Three Arab actresses receive death threats from ISIS over TV series

27 June 2017

Three Arab actresses have received death threats from ISIS due to their roles in TV series ‘Gharabeeb Soud’ (Black Crows), which criticizes the terror group.

Three Arab actresses – Mona Shaddad, Aseel Omran and Fatima Nasser – have received death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) because of their roles in the TV series ‘Gharabeeb Soud’ (Black Crows), which criticizes the terror group, reported Al Arabiya and Alwatan Voice on 30 May 2017.

Kuwaiti actress Mona Shaddad revealed that she received a threat from an unknown number telling her that she is on a death list because of her role in the series, reported Alwasat News on 4 June 2017.

Kuwaiti actress Mona Shaddad said during an interview on Al-Arabiya TV on 28 May 2017 that she received a telephone call from an unknown caller who threatened to kill her. The caller also told her that she was on and assassination list because of the role she played in the series.

Shaddad plays a woman who joins ISIS as a jihadi bride after failing to find a husband.

“The role I play is very important because it touches upon the topic of how easily brainwashed some people can be, and be led to believe they are joining an extremist group for good reasons, when in reality they are not,” she told Al Arabiya.

“I’m not afraid because I know that my first protector is God almighty. Secondly, this production had and has the protection of several governments, and especially the protection of the owner of MBC Group. At the end of the day, my aim was to break ISIL through my talent of acting and show them for who they really are.”

In the same interview, Saudi Arabian actress Aseel Omran said she had also been threatened for her role, but said she was not worried about it:

If you have asked me a few years ago whether threats from ISIL scared me, I’d say yes; but let’s be honest, we live in Dubai, one of the safest cities in the world. For now, I’m not feeling it, but let’s wait for the halfway mark of Ramadan and see how the threats look like; God forbid they do though.

Tunisian actress Fatima Nasser, meanwhile, received online death threats from ISIL.

“The hacker of the page publicly threatened me on Facebook, accusing me of fighting the Islamic state, Islam and Muslims. It was very provocative and I was very angry at the time,” the actress told Alwatan Voice on 30 May 2017.

Programme director also threatened
Ali Jaber, programme director of MBC, the satellite broadcaster that produced and aired the series, told NPR on 29 May 2017 that he and the channel have also received threats:

We’ve heard a lot from ISIS about this series in terms of threats that we are receiving every day. I am personally receiving a lot of threats. That’s why, you know, I chuckled when you asked me about it. We have increased security around our bases in Dubai and in Beirut, in Cairo and in Riyadh and in Jeddah. And this is what we can do. We are fighting against very formidable enemy because they are using the words of God and they are using the basic instincts of people to lure sympathizers and to lure soldiers. And this is dangerous. And somebody has got to really stand up and say something against this.

Jaber told NPR on 29 May 2017 that the show is set in ISIS capital Raqqa, Syria, and that the stories come from interviews the writer and researcher conducted with people who have come from the city.

‘Black Crows’ is a social and political series about religious extremism and ignorance that highlights the methods used by ISIL to influence young people and women, including stories of women forced to live under the Islamic State.

The 30-part series aired during the month of Ramadan (approx. 26 May – 24 June 2017) on MBC 1, a pan-Arab channel with an estimated audience of more than 130 million people, and part of MBC, the Arab world’s largest satellite broadcaster.

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