Social, political, religion, and racial discrimination are the main vices that disenfranchise people from enjoying their rights. One of the most marginalized society in the US is the Muslim community. Notably, the Islamic faith has been unfairly associated with terror, which has led to the victimization of its members. Nonetheless, its religious doctrines do not advocate for terrorism or extreme behavior. In fact, Islam is a religion founded on love and tolerance.
Expectations Before Watching the Documentary
Given the rate at which Muslims are associated with acts of terrorism, I expected the documentary to talk about their undermined and weakened position. On the contrary, the film demonstrated the resilience of the American Muslims to ensure that they are treated as equal citizens (Daimi). Actually, they have achieved this objective by running for political offices, upholding their beliefs, and openly welcoming people from other faith into their places of worship.
Issues That Surprised or Made Me to Question the Subject Matter
Overly, I was surprised by the sudden state in the opinion of Americans towards Muslims after the September 2000 bombing. In as much as the perpetrators of the crime were Muslims, their actions did not justify the contempt that most American non-Muslims developed towards Islam. Actually, the actions of the terrorists were not Islamic since they led to death and violence. Moreover, the Muslim community in the US had lived peacefully with their non-Muslim neighbors (GhaneaBassiri 30-45). Furthermore, non-Muslims in the US were not mostly associated with crime since they were productive members of the society working as doctors, nurses, and entrepreneurs (Daimi).
In addition to this, I was shocked by the use of excess and unnecessary force in the search for terrorists. Notably, a few Muslim men commented on the unfair treatment they had experience on suspicion of terrorism. Moreover, some had been subjected to unfair bodily search and interrogation, when traveling or in their homes, on more than one occasion (Daimi). Given the technological and social advancement in the US, I did not expect the anti-terror police officers to treat innocent individuals with such level of contempt.
Accuracy of the Documentary
I think the film was accurate and it correctly portrayed the subject matter. Notably, it showed recorded videos of the treatment of Muslims in the US. For instance, one video showed a camera operator who had dressed as a Muslim woman being subjected to multiple security checks. Moreover, this unfair search was done despite the fact that she did not have any suspicious materials. In addition to this, the film showed an interview where Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Muslim politician, was questioned over his ability to govern due to his religious background. Nonetheless, the broadcast has shown a change in attitude among Americans with most of them advocating for social and religious unity in order to fight terrorism. Similarly, there is an effort to ensure that the strict anti-terror laws do not undermine the freedoms of individuals.
Daimi, Zoheb. “PBS America at a Crossroads: The Muslim Americans.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 3 Jul. 2014. Web. 3 Aug. 2016.
GhaneaBassiri, Kambiz. A History of Islam in America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.