Im­ages from scenes draw Mus­lim com­mu­nity’s ire

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY STE­FANO ESPOSITO, STAFF RE­PORTER ses­pos­ito@sun­times.com | @sle­spos­ito

A po­litely worded no­tice in­formed folks in Edge­wa­ter that the TV show “Chicago PD” would be film­ing scenes in the neigh­bor­hood and that crews would do their best to avoid dis­turb­ing res­i­dents.

But the pink sheets of pa­per didn’t say ex­actly what the pop­u­lar TV show would be film­ing — some­thing that’s elicited ev­ery­thing from groans to out­rage among some in the lo­cal Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

The scenes, which ac­cord­ing to the post­ing were to be shot be­tween Oct. 2-4, in­cluded a fake “Hookah café and Lounge,” as well as a Mid­dle Eastern rug store and signs in Ara­bic that made no sense. One pho­to­graph shows a van with “Chicago Po­lice Bomb Squad” writ­ten on it.

“If true, it’s of­fen­sive,” said Ahmed Re­hab, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Chicago chap­ter of Coun­cil on Amer­i­canIs­lamic Re­la­tions. “We’ve seen it a mil­lion times be­fore. It’s get­ting bor­ing.”

Re­hab said he didn’t see the set him­self, but had seen pic­tures posted on Face­book, which drew dozens of com­ments — with at least one per­son threat­en­ing to boy­cott the show.

A spokesman for NBC de­clined to com­ment. A source close to pro­duc­tion urged crit­ics to re­serve judg­ment un­til the episode runs in early Novem­ber.

“Give this the ben­e­fit of the doubt be­cause the story does, iron­i­cally, deal with [the Mus­lim com­mu­nity’s] con­cerns,” the source said, adding, “We def­i­nitely want to rep­re­sent all cul­tures ac­cu­rately and au­then­ti­cally. And we used the same level of de­tail for this par­tic­u­lar episode.”

The Bomb Squad truck par­tic­u­larly trou­bled Re­hab.

“I don’t think this is go­ing to be [an episode] about the good old shop­keeper who puts out wa­ter for the al­ley cats,” Re­hab said. “It’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be a ter­ror­ists’ sleeper cell.”

Re­hab said the gib­ber­ish Ara­bic is “an in­di­ca­tion that they did not con­sult any­one who knows any­thing about the cul­ture.”

Re­hab said CAIR would likely re­spond with a com­men­tary on their web­site.


The “Chicago Po­lice Bomb Squad” van (above) and gib­ber­ish Ara­bic signs (inset) on the set of “Chicago PD” drew the ire of some lo­cal Mus­lims.

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