UPSET OVER ‘CHICAGO PD’ SET
Images from scenes draw Muslim community’s ire
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.