CNN Wrongfully Equated Arab American Muslim Woman with ISIL #Hummus Haters
With all the anti-Arab bashing we see in the news every week, Arab America is determined to expose those who discriminate against our community. We will recognize those who vilify the positive influence and contributions Arabs have made to the fabric of American society. And we will use hummus as our weapon. By naming those who vilify the Arab American community as #HummusHaters, we can express our culture positively while showing intolerance to bigotry.
BY: Eugene Smith/Contributing Writer
Given CNN’s history of providing excessive coverage and messing up basic geography, it would be right to say that the news network is low hanging fruit sometimes.
However, the network’s latest mishap has earned them a place on our #HummusHaters list this week after they included imagery of an unsuspecting Arab American Muslim woman in a piece on ISIS jihadists,
On Thursday, as a Michigan man flipped through CNN’s online video content, he settled on a short piece on French “Super Jihadist” Omar Omsen. Much to the man’s surprise, the video showcased none other than his own wife amongst a lineup of terrorist sympathizers and hardened extremists, silhouetted by the American flag.
The Arab American Muslim woman was shocked when she first saw her own face on the television screen. She had of course just been likened to Jihadist extremists on an international news website and was understandably upset.
The couple reported the event to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), who contacted CNN to report the mistake. Speaking on behalf of the family, ADC spokesman expressed her frustration with CNN’s report, saying:
“Her concern is the children. If somebody at school sees this or in their neighborhood sees this, [then] all of sudden they think, you know, that their mom is a terrorist . . .These mistakes have consequences.”
One could only imagine the trouble that the family could have faced had they not caught the mistake early on, including the potential for irreversible damage to the family’s social image. Moreover, the mishap only reinforces discriminatory stereotypes, heightening misplaced American apprehensions towards the hijab and other aspects of Islam.
The troubling effects of sloppy and factually misleading reporting is that it has real world effects outside of the media.
CNN has since removed the video after being notified of their mistake. The network has been highly cooperative and is now trying to investigate how the woman’s image made it into the reel.
If this mistake was the result of any number of offensive Google search queries, then the network needs to reevaluate its content standards and level of reporting. However, some have suggested that the video was pulled from original ISIS recruitment material and unwittingly republished in the final CNN video. But how can that be? The video was of the woman singing the national anthem at an event ten years prior.
It seems the CNN content team could really use some hummus right now. Regardless of CNN’s removal of the video, someone on that team does not like when Arab Americans sing the national anthem. It’ll take a lot of hummus to cure this CNN mishap, but Arab Americans are more than capable of helping the network understand the difference between Arab Americans and Syrian jihadists in France.