The film was “freaking brilliant” until Muslim critics started to call it “Islamophobic.” Then everyone backed away and turned on filmmaker Meg Smaker, including Abigail Disney, the film’s producer.
As I explained in an article when this controversy began, “Jihad Rehab” endeavors to show how poor jihad terrorists imprisoned at Guantánamo are the good guys, and the U.S. government is the real terrorist entity. But even though it reflected reliably Leftist views, “Jihad Rehab” is still not acceptable to the victimhood propaganda industry.
Any negative presentation about jihad violence or Sharia oppression, or even one like “Jihad Rehab” that some might perceive as negative if they tilt their head sideways and squint really hard, will be condemned as “Islamophobic.” The only narrative allowed in mainstream American culture today is that jihad violence has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and that any opposition to it is “racist” and “Islamophobic” and must be condemned, and that Muslims are innocent victims of American oppression, always and in every case, without exception or any kind of shading.
“Abigail Disney disavowed her own film about terrorism under pressure from Muslim critics: report,” by Ariel Zilber, New York Post, September 26, 2022:
Abigail Disney disavowed an acclaimed documentary about terrorism that she produced after Muslim critics accused its director of promoting harmful stereotypes about Islam.
Disney, the grandniece of Walt Disney and granddaughter of his brother and Disney co-founder Roy Disney, is listed as the executive producer of “Jihad Rehab,” a 110-minute-long film that was directed by Meg Smaker….
After learning to speak fluent Arabic, she began making a film about a Saudi facility where captured jihadists undergo a rehabilitation in order to wean themselves off extremist ideology….
Initially, Disney was thrilled with Smaker’s work, calling it “freaking brilliant” in an email to the filmmaker, according to the New York Times. The film also premiered to widespread acclaim at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
But Disney disavowed the project after Arab and Muslim critics took issue with Smaker’s race, arguing that a white woman from California could not tackle the subject of Islamic extremism in a sensitive, unbiased way.
Smaker was accused of peddling Islamophobia and American propaganda. The criticism prompted Sundance Film Festival, one of the most prestigious forums in cinema, to issue a public apology for screening the movie….
Jude Chehab, a Lebanese American filmmaker, wrote a review in TRTWorld in which she declared: “When I, a practicing Muslim woman, say that this film is problematic, my voice should be stronger than a white woman saying that it isn’t. Point blank.”
In an open letter, Disney wrote that the film “landed like a truckload of hate.”
“I failed, failed and absolutely failed to understand just how exhausted by and disgusted with the perpetual representation of Muslim men and women as terrorists or former terrorists or potential terrorists the Muslim people are,” Disney wrote.
“I may not be in total agreement with every criticism of the film but that does not obviate my responsibility to earnestly own the damage I had a hand in.”…
Disney’s letter and the decision by Sundance to apologize prompted other film festivals to cancel the screening of the documentary, according to the Times.
Smaker was disinvited to the Austin-based South by Southwest festival as well as the San Francisco Film Festival….