Netflix has a history of producing Islamophobic movies, including a film that portrays a young Muslim girl as a sexualized Muslim slave. This film is a prime example of how misrepresentation can give people a distorted view of a community. It perpetuates a narrative that reflects the oppression of Muslims in the West.
Films about Muslims are a major contributor to the negative portrayal of Muslims in the media, especially those that focus on the skullcap-wearing kohl-eyed man. While there are some films that portray Muslims in a positive light, these are rare. One film that portrays Muslims as apologists and loyal to the state is Chak De India.
Another film on Netflix that isn’t explicitly anti-Muslim is the Australian drama, The Big Sick. The plot follows a cameleer from Afghanistan, who joins forces with a mysterious bushman to steal stolen Crown-marked gold bars. They attempt to get them to a secret furnace, which removes the stamps on the gold bars and renders them untraceable. Another Australian film about Muslims, Ali in Ali, stars Will Smith as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. This biopic explores Ali’s controversial political views and his conversion to Islam.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, has called for Netflix to take the film off its streaming platform. The film contains scenes of Muslim girls in revealing clothing and a polygamist father. Critics have condemned the film as exploitative.