Wednesday, April 21, 2010

UA Screening + New Warring Factions Links

photo: Jevon Tyrone

Last week was the Warring Factions screening at University of Arizona. The screening was well attended and I was glad to see a lot of old friends come out of the woodwork to see the film.

Surprisingly the Q & A after the film was the most provocative to date. Respect is due to the audience that challenges the filmmaker.

Additionally, Warring Factions has 2 new download links for the high and low resolution versions of the film. Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Iowa Visit

I recently returned home from Iowa where I was visiting Elijah, a friend I acquired through correspondence while he was serving time in a federal prison camp in South Dakota. We initially were introduced to each other by a Christian prison chaplain looking for answers to religious questions. The chaplain happened to find my email through the website of a Muslim student organization I was a part of in college. I started writing directly to Elijah for the next year and a half until he was released in July of 2008. I finally got to meet Elijah last week in his home state of Iowa. He currently works bending steel in a factory in Ames and visits his 3 young children in Des Moines on the weekends. Elijah is the first subject of research for my new project about Muslims in the prison system.

Stay tuned for more on this project.

Monday, April 05, 2010

FBI For Muslim Kids!

There is a difference between community engagement and wholesale absurdity as displayed in the video below.

Making children "Junior Special Agents" with an official badge and all may seem like a good idea until they start calling in for backup when they hear their parents whispering to each other in Arabic or threaten to ground them for spying. Some may see this program as harmless education of an American intelligence agency but the FBI has a fairly tainted reputation with the American Muslim community. (See link 1, link 2, link 3)

Engaging the Muslim community should be done at the organizational level first with groups like CAIR and MPAC before any type of trust or working relationship can exist.