Stop defining people by their religion


It’s a shame when a person introduces herself as “a human” and it actually seems necessary. But when you’re a Muslim, and people define you based on your religion, that’s just part of your reality. A video, titled “Meet a Muslim,” has just been launched to mitigate some of the fear and misperception currently pervading the American dialogue—by putting the camera on a diverse cross-section of U.S. citizens who share the Islamic faith.

Because NEWSFLASH Muslims were born and live all around the world. They may be as western if not more western than you. Heck you may even have spoken to them without them realising they were Muslim. Because, funnily enough, Muslims are people just like you and me. And last time someone used a people’s religion to alienate them from society it didn’t go very well did it now. A person is just a person. Can we stop using someone’s religion, which is very personal, to act as their distinguishing feature. And if someone is a good or bad person is regardless of their religion. Let’s just take people as they are shall we.

Oh, and don’t forget, ISIS is to Islam, what the IRA was to Christianity.

A note from the director: This video does not represent all Muslims by any stretch—this is simply a different cross section of Muslims than we are accustomed to seeing in the media. They are Muslims who happen to be my peers: Creative, young, urban artists, and families. They are good people. They are human.

Also worth noting, this shoot caused me to do some serious self-reflection as a filmmaker. Why was I, an agnostic ex-Catholic, fighting this fight when my fight as a female filmmaker in Hollywood was already taking up 110% of me?! I realised that the truth is, my goal as a filmmaker is not just to give a voice to women but to give a voice to all the underserved voices out there that need to be heard.

And the truth is, I got more out of doing this project than any other I’ve done. I was touched by the honesty and beauty of every individual I interviewed and the outpouring of support from the film community—people wanted to help, people want to do good. This is a drop in the bucket but I truly believe every drop counts.

Directed by Tara Miele.

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