A blonde, white Red Riding Hood lost in a forest of faceless Muslim wolves: This is how "Homeland's" creators have chosen to represent their show as it begins its fourth season, which sees CIA officer Carrie Mathison stationed in Pakistan. It is also the perfect encapsulation of everything that's wrong with this show.
Since its first episode, "Homeland," which returns Sunday, has churned out Islamophobic stereotypes as if its writers were getting paid by the cliché. Yet the show, created by "24" veterans Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and former Israeli paratrooper Gideon Raff, continues to rack up awards, critical praise and millions of viewers.
For starters, the show is riddled with basic errors about Islam and the Middle East. Laila Al Arian points out some of the more obvious ones: You don't need to bury the Koran after someone's dropped it on the ground; Issa, the son of terrorist leader Abu Nazir, has his name mispronounced by everyone on the show; Roya Hammad — there to remind us that even a Westernized, business-suit-wearing Arab is not to be trusted — is supposedly Palestinian but has a Persian first name.