zaterdag 7 februari 2015

The conversion of Sergeant Nicholas Brody

At home Paule and I are watching the TV series Homeland. It is quite an undertaking: we have the 4 series, 12 hour each. In total it is 48 hours or  even more. Watching two shows on one evening it still will take us about a month to see the whole series. It is wonderful to see how many people have commented on the series on the Internet. It seems to be the favorite series of President Barack Obama.
From the first show it was striking to me how sergeant Brody (convert to Islam during his 8 years of prison in Irak; the Stockholm syndrome) performed his prayers in his garage during the night. Taking ablutions first, then a simple prayer rug, the Fatiha spoken in a quite hesitant way of a mu'allaf, a recent convert (one would expect him saying it in the usual fast way Muslims do after years of experience. I can recite al-Fatiha in one breath only: Catholics pray the rosary in the same fast way as Muslims recite their prayers). The prayer of Brody is a solemn, quiet and somewhat mysterious element in the series.
In Caracas Brody is taken as a prisoner/important asset to receive a fortune, in Tower of David, we hear the sound of the azan, the call to prayer (quite illogical: so loud and dominating this big city, but there is so much irrational in the series) he flees to to the imam of the mosque and says a few short sentences, hesitant in fusha the formal Arabic speech not the colloquial he could hear from the people who guarded him in the eight years in prison.
Brody here praying with Issa, the little boy who later was killed by a drone and the vice-president is blamed for this action. Therefore Brody hates this man and consents/is happy with his being killed. 
Also Dana, the daughter of Brody incidentally imitates the prayer of her father, although she does not know much about it: it seems to be quite impressive to see the Muslim prayer. It is more or less a quiet dance, where gestures are more important than words. And even the words are quite few.
Some comments talk about Islamophobia in the series, a negative image of Muslims just as terrorists. But definitely the prayer sections have a mystical and peaceful character. On the whole the series shows a very multi-ethnic and multicultural America. One special character is the veiled young women who is a specialist in bank affairs.

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