Contact MPAC to Express Your Concern about their Awarding of “My Name Is Khan”

Updated call from the original, incorrect one I had posted earlier:

Dear Concerned Muslim American Community Member:

As Salaamu Alaykum. In February of this year, a new Bollywood film,
My Name is Khan, opened in U.S. theaters. Although it is claimed that the film promotes tolerance and understanding, My Name is Khan presents our diverse and dynamic American Muslim community through a “Good Muslim/Bad Muslim” lens that does an injustice to our community and reproduces racist stereotypes about African Americans. For a cogent review of the film, please read Su’ad Abdul Khabeer’s article “Khan Breaks New Stereotypes (but Reinforces Old Ones)” featured on

Despite the problematic depictions of Muslims and non-Muslim African Americans in
My Name is Khan, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has decided to honor this film by awarding it the prestigious Voices of Courage & Conscience Media Award at the 19th Annual MPAC Foundation Media Awards on May 1, 2010. This is particularly alarming because of MPAC Foundation’s stated goal of honoring media and artists committed to positive portrayals of Islam and Muslims, promoting diversity and social justice issues, and inspiring action.
Yet, it is precisely because of the trust many Muslim Americans have placed in MPAC that we cannot let this kind of dehumanization and historical erasure go unchallenged.

Yesterday, April 14
th 2010, a letter was sent to MPAC’s Executive Director, Staff, and Board of Directors by a collective of concerned American Muslims to express disappointment with their choice and urged the MPAC Foundation Board to rescind the award. Please see the attached letter to review the detailed critique of the film, the reasonable demand made of MPAC, and the list of Original Signatories. MPAC’s leadership has stated its willingness to seriously consider the letter’s contents and the support it garners. If you would like to add your name to the list of Signatories, please email your name and organization (or location) to We will periodically update MPAC with the extended list of new signatories.

We have been informed that the MPAC Foundation Board will be convening within a couple of days to make a formal decision on their response to the film critique and the reasonable demands, which we believe to be both morally and ethically correct.
Leading up to the Board decision, we invite like-minded individuals to contact the MPAC Los Angeles Office to express their concerns with MPAC Foundation’s decision to honor My Name is Khan and for them to reconsider their actions. You can contact MPAC by calling (213) 383-3443 during business hours (PST), or email the MPAC Communications Director at Our expectation is that the force of our collective voices will empower MPAC to make the choice that reflects their broader organizational goals and legacy––to rescind the Award. Insha’Allah, this will also present an opportunity for some much needed consciousness-raising around issues of race, class, media and civic engagement in the Muslim American community.

FiamanAllah y Pa’lante,

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer
Princeton University

Arshad I. Ali, Ph.D.
LecturerUCLA Graduate School of Education

Jihad Saleh Williams, MPA
Congressional Muslim Staffers Association

NB: Signatory affiliations are for identification purposes only, they do not necessarily reflect organizational endorsement.