stereotypes

Lena Khan

…I’m making a feature film, a dramatic comedy entitled THE TIGER HUNTER. First, I hope that it will simply be an entertaining and compelling film that will captivate audiences. But also, I want audiences to be exposed to a cast more diverse than they are used to – containing Chicanos,…

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Zahra Noorbakhsh

Spiritually, I am still very much Muslim and I invite others to establish their own definitions as well. The more complicated it gets, the more we break the monolith.   Who are you? I am a Muslim Feminist Iranian-American comedian. I love introducing myself that way on stage. Everyone in…

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Rohina Malik

It’s interesting how that painful day became the seed that would later become Unveiled. Art can sometimes be inspired by the things that are ugly and scare us.   Who are you? Growing up in London, as the daughter of South Asian immigrants, racism was intense.  When I turned fifteen, I moved to…

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Serial and storytelling

The much anticipated conclusion to the wildly popular podcast, Serial, was released yesterday morning – and it was flat. As listeners we knew that this “one story, told week by week,” was also being written week by week as new information came to the attention of the producers. There was…

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Alice in Arabia

On February 26th, MPAC announced a partnership with Disney/ABC Television Group to offer a one-day workshop to identify and empower American Muslims interested in pursuing a career in screenwriting for television. The announcement came just days after the release of Salaam, Love and the conclusion of Columbia University’s symposium The Muslim Protagonist: a synthesis of journeys. It was heartening to see momentum growing around nurturing and empowering American Muslims who aspired to be writers and storytellers.

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If You’re Happy and You’re Muslim… The D.C. Version!

Ever since American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams released his song “Happy,” the Internet has been flooded with homemade videos from around the globe showcasing people dancing and singing along to the catchy song, every one of them sporting a contagious smile. Among these videos was a “Happy British Muslims!” video, released by the Honesty Policy which quickly made waves through the cyber world. Soon, a group of D.C. area Muslims got together to film their own version of this song.

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In defense (sort of) of Randa Jarrar

Many of you may have read this incendiary piece by Arab-American writer Randa Jarrar that appeared on Salon this week, condemning white women who belly dance. It’s part of a series of essays by feminists of color curated by Twitterati darling Roxane Gay—and if you’re not following her, remedy that, because her reputation for 140-character wit is well earned.

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The Fair & Lovely standard

The latest Bollywood song blared from the speakers and the crowd at my sister’s wedding cheered in delight. As I laughed with my friends and shimmied my hips in time to the music, I was unaware that a family friend’s son was observing me from across the room. He had attended the event in order to “take a look at me” for a possible rishta (proposal). I didn’t make the cut, however. I wasn’t gori (fair) enough.

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The focal point of cross-cultural dialogue

In the years since 9/11, Muslim men and women have responded to nativist hate mongering by working within the American legal framework. Muslim women have made the hijab a civil rights issue; similarly, the fight for the human rights of detainees has been going strong for some time. An additional response – one that is more nuanced to the gendered aspects of the problem – is to use gender and Muslim notions of femininity and masculinity as the focal point of cross-cultural dialogue.

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