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 Khanpresents 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 onAltmuslim.com.
Despite the problematic depictions of Muslims and non-Muslim African Americans inMy Name is Khan, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has decided to honor this film by awarding it the prestigiousVoices of Courage & Conscience Media Awardat the19thAnnual MPAC Foundation Media Awardson 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 14th2010, 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) toMyNameIsNOTKhan2010@gmail.com. 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 honorMy Name is Khanand 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 atCommunications@mpac.org. 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.
via one of my favorite Texans, I saw this on Street Prophets. A. This is a huge violation of church and state in my opinion. Public schools should not be holding services in any religious space. Period. B. The kid is a moron. It’s not about him being Muslim. Let’s not get stupid with him. To the best of my knowledge there is no legal tradition that prevents Muslims from entering house of worship of other faiths. There are reservations (and prohibitions) about joint worship, but not actually entering the space. The closest I’ve heard about this religious image issue…