There's a controversy brewing on 24. And its name is Dina Araz. Brilliantly played by Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo — an Oscar nominee for 2003's House of Sand and Fog — Dina heads a family of sleeper terrorist agents hell-bent on attacking the Yankee Empire.How determined is she? After her son's girlfriend discovered their lair, Dina ordered him to "take care of this." Knowing that he wouldn't shoot her, Dina preemptively poisoned the girl's tea. "I am so disappointed in you," she hissed at her son. It was one of 24's trademark cold-blooded moments. But it's scenes like that one that have outraged members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has protested the series' portrayal of American-Muslims. "They're showing an entire family — the mother, the father, the son — all involved in a terrorist plot," says CAIR spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed. "There's danger in that. Especially when you have Muslims constantly being portrayed as terrorists." "It is not real, for God's sake!" says Aghdashloo. "A family like that... [Kiefer Sutherland] saving the world in 24 hours... it's purely fictional." Even so, Fox executives and 24's producers are addressing the concerns. They met with CAIR's leaders and, as a result, agreed to distribute to all 182 Fox affiliates "I Am an American Muslim," a CAIR-produced public service announcement that depicts Muslims in a positive light. "Whether they play it or not is up to them," says one insider. Several stations have recently aired the 30-second spot during 24, which, according to CAIR, is a good start.
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