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Mar 15th, 2005, 12:42 PM #1----
Since 9/11 the US is a changed country... especially for Muslims.
Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US. Yet one in four Americans regard Muslims living among them with suspicion.
And what if you are an American and a Muslim?
This World follows Salman Ahmed, founding member of successful rock band Junoon, as he explores what it means to be an American Muslim these days.
Salman says: "I never thought about my religion in a sense that I have to explain it to the rest of the world."
But as non-Muslims search for answers, this is exactly what they seem to be asking of their fellow citizens.
Salman talks to taxi drivers, students and law reform campaigners, including a mother whose desperate search for her Muslim son after 9/11 turned her into a political activist.
He also speaks to a group of Muslim comics, a new force in the fight to combat mutual fear and suspicion.
But, is there such a difference between American and Islamic values?
Many would argue not. In fact, traditionally, the Muslim community have felt comfortable living in a country that puts so much emphasis on religion as an intrinsic part of politics.
Salman's cousin Ali is a founding member of the website Muslims for Bush and admires the president's frequent references to God. "I want him to talk about God more often, I want him to bring in his Christian values, because those are values that most Muslims share."
However, Ali now seems to be in the minority. In contrast to voting patterns in 2000, many American Muslims voted against a Republican administration in 2004.
"Unlike some other parts of the world, where Muslims seem to see themselves just as victims," Salman says, "American Muslims are fighting for their rights, and blending Islam with the modern American identity."
Mar 15th, 2005, 06:55 PM #2----
did anybody watch this....what are your thoughts?
all i have to say is aunti seemi is living and her sonare living in la la land....they get paid for the stunts they pull to get votes for smelly bush...and does she think that the stories of our muslim brothers and sisters who are tortured in the prisons in iraq are rumours???????? may allah guide her and her family...silly woman she doesnt have no care for the muslim ummah....
The scholars of Islam are unanimously agreed that whoever supports the kaafirs against the Muslims and helps them in any way is a kaafir like them as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Oh you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as @#%$ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but @#%$ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as @#%$), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)"
the most disgraceful part of the programme (it was all messed up anyway) was aunti seemi's remarks about the quran how she thought there were some "sexy" bits in it. Is she a muslim or what?
they dont represent the muslim community. they are a disgrace to islam. why would she even say such a thing???
and why were they so sick of muslims saying islam is a religion of peace?? for pity's sake Islam IS a religion of peace it means submission to Allah, why bring sex into it!
Mar 16th, 2005, 07:41 AM #3----
Some Reviews from the official junoon forums...
Hi, my name is Eddie Truman, I'm a press officer for the Scottish Socialist Party in the Scottish Parliament.
I saw 'It's my country too' after the Scottish edition of Newsnight on BBC2.
This was a brilliant programme that I learned a lot from.
When not working the press in the Scottish Parliament I help run the Islamophobia-Watch website with Bob Pitt who works for London's Mayor Ken Livingstone;
EddieI saw the documentary too! It was very good! Very well directed. I was very appauled by Salman's aunt aswell. Makes you sad to see pakistanis in the west who are so sold!
IffatJus finished watching it and I really it dealt with all the issues since 9/11 muslims in the the western world face!
Also there was one lady on the show who I had immense respect for, Talat Hamdani she lost her son in 9/11 and then her husband but she didnt pity herself she went out too defend fellow Americans and as well as Americans!
I didnt like Salman's aunt I belive it was Seemi (strangly i once found her the book her daughter wrote)GMU concert i dont know about... but they did show some footage from some concerts. Good footage of the whole band. The background music was well selected.
i did record it onto vhs. Was having problems with my tv card... but it will be fixed very soon and i'll upload the video this weekend.
i felt sorry for the poor woman who lost her son and husband.
To think that the FBI withheld information for so long, leaving her to think that either her son has died or could be a terrorist, that is so terrible.
As for Salman Ahmad's aunti seemi... very pro bush but she raised good points about how Bush is good for pakistan itself. ofcourse us ppl on the forum know that Musharaf and Bush ki dosti buhot ziada faidemend heh pakistan heh liyeh. But thats the only thing i liked Bush cos i'm pro-musharraf. Waisey otherwise i think Bush is bukwaas.
Salman Ahmad is good on tv... he should get a permanent job with the bbc as a presenter for documentaries.
Rock Star and Mullahs and this documentary are superb. He's got an on-screen charisma and he comes over as a very clued-up individual.
Mr.Salman Ahmad aap kuch negotiate ker lo BBC ke saat. Then we can watch u every week on UK TV
Anyway guys.. you'll all get to see it soon. Just give me a few days. I have an assignment to submit this friday, and unfortunately for u my Masters is a priority right now.
Mar 16th, 2005, 07:41 AM #4----
There was footage of a few concerts or was it one I cant remember but it was shot very well!
I loved the Muslim stand up comics they were real funny!
but made valid points, after 9/11 a woman in the UK did the same but unlike thos guys who looked opracticing she was jus making a quick buck out the disaster!
The most touching bit was one the Talat hamdai talks an=bt Iraq and say 100,00 have died and we are crying over 3,000 and then she goes I am crying over 1!
Another instance of powerful muslim women!
Didnt like the other woman (sorry salman if ur reading as she is ur aunt)
but I hated the stat they put up in the final ad b4 the elections!
It showed they were thinking more abt Pakistan (even though the plight of american pakistani has been pretty bad too putit mildly)
I think it hit home as it was something all muslims in the west faced since 9/11!Hey yousuf wassup!?!
Just like him and KK, i've just finished watching the documentry too. I don't think n e one wouldn't feel for Talat Hamdani and she has shown that after facing the terrible pain of losing her son and then her husband in his grief that we need to move on and battle for our present and future generations. One the major way we can do that is to get involved in the political process, to stand ethnic candidates in highly populated ethinic areas and to get our people elected that are gonna being serving our communities.
Overall i thought that it was a good documentry but maybe it lacked contribution from communities that were really suffering from the aftermath of 9/11 especially the pakistani's when they were asked to registar and then were arrested whilst in the building and their families not told of their whereabouts.
Mar 16th, 2005, 11:09 AM #5----
1.25 Million Watch It's My Country Too!
South Asia's biggest and most popular rock band Junoon reached to
new heights of popularity this week when 1.25 million Britons
switched on to their TV's to watch It's My Country Too.
The documnetray was being eagerly awaited especially by British
Muslims, mainly Pakistanis who comprise nearly one million of the 2
million Muslim population from around the world. Young Pakistani
youths were engaged in informing each other of the documentary
through chat rooms and email networking. Junoon group has a huge
following in the UK amongst the South Asian communities.
Paul Rasmussen, BBC Current Affairs' spokesman, told the Pakistan
Post: "1.25 million viewers watched the documentary. It's really a
"The viewing figure was 1 million when the programme started but the
number kept swelling and by the middle of the programme it had
reached to 1.25 million. This figure is particular very good for a
programme on an international topic."
For current affairs and international programmes, even on the prime
time slot, the viewing figure mostly remains below 1 million.
The documentary showcased the lives of Muslims in the US and in the
context of a changed nature of relationship between Muslims and the
United States in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks.
'It's My Country Too' is Salman Ahmed's second documentary. His
first documentary 'The RockStar & the Mullahs won international
acclaim in which the Junoon's lead guitarist challenged the Islamic
authorities in Pakistan on their attitudes to music and
In 'It's My Country Too', Salman Ahmed travelled across the USA in
the run up to the presidential elections and asks Muslim Americans
what it means for them to be Muslim and American. From New York via
Virginia and Detroit to Denver, Colorado, Ahmad challenges the idea
of being a Muslim in America. For the first time an assembled cast
of ordinary people from different origins describe their struggle to
be accepted first and foremost as proud Muslim Americans.
For American Muslim things have been very hostile since the 9/11 as
they are suspected of terrorism and hatred for America. Different
opinion polls have shown a collective mistrust of the majority
community towards Islam and Muslims. Thousands have been rounded up so far - many of them deported or imprisoned - by the FBI and State
Department as if Muslims all over the world share a collective
responsibility for the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the
loss of 3000 lives.
Among the people he meets are New York cabbie of Pakistani origi
>Syed Shah, who recognizes Salman immediately, comedian Azhar sman
who performs his 'Allah Made Me Funny' show in Chicago and lawyer
Shareef Akeel, who specialises in discrimination and false arrest
cases against Muslims and is now bringing a class action against the
American contractors employed by the American Army at the Abu Ghraib
prison on behalf of the Iraqi prisoners.
He also meets Palestinian Dr Abdelhaleem Al-Ashgar who has been
under house arrest and electronically tagged for over a year for
refusing to testify against his fellow Palestinians in front of a
grand jury, Mrs Talat Hamdani, a teacher from Queens, whose son died
on 9/11 and has become a political activist since, and the parents
of Capt Humayun Khan's, a US army soldier killed in Iraq.
He also comes across a Republican Muslim family who were one the
biggest donors to the Bush re-election campaign.
The documentary showed how American Muslims are well integrated into
the mainstream society. At the same time they are equally proud of
their identities - Islam and Americanness.
Source: The Pakistan Post (weekly), London
Salman Ahmad's Documentary "It's My Country Too", BBC2 on 15th March