Throughout all of the controversy surrounding American Sniper, one perspective has been conspicuously absent. Dozens if not hundreds of commentators on the left and the right (including myself) have written about the movie without bothering to ask the Iraqis – the very people racist Chris Kyle supposedly dehumanized – what they thought.

The film was shown at the Mansour Mall in downtown Baghdad for a week and the reviews are in:
"Some people watching were just concentrating, but others were screaming ‘[expletive], shoot him! He has an IED, don’t wait for permission!’" said moviegoer Gaith Mohammed, the Global Post reported Wednesday. "I love watching war movies because especially now they give me the strength to face [the Islamic State]."
Here is the best quote from the article:
Mr. Mohammed, asked by the newspaper if he agreed with some Western reviews that labeled the movie racist, replied, “No, why? The sniper was killing terrorists, the only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn’t know anything about the Koran!”
Couple things. Mr. Mohammed is more than likely Shia, given his determination to face ISIS. It is not surprising that he would identify with a movie in which Chris Kyle mainly fights Sunni insurgents in Anbar province. (Side note: Kyle’s antagonist, the sniper named Mustafa, is a Sunni from Syria and it is extremely implausible that he would have been, as the climax of the film portrays, freely operating in Sadr City, home of the Shia militia.)
A week’s worth of screenings does not a consensus make, but it does illustrate how quick some people on the left are to throw out accusations of racism or Islamophobia without bothering to check with the very people purported to have been injured. Lots of Iraqis lost their lives at the hands of the evil Chris Kyle valiantly attempted to stop. Many of the survivors appreciate his sacrifice and don’t consider him racist in the slightest. At least no more than they are.
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