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THE MUSLIMS I KNOW
By Mara Ahmed
If you were to yahoo the words "moderate Muslims" today you would get more than eight million hits on the internet. This interest is the result of a post-9/11 Western world trying to make sense of Islam and its followers. The need to identify militant jihadists by distinguishing them from moderate Muslims has cast suspicion on all Muslims in America. Stereotypes are becoming well-entrenched. The purpose of this 60-minute documentary is to de-construct those stereotypes by showcasing Pakistani American immigrants and asking them questions non-Muslim Americans have framed through vox pop interviews. The aim is to start a dialogue.
A secondary goal is to educate people about the basic tenets of Islam and celebrate the cultural richness and diversity brought into the American mix by Muslim communities. Footage shot in Lahore, Pakistan and Sufi music are used to bring this cultural exuberance to life.
Finally, the film answers the question: where are the moderate Muslims? This question is asked to ridiculous excess by the media. The silence (and therefore culpability) of the moderates is still a hot button issue today seven years after September 11, 2001. By simultaneously asking, "Where are the moderate Muslims" ad nauseum and then excluding them from public discourse, we are slowly coming to the conclusion that there are no moderates. All Muslims are radicals. This is a dangerous conclusion to impose on the American public.
THE MUSLIMS I KNOW attempts to redress this imbalance by giving mainstream Muslims a voice and a face- something not often seen in American media.
Last updated: Apr. 9, 2010
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