17:11 GMT +323 March 2017
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    A promotional screen shot from the film American Sniper

    Anti-Muslim Threats Grow in Wake of American Sniper Movie

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    It’s been breaking box office records since it first opened, but American Sniper has also been breaking another record and a nefarious one at that: anti-Muslim and anti-Arab threats, and groups who represent those communities want Hollywood to weigh in.

    The real Chris Kyle signs copies of his book at Camp Pendleton in 2012
    © Wikipedia/ Cpl. Damien Gutierrez for U.S. Marines
    The real Chris Kyle signs copies of his book at Camp Pendleton in 2012
    The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) says the number of threats against them has tripled since the movie premiered nationwide on Christmas Day, and they’ve written letters to actor Bradley Cooper and director Clint Eastwood, asking them to condemn the threats. 

    “We want Mr. Eastwood and Mr. Cooper to say, ‘Don’t use our film to promulgate hatred or bigotry. Don’t use our film to push hate and bigotry and use it as a platform for these views,” said Abed Ayoub, ADC’s National Legal and Policy Director. “If they want to go further, they can say Arabs in America are just as American as the next person.”

    Eastwood and Cooper haven’t responded yet. 

    The ADC says that the American Sniper movie, which raked in a record $90 million its first weekend and continues at the top of box office sales, has blown up social media and unleashed a rash of hatred-filled comments, calling it a “drastic increase.”

    The film is loosely based on former Navy Seal sniper Kyle Cooper, famous for having the highest documented single-kill count in U.S. military history.  The ADC argues that the film’s very pro-American depiction of the war in Iraq means some people are leaving the theater and spewing hateful rhetoric online.  

    One tweet said, “American Sniper makes me appreciate soldiers 100x more and hate Muslims 1000000x more.” Another said, “American sniper makes me want to go shoot some f***in Arabs,” and yet another, “why are leftists offended by #AmericanSniper #ChrisKyle calling the enemy 'savages,' not as offended by tweets,chants,etc about killing cops.”

    Even former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin got in on the act, tweeting a picture of her holding up a sign that said “Fuc_ You Michael Moore,” referring to the film director who had called snipers “cowards.” Moore said he wasn’t specifically referring to Kyle. 

    Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher also blasted American Sniper. 

    “Hurt Locker made $17 million because it was a little ambiguous, and thoughtful,” Maher said. “And this one was just, ‘American hero! He’s a psychopath patriot, and we love him.’”

    Kyle, who did four tours of Iraq, was killed in 2013 at a shooting range in Texas by a former Marine who suffers from mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The trial of Eddie Routh for the murder of Kyle begins next month. 

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