The first new episode this season of Fox’s “24” has yet to hit the screen and already the network has offended a Muslim group.
After viewing a portion of the first episode included on a DVD in Entertainment Weekly, officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations expressed dismay at the depiction of a Muslim family.
“At first I was shocked,” organization spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed told the Daily News. “In this particular case, they show an American-Muslim family and they portray them as terrorists.”
Ahmed was alerted to the 24-minute promotional DVD earlier this week.
At issue is a scene in which a teenager helps his parents plot to kill Americans.
“What we will accomplish today will change the world,” the father tells the son over breakfast. “We are fortunate that our family has been chosen to do this.”
Ahmed said the scene “casts a cloud of suspicion over every American-Muslim family out there.”
A Fox spokesman said the company had no comment.
Ahmed acknowledged the possibility that in the remaining half of the first episode – which was not on the promotional DVD – the story line could have indicated this was not a typical family.
In fact, based on preview episodes sent to critics for the start of the “24” season, while the family appears traditional on the surface, they turn out to be a sleeper terrorist cell.
Such a story line is not unusual for “24,” which centers on Kiefer Sutherland, as Jack Bauer, an counterterrorism agent who works for the secretary of defense.