Who knew that Zoolander would eclipse The Siege as the most prescient Hollywood movie about jihadist terrorism?
The Siege, scripted by Lawrence Wright—who went on to author a groundbreaking study of al-Qaeda called The Looming Tower—is a pre-9/11 drama about a wave of jihadist atrocities in New York and the human-rights catastrophe thereby entrained, including the introduction of martial law and the internment of Arabs across the city. Zoolander, released just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, is by contrast a comedy about an imbecilic male model who is brainwashed by an outlandish criminal organization to carry out an act of international terrorism.
The movie is inane and frivolous, if occasionally funny. But the brainwashing narrative it parodies isn’t—it’s the same one that shows up in some of the more sensational reportage on Western recruits to ISIS, especially the so-called “jihadi brides.” Consider, for example, the case of the three East London schoolgirls who absconded from England in February to join the self-proclaimed “Caliphate” in Syria. Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, were just ordinary teenagers with ordinary teenage enthusiasms—until, as Prime Minister David Cameron put it, they had their “minds poisoned by this appalling death cult.”
RAUL VILLAMARIN RODRIGUEZ
Co-Founder/ Co- CEO
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute