Islamic State TV prank triggers controversy in Iraq
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Dragging a screaming lraqi actress wrapped in a fake suicide belt, television presenter Reslan Haddad, himself dressed up in a military uniform, pretends to just have rescued the blindfolded Nessma from a staged violent Islamic State attack on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Standing next to the middle-aged woman who meanwhile seemed to have fainted, Haddad casually threw some water over her face, after having removed her blindfold and revealing that the terrifying experience she just went through was only a prank.
Initially, “we called the guest and told her we are going to pay a visit to a displaced family”, Haddad said from his living room in a Baghdad suburb, adding that the Iraqi celebrity was told she would deliver aid to an Iraqi family displaced by war and who had just returned home.
But shortly after their arrival at the family’s home, the TV crew is attacked by a group of fake jihadists, among them Haddad dressed as an IS militant.
Both Haddad and Nessma have confirmed that the latter had no idea this was a prank.
In the shot following the staged attack, Nessma is seen lying blindfolded on the floor, and shouting out to her deceased brother, whom Haddad said “died as a martyr”.
“Our message is to call for the return of the displaced. Secondly, our message is that our security forces shed blood, Islamic State was defeated by our forces”, Haddad said, adding that “the message can’t come through without sacrifices. Our security forces were sacrificed in order to spread their message. So the artist should endure, it is normal”.
Nessma said that she was proud to have been part of the show as it represented what many Iraqis went through, while spreading the message that Iraqis were alive.
Nessma’s episode so far got over one million of views on YouTube. But on social media, many Iraqis harshly criticised the show consisting of 25 similar episodes, to be broadcast during the month of Ramzan.
“This reminded me of the days of the Islamic State and what IS did to Iraqis when it was controlling our lands. To be honest, violence in our society is born from such practices. The violent society is made by violent media”, writer and civil society activist Resli al-Maliki said while some questioned the health consequences the show might have on its guests.
Using the hashtag “Stop the ‘Tannab Reslan’ show”, Twitter users criticised the series for being offensive to both Iraqis and security forces, while displaced families remained victims.
Thousands of Iraqis still suffer from the aftermath of the war against IS, many unable to return home due to insecurity and a lack of services in their hometowns.
The show received production support from the media department of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, the state-funded paramilitary goups, Haddad said.
While the jihadists were played by actors, the security forces in the show were real, Haddad said.
“By the way, there were a lot of details, things that I wanted to do to the guests, but I was scared for them. Much more terrifying things” Haddad said, refusing to reveal more details as he might consider using his ideas in future television shows.
Source: Wio News