American Sniper release has led to an increase in threats against Muslims in the US, according to an Arab-American civil rights group.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has written to director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper.
Clint Eastwood’s movie is based on US soldier Chris Kyle’s service in Iraq from 2003 to 2009.
The ADC said a “majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper”.
The organization, which describes itself as the largest Arab civil rights organization in the US, said it had collected “hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from movie-goers”, mainly from Facebook and Twitter.
“Your visibility, influence, and connection to the film would be a tremendous force in drawing attention to and lessening the serious dangers facing the respective communities,” ADC president Samer Khalaf wrote.
Jack Horner, a spokesman for the Warner Bros film studio, which released American Sniper, told the Reuters that the company “denounces any violent, anti-Muslim rhetoric, including that which has been attributed to viewers” of the film.
He added: “Hate and bigotry have no place in the important dialogue that this picture has generated about the veteran experience.”
Spokespeople for Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper had no immediate response to requests for comment, Reuters reported.
American Sniper has been a major hit in North America, exceeding box office predictions by taking $90 million in its opening weekend – a record for a January release. It also has six Oscar nominations.
The movie has also caused controversy. Some have hailed its portrayal of Chris Kyle as a war hero, but others have criticized it for glorifying violence and for Kyle’s attitude towards his victims.
Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal, served four tours of duty in Iraq and killed more than 160 people, making him the most deadly sniper in American history.
American Sniper movie is based on Chris Kyle’s book, also titled American Sniper, in which he claimed to have no regrets and referred to those he killed as “savages”.
Chris Kyle was killed in February 2013 on a firing range in his home state of Texas.
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