Clickbait: A Positive Change for Representation of Muslims in a Western Series

N.B: Will contain spoilers.

The new limited Netflix series Clickbait quickly gained steam worldwide and surely piqued our interests once it was released. From the first moment in, you’re thrown into a place of fear and anticipation, and the end of each episode ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you grasping for air. It’s a treasure hunt series, many people said. Upon seeing it to know what the fuss was all about, we definitely understood where all the hype came from. Yet, there remained one concerning matter.

Early on, after Nick Brewer, a loving husband, father, and brother go missing, we’re introduced to Roshan Amir. A Muslim, foreign looking detective who seems helpful, impartial, and very empathetic with the family, and is the detective in charge of solving the case.

Roshan is in close contact with the missing man’s sister, Pia Brewer, as he tries to keep the boundaries that his profession obligates him to abide by. We get to know him more in “The Detective” episode, as each episode focuses on a different character and introduces a few others.

Halfway through the investigations, Senior Detective DeLuca from homicide becomes in charge and takes Detective Roshan Amir off the case. Being determined to stay on it, Roshan makes a deal with Pia, that if she requests for his continuous involvement in the case as a liaison, he’ll keep her in the loop regarding any progress in the investigation.

Why so determined to be back on the case? Does the Qu’ran in his car, and the fact of him being a Muslim have a certain significance?

In the middle of the scenes, we find snippets of him performing ablution and praying in a mosque..which didn’t bode well, at least for me. Are we in the presence of yet another half baked idea, mostly relying on archaic methods and illogical stereotypical portrayals about Muslims being terrorists?

He seems nice and all for now, but is this where the plot twist takes place? “I swear to god if it is, the upcoming article will be about how Muslims are disdained of lumping respectful Muslims with terrorists” – I thought to myself.

Is this another series moving in the same vein of demonizing Muslims for an intriguing plot? These vivid scenes of him practicing religious rituals, stating that he “doesn’t drink” while in parallel, showing side scenes of his issues with his colleagues and parents justifying the discrimination happening at his work place due to the fact that he’s a Muslim, only raised suspicions.

It reached the extent that it actually made me question if they really spoiled the finale from only episode two, “The Detective!”

Otherwise, why derail from the topic with all these details that are unnecessary to the central plot? What are these hidden messages and props trying to convey? Perhaps that in the upcoming episodes, we’ll be witnessing Phoenix Raei AKA Roshan Amir, seeking vengeance from those who belittle his potential?

Because after all, he’s just a Muslim freak who can’t deal with problems in a civilized manner? Well, most of the foreign movies and series spread such viewpoints like wildfire, internalizing “Islamophobia” in the process, so can you really blame us for expecting the same from Clickbait?

Indeed there was a hell of a plot twist in this area, but a good one this time, fortunately. I’m not sure if these scenes were supposed to arouse suspicions in order to divert the audience’s attention from the true criminal with false flags. But, we can happily tell you that these scenes were not trying to convey anything, other than showing the rituals and maybe struggles of Muslims, I guess?

But all in all, it felt really good to see a Western series depicting a normal portrayal of a Muslim just being a human who, like others, surely makes mistakes and has his own set of troubles, and who can also be a genuine and dedicated person with a good heart. And, he’s not the bad guy in the Clickbait story!

Seeing such a top-notch series that in a way, corrected wrongful notions some hold towards Muslims, gives us hope. A hope for a great surge coming forward to change the misconceptions, as well as the misrepresentations Muslims find themselves trapped into, that should have gone stale a long time ago.

WE SAID THIS: Clickbait, thank you for doing a Muslim fella justice in your story.

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