be more transparent about the project. “There’s only so much one could talk about, when the work is yet to be made,” he responded.
K’naan is teaming up with Bigelow, director of “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker.” At one point, the working title of the series was reportedly “The Recruiters.”
Best known for his hit “Wavin’ Flag,” which became an anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Somali-Canadian musician has talked about his childhood in Somalia and the country’s civil war and helped elevate the story of Somali struggle and resilience to a world stage. And some applaud the artist for engaging with his critics on social media after the protest.
Abdi Mohamed, a 22-year-old from St. Paul, came to document the performance and demonstration. Mohamed said, Somali-Americans are simply exhausted of seeing themselves on screen. “Whether it’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ or ‘Captain Phillips,’ there’s always this kind of imagery as Somalis and Muslims being the bad guy in a Hollywood blockbuster,” he said.
On Saturday, a number of Minneapolis police were working off-duty to secure the event. Ibrahim, the activist, said some officers began pushing the demonstrators.
Mohamed said he observed some individuals in the crowd throw items at police, including a football and what looked to be a glass bottle. Officers sprayed a chemical irritant, sending people to flush their eyes with containers of milk.
Minneapolis police Sgt. Catherine Michal said some also hurled rocks and a chair at officers. A Metro Transit police officer was hit in the head with an unknown object and was treated and released at a nearby hospital before finishing his shift, said the agency’s spokesman Drew Kerr.
By the end of the day, Minneapolis police arrested a 17-year-old boy and a 27-year-old woman on suspicion of riot. As of late Monday, which was the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the woman was being held at the Hennepin County jail. She could face gross misdemeanor charges on Tuesday.
USA Today In this time with what’s happening across the country — the great deal of hysteria, the backlash — it is really sad to know that Hollywood is moving forward with a project like this,” said Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). He believes isolating the story of terror recruitment in Minnesota continues to neglect the (non-existent) positive Somali-American experience.