The Axis of What?

On Saturday, August 2003 Riverbend commented that if the Iran and Iraq were united “Bush [could] stop referring to the two countries as a part of his infamous ‘Axis of Evil’ and [could] just begin calling us the the ‘Big Lump of Evil and Bad North Korea'” (Riverbend 18).

I had heard of the Axis of Evil only recently, but before I began reading Riverbend’s blog. When I was searching for information on Homebody/Kabul I came across a conference that was held in 2010 by the Iranian American Bar Association. The conference is called “Dismantling the Axis of Evil”. The purpose of this conference is to highlight the stereotypes created in our country about the Middle East and those who are from the Middle East. It is especially about the way Hollywood perpetuates negative ideas about Middle Easterners and how they are portrayed as “evil”, thus helping to support the American propaganda about Iraq and Iran, fostering negative attitudes towards the Middle East and Middle Easterners in America.

Here is one clip from the conference in which the committee discusses the perception of Middle Easterners established by films such as “Not Without My Daughter” in America:

Dismantling the “Axis of Evil” Part 2

Ahmed Ahmed makes a comment about the money that Hollywood makes by perpetuating these stereotypes. I am reminded by this manipulation of the money and support that America generates for war against the Middle East and the justification for the U.S. occupying Iraq through the media propaganda (which includes T.V. and movies).

One of the people on the committee is Maz Jobrani who, incidentally, acted in Homebody/Kabul. He is a stand-up comedian as well as an actor and talks about the stereotypes of Middle Easterners in his routine in order to help change the perception that is being perpetuated America. This is a clip of Maz Jobrani’s comedy routine:

Maz Jobrani- “Axis of Evil”

My thought is this, Riverbend is attempting to do the same thing that Maz Jobrani and the IABA are trying to do. With her blog Riverbend helps to break down the stereotypes that America has of Iraqi’s and the Middle East. On Thursday, August 23 2003 Riverbend makes a contrast between the myth of what Americans think about Iraq and the fact. She mentions that Fox News Network is one of the media sources who creates the false image that most Americans believe (34). By writing this blog Baghdad Burning Riverbend gives the world an inside view of Iraq and allows us to empathize and create a  personal connection to those we do not understand on a large scale, those we often choose to dislike or judge based on biased accounts. In this way, Riverbend is also “dismantling the ‘Axis of Evil'”.

Dismantling the Axis of EvilYoutube.com. Web. 5 Mar. 2012. <http://youtu.be/AUu0fU3-pnc&gt;.

Riverbend. Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq. New York: Feminist at the City University of New York, 2005. Print.

Stand up Comedy- Mas Jobrani Axix of EvilYoutube.com. Web. 5 Mar. 2012. <http://youtu.be/yTM9AuFzpsI&gt;.

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