Jack Shaheen, Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University, documented these trends in his book The TV Arab (ISBN 0-87972-309-2), which identifies more than 21 major movies released over ten years which show the U.S. military killing Arabs with Arabs depicted as being terrorists or enemies of the United States. These include:
Iron Eagle (1986)
Death Before Dishonor (1987)
Navy SEALs (1990)
The Delta Force (film) (1991)
Patriot Games (1992)
Executive Decision (1996)
In Reel Bad Arabs (ISBN 1-84437-019-4), Shaheen writes that "television's image of the Arab is omnipresent [and] is becoming a part of American folklore." He also writes that Arabs have "consistently appeared in American popular culture as billionaires, bombers, and belly dancers."[
Arab Muslims are fanatics who believe in a different god, who don't value human life as much as we do, they are intent on destroying us (the west) with their oil or with their terrorism; the men seek to abduct and brutally seduce our women; they are without family and reside in a primitive place (the desert) and behave like primitive beings. The women are subservient — resembling black crows — or we see them portrayed as mute, somewhat exotic harem maidens.
The movies which Shaheen identifies as the three worst in terms of negative portrayal of Arabs in modern films are:
Wanted: Dead or Alive (1987); "Arab thugs... plan to ignite Los Angeles... killing millions."
True Lies (1994); "Arnold S. INC." shoots dead Palestinians like clay pigeons. "
Rules of Engagement (2000); "a film which "justifies" US Marines killing Arab women and children."