Editor's Note: The Clarion Project reports on the efforts by CAIR – the Council on American Islamic Relations – to silence public discussion of sharia law with accusations of (wait for it!) “Islamophobia.” CAIR is objecting to an episode of “Law and Order: SVU” (Special Victims Unit), in which informed viewers can easily spot references to Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar (whose antisemitism has embarrassed even her fellow Democrats), Kentucky high school student Nick Sandmann (an out-of-context video of him circulated by the Washington Post unfairly suggested he was a racist), and black gay actor Jussie Smollett (who falsely claimed that he was attacked by white men wearing Make America Great Again hats). In the Law and Order episode, a high school student allegedly wearing a MAGA hat is accused of having sexually assaulted a Muslim city councillor – who quotes a tweet by Omar that Omar has since deleted. The film begins with a clip depicting the student in confrontation with the councilwoman that was found to be taken out of context and ends with a cross examination on sharia law. It is not unusual for TV shows to make reference to real life incidents in their plotline. And drama is certainly an effective way to get people talking about important issues. But CAIR would like to nip any discussion about Sharia law in the bud, and in its press release calls the episode “racist and Islamophobic” and claims that it exacerbates the “rising tide of bigotry” against Muslims. (Sound familiar?) The article below links to the Law and Order episode.
The cast of Law and Order SVU
Popular prime time show “Law and Order: SVU” (Special Victims Unit) faced accusations of Islamophobia and racism over what some were calling an “extremely offensive” storyline. Yahoo Entertainment reports:
“Viewers easily spotted references to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Kentucky high school student Nick Sandmann and former Empire actor Jussie Smollett in the penultimate episode of the season. A controversial comment that Congresswoman Omar said in a February tweet that she’s since deleted was quoted by the episode’s main character, a Muslim city council representative. A high school student accused of sexually assaulting that character was initially said to have worn a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, which is what happened in the ongoing case of Smollett, who’s been accused of faking a hate crime against himself. It also featured a video clip depicting a student in a confrontation with the councilwoman that was found to have been taken out of context, which proved to be the case in a January video first circulated by the Washington Post [of the Covington high school student]. (The family of the student depicted in that video is now suing the newspaper for $250 million, CNN for $275 million and Law & Order: SVU’s network NBC for another $275 million, all for defamation.)”
The “Law and Order” episode starts off with a provocative scene on racism and anti-Semitic attacks and ends with an intense cross examination involving Islamic sharia law. The cross examination on sharia law can be viewed from the 34:29 mark onward. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) quickly put out a press release criticizing the episode as “Islamophobic” and have requested a meeting with producers. However, we should all decide for ourselves. Was the “Law and Order” episode Islamophobic? Was there racism? Or is it time for us to bringing difficult issues into prime time TV? What was done right, and what could the producers and writers at “Law and Order” have been done differently? You can watch the full episode on NBC by clicking here.
This article was originally published by Clarion Project on May 15, 2019. Clarion Project is a non-profit organization that educates the public about the dangers of radical Islam. The original piece can be viewed on their website by clicking here.