- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” has wowed American audiences, but for one short week it also thrilled crowds in Baghdad.

Iraq’s upscale Mansour Mall played the film for one week before the controversy surrounding the film prompted management to end showings.

“Some people watching were just concentrating, but others were screaming ‘[expletive], shoot him! He has an IED, don’t wait for permission!’” said moviegoer Gaith Mohammed, the Global Post reported Wednesday. “I love watching war movies because especially now they give me the strength to face [the Islamic State].”

A theater employee told the newspaper that the film’s run was ended because the hero, the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, was unapologetic about killing Muslims.

Mr. Mohammed, asked by the newspaper if he agreed with some Western reviews that labeled the movie racist, replied, “No, why? The sniper was killing terrorists, the only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn’t know anything about the Koran!”

A government ministry employee told the Post he didn’t enjoy the film, taking umbrage with the first scene and what he considered the movie’s overall anti-Muslim overtones.

“The sniper, he has a chance to hit the child and his mother in their foot or anywhere without killing them, but he didn’t because he’s bloodthirsty like all the American troops,” said Wael, who declined to give his last name, the newspaper reported. Wael added that he had seen the film three times.

“American Sniper,” which stars Bradley Cooper, has made $257 million worldwide in two weeks of release. The film, which has garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, was made on a budget of $58 million.

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