Monday, June 15, 2009
Requiem for Islam in America? PBS's The Mosque in Morgantown
My Georgetown journalism department colleague Asra Nomani, former Wall Street Journal reporter, columnist, author, advocate, is the subject of this documentary by fimmaker Brittany Huckabee. Tune in tonight on your local PBS station, 10pm EDT. The teaser: " JOURNALIST ASRA NOMANI glimpsed Islamic extremism up close when her dear friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Daniel Pearl was murdered in Pakistan. When she returns home to West Virginia to raise her son, she believes she sees warning signs at the local mosque: exclusion of women, intolerance toward non-believers, and suspicion of the West. Her resulting campaign against extremism in the Islamic Center of Morgantown brings a storm of media attention, unexpectedly pitting her against the mosque's moderates. Through unfolding scenes and intimate interviews, THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN frames this local conflict as a means to explore the larger dilemmas facing American Islam. It tells a story of competing paths to social change, American identity and the nature of religion itself."
In other words, whether you are reasonable or right wing, there's something in this story for you. Of course, the aim is to push people together. Engage us. Show the commonality which makes us uncomfortable, and hint at the cosanguinity that holds us accountable. It is not a stretch nor inappropriate to extend the themes, people, places here to the current fiasco in Iran...or the battle for the soul of Pakistan (borrowing Don Belt's title...it's no longer a "struggle," but a battle).
Here's the link on PBS. Watch it. Learn something.