Rock terror

minneapolis (jta) | Prince, the internationally renowned rock star from Minneapolis, has ignited controversy over his new music video, “Cinnamon Girl,” in which a young Arab American woman endures racial insults and then dreams of detonating a bomb in an airport lounge.

“While Prince is free to express himself, using the image of a suicide bombing to convey the difficulty of being subjected to prejudice is inappropriate, misguided and deeply disturbing,” Stephen R. Silberfarb, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said recently.

The JCRC statement noted that “terrorists in Iraq, Israel, Russia and elsewhere do in real life what the performer in the video envisions in the airport scene. The symmetry that the video suggests is deeply flawed and offensive.”

Silberfarb added that the “depiction of a sympathetic character so distraught by how she is treated that she envisions detonating herself (and others) conveys a measure of understanding and approval for her contemplated action that is regrettable and extreme. Her frustration is justifiable; violence is not. Terrorism is never justifiable.”

The music video was created by the Minneapolis-based Harder-Fuller Films.

“Prince intended for it to spark some dialogue,” Phil Harder, the video’s director, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We’re getting a lot of calls on it,” his partner Rick Fuller added.

In the video, Keisha Castle-Hughes, 14, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in “Whale Rider,” witnesses a 9/11-type terrorist attack. She endures racist harassment from her classmates, and in a fantasy sequence imagines blowing up a bomb in an airport waiting-area.

“Cinnamon Girl of mixed heritage/never knew the meaning of color lines,” Prince sings. “9/11 turned that all around/when she got accused of this crime.”

Prince, 46, a flamboyant performer who’s no stranger to controversy — one of his famous songs is titled “Controversy” — reportedly will not comment about his intentions in creating the song and video. The entertainer, songwriter and musician is not especially known as an artist who focuses on topical concerns.