What some Muslims want to tell you.

I have lived with Muslims for over 15 years of my life. I have come to love them as people and as a unique culture. Do I agree with their religion and practices entirely, no. But, then I don’t entirely agree with many other faiths but my own. Isn’t that what makes my faith my own. Do I think all or most Muslims are out to get me, lol, heck no! I live in a Muslim country. A country filled with Chinese, Indians and Malay and a few other people. I feel a whole lot safer here than in many places back in the US. Are there bad Muslims, yes. Are they giving other Muslims a bad reputation, absolutely. Just as some Christians are giving Christianity a bad name.

Much of what we in the west know of Islam is from the media. The same media that paints Christians as right wing fanatics that blow up abortion clinics. The media feeds on what sells.  In 2007 Lena Khan directed a video where she asked over 2,000 American Muslims what they wished to say to the world. Here is some of  their responses:

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17 Comments

  1. Hassa maash

    Thanks Ms. matt for this artical.You are one of the best photographer I have seen.

    Hassan maash
    Iraqian lives in syria

    Reply
  2. Tom

    Thank you so much for this!!!
    This is the best video I’ve seen in a VERY long time if not for my lifetime.

    Reply
  3. Tom

    Thank you so much for this!!!
    This is the best video I’ve seen in a VERY long time if not for my lifetime.

    Reply
  4. Matt Brandon

    Hassa – Thanks for the comment, glad to have some readers in the mid-east.

    Tom – Thanks for reading. I think I saw your photo and read a bit about you on Joe McNally’s blog, didn’t I? You are a real inspiration. Drop by anytime.

    Reply
  5. Mike Huffstatler

    Matt,

    This is a really well done video. Thank you for sharing it, and thank you to Lena Khan for producing it. There is so much hatred and unfounded bias in the world and through efforts like these maybe some of that can be put aside.

    I plan to embed this video into my blog to share it a bit more.

    Very best regards,

    Mike
    California, USA

    Reply
  6. Mike Huffstatler

    Matt,

    This is a really well done video. Thank you for sharing it, and thank you to Lena Khan for producing it. There is so much hatred and unfounded bias in the world and through efforts like these maybe some of that can be put aside.

    I plan to embed this video into my blog to share it a bit more.

    Very best regards,

    Mike
    California, USA

    Reply
  7. Bernard

    Well sorry Matt, but I found this “Islam for dummies” video rather ridiculous. Not to mention the unbearable music. Trying to mix religion with everyday aspects to “dilute” it felt somehow irrelevant – “you see, these people are like us after all.” Well of course they are. Some of them even cheat at school… Some of them are even Green… That does not make this religion – or any religion for that matter – any more (or less) respectable. And this phrase : “I don’t want to drink anything that kills someone every 31 minutes” : what does this have to do with the islamic prohibition of alcohol? This video is so full of good feelings, of video clip style clichés. Preaching with all the politically correct words.
    Sorry, didn’t work for me… 😉
    Bernard from France

    Reply
  8. Frank

    Thanks for sharing Matt,
    I for one don’t have any “religious” beliefs, however, I fully respect the rights of people to follow whatever religious/spiritual beliefs they choose. My issue, as yours, is with the “fanatics” of the world who believe that theirs is the only true way. Bernard has some valid points, however I think the strength of this video is its ability to humanize Islam and its followers, a majority of who are good people who have been victimized by the few but vocal and often violent minority of fanatics.

    Reply
  9. Frank

    Thanks for sharing Matt,
    I for one don’t have any “religious” beliefs, however, I fully respect the rights of people to follow whatever religious/spiritual beliefs they choose. My issue, as yours, is with the “fanatics” of the world who believe that theirs is the only true way. Bernard has some valid points, however I think the strength of this video is its ability to humanize Islam and its followers, a majority of who are good people who have been victimized by the few but vocal and often violent minority of fanatics.

    Reply
  10. Matt

    Frank, you beat me to the punch by about t 30 sec. I was just posting this responce.

    Bernard, Your points are very valid, but with one fatal error. This video is not meant to be “Islam for Dummies”. It is meant to humanize the Muslims in America. To make the scary unknown, less scary and a little more known. When I am in the states I call Texas home. Most people I know don’t know a Muslim. There are plenty around, they just are fearful to get to know them. Even my own sister was afraid to go to an Eid party for fear of being kidnapped or worse. I this video (and I) wanted to do was to help de-villainize many million muslims and make people realize they are in many ways like us for the good and the bad.

    Reply
  11. Bernard

    Frank and Matt, thanks for your replies. I do understand the points you raise. I guess this video is principally meant for an american audience – do most people over there really know so little of the rest of the world? In Europe I am not sure it would work. Well, maybe I am being optimistic…

    Reply
  12. Matt Brandon

    Bernard,

    I will defer the answer to your question to someone other than me, who actually lives there now. I don’t want to be too hard on the American populous, it is too easy for me to do. But the fact is there is still a lot of left over fear from 911 and again, the media is playing into this and feeding these misconceptions and helping maintain these walls of separation.

    Reply
  13. Matt

    Bernard,

    I will defer the answer to your question to someone other than me, who actually lives there now. I don’t want to be too hard on the American populous, it is too easy for me to do. But the fact is there is still a lot of left over fear from 911 and again, the media is playing into this and feeding these misconceptions and helping maintain these walls of separation.

    Reply
  14. Clayton

    Bernard
    I suppose ( and I’m being general here ) that a lot of us here get our information about the world around us from the news and media outlets instead of looking for ourselves. We tend to lead productive, busy , hectic lives and we take our news and experiences in gulps, trusting (not ALL of us mind you)what we are shown and told.
    This leads us to worry, and worry leads to fear. Both are detramental to understanding anyones differences with an open mind.
    Please don’t think too badly of us; as Matt said, 911 had a terrible impact on our general senses- but through his efforts with this video and others like it – we are learning that there is more “sameness” between our lives than not.
    Entertaining video? sure it was- but if you can smile about someone else thinking about and doing the same things as you- then that’s half the battle.
    🙂

    Reply
  15. Clayton

    Bernard
    I suppose ( and I’m being general here ) that a lot of us here get our information about the world around us from the news and media outlets instead of looking for ourselves. We tend to lead productive, busy , hectic lives and we take our news and experiences in gulps, trusting (not ALL of us mind you)what we are shown and told.
    This leads us to worry, and worry leads to fear. Both are detramental to understanding anyones differences with an open mind.
    Please don’t think too badly of us; as Matt said, 911 had a terrible impact on our general senses- but through his efforts with this video and others like it – we are learning that there is more “sameness” between our lives than not.
    Entertaining video? sure it was- but if you can smile about someone else thinking about and doing the same things as you- then that’s half the battle.
    🙂

    Reply
  16. Bernard

    Entertaining video? sure it was- but if you can smile about someone else thinking about and doing the same things as you- then that’s half the battle.

    Quite true!

    The video didn’t make me smile, it even annoyed me to no end – but if it works for others, fine.

    Reply

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