5 Arab Characters In Movies Who Aren't Terrorists
A large number of people in the real world are inclined to automatically paint all Arabs as terrorists. It isn't really that cut and dry as Arabs are as unique and individual as people from any other race. Thankfully, a few movies avoid becoming tangled in the stereotype of all Arabs embracing terrorism. That isn't to say they don't embody some other cliche or stereotype, but at least it isn't terrorism. These five Arab movie characters do not fit the terrorist mold.
1. Sallah (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”):
Where would Indiana Jones be without Sallah? John Rhys-Davies portrays the loyal friend of everyone's favorite globe-trotting archeologist. Sallah helps Indy locate the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant in Egypt. He rescues Indy's father from the German tank. He also saves Indy from eating a poisoned date. Without Sallah, Indiana Jones would have been killed by Nazis and forgotten instead of living to marry true love Marion Ravenwood after fathering an annoying would-be rebel of a son with her.
2. Frank Haddad (“The Siege”)
Haddad, played by Tony Shaloub, is the dedicated partner of FBI agent Anthony Hubbard–played by Denzel Washington–and works with him to root out terrorist cells in New York City. Haddad's Arab ethnicity becomes a key plot point as "The Siege" progresses. Escalating terrorist attacks lead to martial law being imposed on New York. Haddad's son is rounded up and placed in an internment camp in a football stadium during this period of martial law. He works with Hubbard to the end in taking down a corrupt general, rooting out the last terrorist cell and restoring peace to the city.
3. Ardeth Bay (“The Mummy”)
Bay, played by Oded Fehr, is a descendent of the Pharaoh's bodyguards and is part of a group called the Medjai that is dedicated to preventing Imhotep from rising from the grave. The problem is that Rick O' Connell and a bunch of other nosy adventurers can't leave alone the city where Imhotep's corpse is imprisoned and make his job virtually impossible. If he had just slaughtered O'Connell and Beni with the rest of the French foreign legion troops, it would have closed Pandora's box before it opened.
4. Aladdin (“Aladdin”)
Yeah, Disney cartoon characters are not exactly shining examples of enlightened tolerance. But, at least Aladdin is not a terrorist. He is a noble thief who finds a magic lamp and a genie that grants him three wishes. Aladdin's heroic nature and lack of greed help him win the heart of Princess Jasmine and defeat the villainous Jafar. He becomes a part of the ruling elite with the Sultan and goes from rags to riches. Now if he could find a pirate to adopt that annoying talking parrot.
5. Prince Faisal (“Lawrence of Arabia”)
Before he became inseparably connected with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guiness portrayed the real life revolutionary who promoted Pan-Arab nationalism and led a revolt against rule from the Ottoman Empire. Prince Faisal proved successful in revolting against Ottoman rule–both in the film and real life. He later became the founding ruler of independent Iraq in the early 20th Century.