Defending Homeland

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


No matter how far backward Hollywood bends over to placate Islam,  its foot soldiers among the leftist media still complain it isn’t far enough. Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at Britain’s left-leaning The Guardian and The Observer, wrote an editorial this weekend about Showtime’s terrorism drama Homeland entitled, “Homeland is brilliant drama. But does it present a crude image of Muslims?” Guess how he answers his own question.

The show centers on a U.S. Marine, missing and presumed dead in Iraq since 2003, who is rescued and brought home to Washington D.C. where he rides his war hero popularity all the way into a Congressional seat and a possible vice presidential nomination. The twist? This supposed patriot is a Muslim convert here to carry out a plot spawned by a terrorist mastermind.

As readers of FrontPage know well, political correctness and moral equivalence reign in Hollywood, and Homeland is no exception. The show suggests, as Hollywood always does, that the root cause of Islamic terrorism is “blowback” – justifiable retribution for America’s imperialist foreign policy and CIA ruthlessness. Hollywood never acknowledges that our enemy might be motivated, as it has been for 1400 years, by the supremacist imperatives of Islam itself.

I’ve written about Homeland before for FrontPage, when its first season finale proved it to be disappointingly typical of Hollywood’s blame-America-first, post-9/11 perspective on our clash of civilization versus barbarism. At that time, I’d been encouraged by the fact that the show at least didn’t shy away from presenting Islamic terrorists. But in the long run Homeland, like Hollywood in general and the Obama administration itself, simply refuses to put forth a narrative truthfully identifying who the white hats and black hats are in this global conflict.

Thus it’s odd to find myself in the position of defending the show, but Peter Beaumont’s piece is so typical of the left’s complicity with Islamic fundamentalists (the unholy alliance, as David Horowitz calls it) in their agenda to criminalize the defamation of Islam, that a response was necessary.

Why is the show worth writing about at all? For the same reason Beaumont himself devoted a lengthy column denouncing it: it’s an important cultural marker. Homeland just brought home the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, and Best Actor and Best Actress Emmys for its two leads. It is currently the most highly regarded drama on television, and perhaps the only show that is even addressing what used to be called “the war on terror.” Its messages matter.

“I find the depictions not only crude and childish but offensive,” Beaumont says, and God knows the left has elevated “offending someone” to the level of violent crime, so you know he’s serious. He complains that on Homeland, it doesn’t matter whether Arabs/Muslims are “rich, smart, discreetly enjoying a western lifestyle or attractive” – all are suspect. But the fact is, not all jihadists are backward, bearded bombers; some are affluent, educated, slick and Westernized subversives, like CAIR spokesmen or celebrity academics like Reza Aslan and Tariq Ramadan. So yes, those qualities do not exempt one from suspicion – far from it. This is the reality, not bigotry or the mythical Islamophobia.

Beaumont goes on to complain that “Arabs and Islamists have been portrayed thus far [in Homeland] as violent fanatics, some of whom are powerful and influential infiltrators.” Why, that’s outrageous! Where could that offensive stereotype possibly have come from? The real-world fanatics and infiltrators themselves, perhaps? Beaumont should be directing his ire at them for establishing and perpetuating the stereotype he blames on Hollywood.

Homeland presents “an odd and unbelievable image of relationships,” Beaumont claims, “between countries and identities in the Middle East, where Palestinians, Iraqis, Saudis all share an agenda regardless of background, culture and history.” It’s not odd or unbelievable at all – that agenda is the annihilation of Western civilization and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate, and it is shared by Muslim fundamentalists regardless of national background, culture and history. This is something Hollywood and the left refuse to acknowledge.

Then Beaumont lets his own bias slip. Referring to the fact that Homeland originally spun off of an Israeli TV show, he notes that “what Homeland portrays is a peculiar view of the Islamic world, one rooted, perhaps, in its genesis as an Israeli drama, where the view of the surrounding neighbourhood is more paranoid and defensive.” Paranoid and defensive? Israelis’ wariness about the Islamic world’s open determination to exterminate them is not “a peculiar view”; as the saying goes, it’s not paranoia if they’re really trying to kill you.

Beaumont launches into an explanation that “how we portray the ‘other’ – those whom we fear or are suspicious of – reinforces cultures of conflict.” This is standard self-flagellating claptrap from multiculturalists who want us to wallow in cultural guilt and self-loathing instead of acknowledging the existence of real-world enemies. In fact, what reinforces “cultures of conflict” is when one culture – supremacist Islam, the most intolerant ideology on the planet – is literally hell-bent on erasing another culture – ours – from the face of the earth.

To bolster his argument that Hollywood is generally bigoted and racist, Beaumont predictably cites Jack Shaheen, an Arab-American (but non-Muslim) academic and pro-Palestinian apologist who has built a career on judging Hollywood’s purported anti-Arab racism and discrimination. In books such as Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, he scours nearly 1000 movies for instances in which Hollywood has failed to portray Arabs and Muslims as doctors, lawyers, and all-around nice guys. Too bad white Americans don’t have an academic apologist tallying up all the instances in which they’re portrayed in a bad light in world cinema, including in Hollywood.

Since 9/11, favorable depictions of Arabs and Muslims abound in the entertainment biz, despite their whining to the contrary. In being offended at the depiction of them as terrorists, Beaumont is conveniently ignoring the fact that Homeland is an action thriller about Islamic terrorism; hence, there are necessarily characters who are Islamic terrorists. Remove them and you have no show – which is precisely what Beaumont would prefer. Pressuring Hollywood to present a balanced diversity of Muslims and Arabs is not the true aim of terrorism apologists like Beaumont or Shaheen; their goal, like that of Islamic fundamentalists themselves, is to ensure that absolutely no depictions of Muslim terrorists are allowed, and no connection is made between Islam and terrorism. They’re not looking for balance – they want a complete whitewash.

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  • Chezwick

    Great job, Mark. And that "whitewash" of Islam that you write about is alive and well in the schools and universities, too. "Know thy enemy" is a maxim that is being deliberately and comprehensively undermined by our cultural gate-keepers. While Muslims in Darul Islam systematically burn churches and other houses of worship and oppress and even kill Christians and other religious minorities, non-Muslims in Darul Harb do everything in their power to look the other way. Doing otherwise would necessitate courage, something in short supply in our entitlement-driven culture.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "No matter how far backward Hollywood bends over to placate Islam, its foot soldiers among the leftist media still complain it isn’t far enough."

    When have Muslims ever been happy short of Sharia compliance? Just wondering if I missed anything in the past 14 centuries.

  • PaulRevereNow

    Peter Beaumont is from Britain, and if he wants a crude image of Muslims, all he has to do is a little investigation, of the increasing number of sexual assaults, committed by Muslims, on British school girls. I wonder how Hollywood portrays these assaults, if they do at all.

    • Questions

      Maybe you should direct your criticism to British filmmakers instead of our own.

      • PaulRevereNow

        My comment is directed at Peter Beaumont, and his head-in-the-sand thinking. What do British filmmakers have to do with it?

        • Questions

          The assaults are on British — not American — school girls. Shouldn't it be the filmmakers across the pond who ought to be concerned the most?

          • https://www.facebook.com/bishoppoteet Lee Poteet

            And how many Somalis are soon to be on trial for just the same thing in this country? Sorry, Questions, but it isn't limited to just Britain. If there are Muslims in a Western country, this is one of their "Things."

    • Sunbeam

      Anything that is of Britain is unreliable I believe. Even its people are weak and lack wisdom. So they are not so credible for most matters. I believe if it is made in Hollywood, if it ever does, we will be able to see the actual nature of Islam.

  • oldtimer

    The main cause of terrorism is "blow back"??? What a load of BS. Islam has been "blowing back" on every civilization since it's pervert prophet started his preachings. It's their religion, period… their god against our God. Always has been and always will be, that is until the "true" Messiah returns. Islam follows satan.

    • EthanP

      Well said. Islam has, through history, been the agressor, not an innocent victom.

    • guest

      Blowback has been going on since Sept 11 1632, the battle of Vienna.

  • davarino

    I like Homeland but watch it with anticipation of an apologetic bent toward islam and muslims. I read in Time magazine that Obama was the shows biggest fan, so I expect a twist that will give us all an "epiphany'" of islam's goodness.

    • amused

      YOU WATCH IT ? There it is man . I'll bet you hate porn too , but your just tryin to see where it will go huh Davarino . LOLOL…..you people can not be serious !
      And you read in Time that Obama's was the shows "biggestt fan " ??? Tell me you bloody hypocrite , what's he difference between you and Obama watching it ?
      Man what a jerk you are davarino .

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "what's he difference between you and Obama watching it ?"

        Where's the logic in your question?

      • davarino

        I guess I can believe Obama likes the show because it shows an enemy of the state inside the US government. It kinda tells his own story. How poignant

        I'm not a jerk, I just walk that way heheheh

  • Siti

    I felt sick every time I read about how influential institutions such as Hollywood and the media pandering and appeasing the Muslims and protect Islam. WHY OH WHY? Islam and the Muslims will not spare them once it gains the upper hand. Don't they know this? These institutions including universities are influential and have the means to mould public opinion. For example many people including Catholics believe Dan Brown's fictional and historically inaccurate depiction of Jesus, Christianity and the Vatican. Favourable depictions of Arabs, Muslims and Islam will have similar effects. These stupid non Muslims won't even realise it until its too late!

    • Questions

      Maybe if you saw more movies you'd realize that the notion of "pro-Islam" Hollywood is a myth — a myth and nothing more.

    • Sunbeam

      Yes, Siti I agree with you. They are still sleeping and they are stupid in fact. Creating awareness and spreading truth is also important as means of communication to educate the public and society. We've no other option except for this one. And unless we do something. we're going to be siege and conquered. By then it will be too late to cry over spilled milk. We must sound the midnight cry to awake their lethargy.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "WHY OH WHY? Islam and the Muslims will not spare them once it gains the upper hand. Don't they know this?"

      It's the nature of the appeasers to act this way. It's part of collectivist thinking to appease and "get along." Manipulators know how to exploit the appeasers.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "WHY OH WHY? Islam and the Muslims will not spare them once it gains the upper hand. Don't they know this?"

      It's the nature of the appeasers to act this way. It's part of collectivist thinking to appease and "get along." Manipulators know how to exploit the appeasers.

  • Schlomotion

    Just when you thought you were swamped with things to do and ways to use your brain, Frontpage is now offering the service of telling you how to watch and what to think when you watch your prime time television shows. What a burden lifted!

    • Mo Schlotion

      Did you use a crane or a forklift truck to lift your burden? Did you remember to properly secure your burden before you lifted it?

    • Ar'nun

      And just when we thought we could read an op-ed of a rubuttal to a moron leftist, along comes you to add zip, nadda, zilch to the conversation.

    • EthanP

      This guy says this idiocy all the time!

    • Omar

      Once again, we have the annoying Schlomotion trying to tell us what is "right" and what is "wrong" in his totalitarian viewpoint of the world. Schlomotion, why don't you keep your totalitarian propaganda and ignorance to yourself.

  • RoguePatriot6

    "The show suggests, as Hollywood always does, that the root cause of Islamic terrorism is “blowback” – justifiable retribution for America’s imperialist foreign policy and CIA ruthlessness. Hollywood never acknowledges that our enemy might be motivated, as it has been for 1400 years, by the supremacist imperatives of Islam itself."

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone who tells the story correctly and shines some light on the real motivation of Islamists. It's amazing how people are so determined to say the reason why we are hated and attacked is because of our foreign policies of imperialism. Really???? Actually it's the polar opposite, Islamists are encouraging mass immigrations and the establishment of Muslim only no-go zones in countries outside of the Mid East such as the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Belgium, German…etc. So the question is; "Who is invading who?". Last time I checked, citizens from Western Civilization weren't flocking to move anywhere in the Middle East.

  • Raymond in DC

    "Blowback"? Muslim pirates from the North Africa's Barbary Coast were raiding US merchant ships in the 18th century, enslaving their crews and seizing the cargo, long before the CIA was created, even before we had a navy! They were held for ransom (tribute or jiziya) because they were infidels traversing Islam's waters (aka the Mediterranean).

  • PAthena

    On "imperialism": Arabs conquered from Spain to India in the 8th century. Why do the people in North Africa, including Egypt, speak Arabic? Why are the majority of the populations in North Africa Mohammedan?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "On "imperialism": Arabs conquered from Spain to India in the 8th century. Why do the people in North Africa, including Egypt, speak Arabic? Why are the majority of the populations in North Africa Mohammedan?"

      Without imperialism, Islam would have never made it past it's first recruits. It is fundamentally imperialist. It's the single most imperialist ideology in the history of man. Them accusing others shows just how deeply the self-delusion goes.

      Not to mention that the Soviets authored these lies in reference to the USA. I think this is how the Muslims and leftists got together; they found the same lies to be so convenient to their respective causes.

  • BLJ

    Beaumont needs to dropped into a Taliban stronghold to learn how Muslims really are. Another useful idiot for Islamists.

  • marios

    Liberals/leftists/socialists supported Hitler for long time before they found themselves victims of Nazis. It was in Britain , in France, etc. The same story repeated now with Islamo-nazism. Are most of those " Beamonts" diagnossed with mentally disorder illness? Or they so lazy to burden for learning history of subject from which their life and their children lifes depend on? Or they are on petrodollars payroll? Islam=Nazism. Senator Mccarthy survived our contry from communism. Where is this level Patriot who will survive us from Islamization?

  • Ar'nun

    In a speach I once heard from Retired General William "Jerry" Boykin, Islam's greatest weapon has been the use of Western Politcal Correctness."

    It's sad that the closest we can get to a cinematic representation to what is actually occuring today is a show about a traitor Marine, and the poor poor oppression he and his family have faced because of his new found Islamic faith. People will look back on this and other Hollywood twaddle of our generation and loath us, in a similar way we look back at movies like "How the West was Won" or "Patton" and relive the greatness of that generation. But I guess there is white washing there as well. The patriotic furver overlooks things like FDR turning away a boatload of Jewish refugees prior to the US involvement in WWII.

    Hollywood has always believed they play an important role in our culture, and they could if they were not overrun by leftist know-it-alls and their blind hatred of America.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The patriotic furver overlooks things like FDR turning away a boatload of Jewish refugees prior to the US involvement in WWII."

      Not all of us are deceived about him either. That's not the worst of it. He was a huge duped tool of Islam and the Soviets.

  • jimvee

    Why do people pay for leftist abuse? Drop Showtime….and HBO.

    • Questions

      You want to experience real audience abuse? Click on those 2008 TV interviews with Sarah Palin.

  • Ghostwriter

    I've never seen "Homeland" and I don't think I'm going to anytime soon.

  • geoplaten

    "But in the long run Homeland, like Hollywood in general and the Obama administration itself, simply refuses to put forth a narrative truthfully identifying who the white hats and black hats are in this global conflict."

    I beg to differ: Carrie is clearly the white hat, as are, to a lesser extent, Saul Berenson and Brody's wife. The fact that Brody is conflicted but ultimately keeps choosing the path of the terrorist makes the story compelling. Only if he ultimately triumphs will I agree with the above statement of moral confusion.

  • Omar

    How many times do I have to keep telling the left this: There is no American "imperialism", period. There is no American "imperialism", but there is Russian imperialism (which has been around since 1917-the 1991 dissolution of the USSR failed to abolish Russian imperialism completely), Chinese imperialism (which has been around since 1949 and is responsible for the deaths of over 70 million people in peace time, as well as the invasion and illegal occupation of a sovereign country, Tibet), Cuban imperialism (which Hollywood supports, according to Humberto Fontova's book, Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant), Venezuelan imperialism (which the people failed to abolish when the fraudulent election occurred the Sunday before-October 7), Iranian imperialism (which has been around since 1979 and is currently threatening Israel with destruction), Syrian imperialism (which has been oppressing its people and other peoples for more than 45 years, and which has been committing massacres against the popular uprisings there for over a year), Zimbabwean imperialism (which is busy committing reverse discrimination against its white population for over 30 years as well as suppressing the rights of other people as well), Sudanese imperialism (which is busy committing genocide against its black population and other people), North Korean imperialism (which is busy trying to keep Korea divided while keeping its own people oppressed and starving to death), Communist imperialism (which has killed more than 100 million people in peace time since 1917 and whose ideology dominates the universities in the United States and the West) and Islamist imperialism (which seeks to destroy all civilizations and replace them with a global Islamist empire in which Sharia is the law of the planet). The far-left and the Islamists are the real imperialists. America, Britain, Israel and the rest of the free world represent freedom, democracy, peace and stability. That's the reality.

    • Tanner

      Well Omar, the reason why this is happening is because the Left likes to make double-standards. Almost all of the imperialism(s), if not, all of the imperialism(s) you just mentioned are not imperialism to the Left. The word imperialism means something else to the Left as opposed to the Right. They can't even mention the fact that Nazism (National Socialism) and Fascism have their origins in Marxism, which the far-left still endorses Marxism to this day. Otherwise they would be indicting themselves. They can't handle the truth because the truth is their enemy. They won't be able to accomplish their agendas in the U.S. if they acknowledge the truth. This is no more than cowardness. The far-left won't acknowledge truth because they have so-called multiculturalism, relativism, and nihilism on their side. Truth means something else for the Left. That's the unfortunate reality.

      • Omar

        You're absolutely right, Tanner. The left never admits that they are wrong at all. That's why the left has to keep its true agenda hidden by trying to appear moderate. The left's (and the Islamists') true agenda is world domination in the nae of so-called "social justice". The left has ignored reality, indeed.

        • Omar

          Sorry, I meant to write "name" instead of "nae". Sorry for the typo.

    • Ghostwriter

      Thanks,Omar. Thanks for trying to set the story straight on this country. For all the power we have,we're the least imperialist nation on the planet. We have no interest in conquering other countries. Other places,like Russia and China,perhaps do. I share many of the same opinions that you do. In many ways,these countries are projecting their lust for dominance over other countries,including ours over to us.
      I want to say,thanks again,Omar. I just hope others try to set the record straight. It needs it.

      • Omar

        You're welcome, Ghostwriter. I try my best to educate other people about America's (and the rest of the free world's) freedoms and opportunities. I also try to educate the people about the dangers that the left and its Islamist allies pose to our society. Knowledge is indeed the best weapon used against ignorance and totalitarianism. Thank you, Ghostwriter, for supporting me. You and I can work together to support freedom in the world.

  • EthanP

    Recently, both NCIS + NCIS-LA, have had white conservative middle class terrorists. "24" alternated between Islamist terrorists and Columbian drug lord terrorists. Except for McVeigh, just how many NON MUSLIM terrorists have there been!

    • johnnywoods

      Good point Ethan.

  • IQ al Rassooli

    Excellent article
    The list of IMPERIALIST powers missed the most durable, most evil and most destructive in human history: Arab Imperialism that started 1400 years ago and subjugated three continents; Asia, Africa & Europe.
    Egypt for example is NOT Arab. The Egyptian people are Arabised. the same with all the North African states.
    In Egypt, the TRUE descendants of the Pharaohs are the Christian COPTS who are being eradicated by Islam as we speak.
    Muhammadan Islam based on Sharia is inherently Warmongering, Hatemongering, Racist , Misogynist and most definitely anti democratic.
    Anyone finding my statements unacceptable please do yourself a favour and Google ‘alrassooli’; find fault and try and collect from over $1,000,000 worth of challenges.
    IQ al Rassooli

    • Omar

      Actually, that was (and is) part of Islamist imperialism. North Africa became what it is today because of the Islamic empire that stretched from India and Pakistan to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).

  • george

    the posts are excellent on this article but unfortunately the "idiots " who are running things cannot grasp how in trouble this nation is ! , it's going to take "mushroom" clouds for it to sink in !!! , how sad !!! ( luke 21: 34-36 )

  • denis

    Peter Beaumont writes critically of media being too hard in Islam. Perhaps he should think of this religion as an Islamofascist cult hell bent on a war on our society which most western liberal media refuse to acknowledge is going on as I write. We are in the early stages of the next great war. Islamofascism against Western Civilization. It starts with terrorist acts, becomes a propaganda war, (i.e. the use of the term Islamophobia) law cahnges before the slaughter begins, and we are the targets

  • Tanner

    Excellent article, Mark.

    The Left's goal is "to ensure that absolutely no depictions of Muslim terrorists are allowed, and no connection is made between Islam and terrorism." Oh…except for Christians and Jews, because that's what good followers of Hollywood do, demonizing them, demonizing them, demonizing them. It gets old for the Right, but never gets old for the Left. This is very annoying that the Left is still doing this. Maybe Obama should come to Hollywood and sue "Homeland" for blasphemy of Islam like what he said at the U.N. If there were blasphemy laws in the U.S., the people associated with "Homeland" would already be toasted.

  • Sunbeam

    Peter Beaumont is a British himself, so It is not a surprise for us to know that he is not so credible in matters of this regard. Look at his country, it is already under siege at the hands of the enemies and yet they're still slumbering and dreaming and self proclaiming, and lastly still at eased. Till they lose everything, it will be too late to retrieve what's been lost. America can learn from this valuable lesson so as to be vigilant to protect themselves and their country from this kind of assault.

  • Smitty

    Well said, Chez. I would also hope that Mark Tapson doesn't appear in the reticle of some jihadist rifle scope. Keep your head down, Mark, and remember what writer Salman Rushdie had to endure after a "fatwa" had been issued against him by Ayatollah Khomeini. Muslims don't like being exposed to truths and are well equipped to permanently dispose of anyone who tries to rock their tippy boat.

  • clarespark

    I had yet another take on HOMELAND, though I appreciated Mark Tapson's attempt at a defense. See http://clarespark.com/2012/09/23/homeland-and-the…. "Homeland and the Idea of the Fifth Column". There is no way that a liberal cable outlet with liberal writers and actors will make something that is historically neutral.

  • Western Spirit

    Remember how the Left spent so much time bringing up awareness? Well maybe it is time we returned the favor and brought the Left's awareness up to include just about everything it's denying. Like the terrorist threat.

  • popseal

    By comparing the personal lives of their founders and their first disciples, anybody can debunk the "equivalency" of Islam and just about any other 'religion'.