Wire Service: AP
CLIFTON, New Jersey (AP) -- Two years ago, Muslim groups protested when the plot of the hit Fox drama "24" cast Islamic terrorists as the villains who launched a stolen nuclear missile in an attack on America.
Now, after a one-year respite during which Russian separatists played the bad guys on the critically acclaimed series, Muslims are back in the evil spotlight. Unlike last time, when agent Jack Bauer saved the day, the terrorists this time have already succeeded in detonating a nuclear bomb in a Los Angeles suburb.
Being portrayed again as the heartless wrongdoers has drawn renewed protests from Muslim groups, including one that had a meeting with Fox executives two years ago over the issue. (Watch why "24" is worrying Muslims )
"The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season's premiere. "After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn't sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality."
She said the group had a conference call Wednesday with Fox executives to protest the current plot line and request more positive portrayals of Muslims on the show, but was not promised anything.