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Friday, March 31, 2023

HBO show “True Blood” offensive to Muslim community

It’s not just the undead causing a stir on the latest episode of “True Blood.”

A character’s line about Muslims and suicide on Sunday’s episode has sparked a strong reaction from UF’s Islamic community.

The season five premiere of the HBO drama about supernatural beings drew 5.2 million viewers, according to a June 12 USA Today article.

The episode featured two former Marines in danger after being cursed earlier in the series. When the first Marine put a gun to his head to kill himself, the second yelled at him.

“You know why? Suicide is for Muslims!” he said.

Political science senior and president of Islam on Campus Abidah Ali, 21, said she thinks the show’s writers didn’t consider the magnitude of the character’s line.

“It is disheartening to see that this was so easily stated and proves the lack of common religious knowledge and respect towards a faith practiced by over 1.5 billion people,” she said.

Suicide is highly contested within Islam, said Terje Ostebo, UF assistant professor of religion.

Muslims typically believe people shouldn’t take the lives of themselves or others, he said.

Some factions, however, view suicide as a necessary part of jihad, Ostebo said.

“It’s debated,” he said. “It’s not something that’s straightforward.”

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