Amid a national climate that is, at best, uncertain — and, at worst, unimaginable; the Muslim community faces an America that is digging deep at a question of fundamental patriotic identity.
Who is American, or even what is American? Who is an outsider? How? Better yet, who retains the power to decide the answer to these questions and hue the blank slate that projects onto the minds of the masses – specifically the voting masses?
Liberty and Justice for All, an independent documentary film by two college students, launches this winter with the goal of setting a diverse collection of Muslim voices at the forefront of this country’s discussion.
This past summer, Stanford and Columbia sophomores Catherine Zhu and I traveled throughout Southern California, interviewing dozens of Muslims about their experiences growing up and living as Muslims in the Unites States whether today, after 9/11, or post-San Bernardino.
It it asked with deep, sincere gratitude that you consider donating to help the film reach its final goal. This is an arts and activism project with the fundamental purpose of empowering the Muslim, especially American-Muslim, community.
The participants featured a variety of college students to well-known Imams, activists, and politicians — like Congressman Keith Ellison.
The personal stories span an array of experiences and thoughts surrounding confronting hatred, what Muslims wish others understood about Islam, what it means to wear the hijab, being American, as well as Muslim, spirituality, and more.
Zhu and I cultivated with film mentors who have happily worked along this process to narrow our project, sharpen its focus, and outline the approach. These mentors include Academy-award winning director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh — the editor in chief of Muslim Girl, The New Yorker Writers, and Stanford faculty.
However, the final steps of this film process involve one more leg of financial support beyond the scope of two college kids. But this is also a way to involve the greater community and spread the word about the documentary.
Pairing with Launch Good, a crowdsourcing website for Muslim projects and initiatives, Zhu and I have raised upwards of $2,000 in the last couple of weeks, almost nearing our goals of $3,000 to subsidize post-productions costs, outstanding travel receipts, and film festival submissions.
The nature of crowdsourcing is that any and all amounts help, and participation in uniting as one force is what will fund such an endeavor.
It it asked with deep, sincere gratitude that you consider donating to help the film reach its final goal. This is an arts and activism project with the fundamental purpose of empowering the Muslim, especially American-Muslim, community. Your support of any amount by October 1 here can enhance the Muslims narrative in this country.
As 2016 launches into fall — and as we come off from events like the first Presidential Debate (just to name the most recent), questions and fears about our lives are growing from lurking thoughts to pounding ponderings.
These milestones will seriously dictate the treatment and equality for minority communities, specifically Muslims.
Though largely cultivated around the election, this timeline about our future and rights includes a far broader scope that just this fall. It is with that hope that you consider being a part of this project – one that aims to highlight hope and uplift from the darkness, Insha’Allah.
Please do read the project page on Launch Good to learn more, Insha’Allah. Thank you eternally. We are so grateful for your generosity, Alhumdulillah.