COMMENTS BY GUEST AUTHOR: UA
The Muslim Student Association hosted a movie night recently featuring the 2010 independent film: Mooz-lum. After showing the movie, we held a short discussion to find out what our audience thought.
Most people enjoyed the movie; though it started off kind of slow, it started to grow on them near the end.
One student, however, said he wasn’t a huge fan of it because he felt like it showed Muslims in more of a negative light than positive one. He was not Muslim himself, but he said he had a lot of Muslim friends, and he felt like the movie showed an extreme perspective.
Most of the Muslims in the audience said that they did not experience a lot of hatred after 9/11, unlike the characters in the movie, though we all acknowledged that other Muslims in different parts of the country may have encountered the same or even worse situations.
Several other students noted that it seemed as if the director tried to challenge several clichés in the movie at once, making it hard for some people – especially non-Muslims unfamiliar with Islam – to grasp every concept the first time around.
We asked students two questions: the first was about how culture may have had a lot to do with Tariq’s strict upbringing.
One student said that it may have been detached from culture as well; the teacher beating Tariq as a boy was not acceptable in religion, and most likely would not be accepted in any civilized culture, either.
We noted that extremism was evident in several different groups of several different cultural backgrounds in the movie. We saw the extremist views of the dean and the “gang” violently seeking out Muslims after 9/11, and we also saw the father’s extreme understanding and practice of Islam, as well as the madrasa teachers’ strict methods of discipline.
The second question we asked our audience was how the attitude towards Muslims may have changed since 9/11.
We all agreed that the trend of hatred is the same in all cases in history – Muslims are not the first to have experienced it. The prejudices start off strong, but then die down as more people understand that a few individuals in their violence and misinterpretations cannot accurately represent an entire faith.