In the film drama “Mooz-Lum,” Traiq Mahdi (Evan Ross) experiences the pull of two competing influences – the strict Muslim upbringing engineered by his father and his desire for a normal social life. by Julia Griggs
Special to the Tri-State Defender
In the film drama “Mooz-Lum,” Traiq Mahdi (Evan Ross) experiences the pull of two competing influences – the strict Muslim upbringing engineered by his father and his desire for a normal social life. He enters college in a state of confusion. And when the attacks of 9/11 happen without warning, he suddenly is forced to make the biggest decisions of his life.
| The Memphis screening of “Mooz-lum” presented (left to right) Tauheedah Madyun, Saleem Madyun, Jerrian Rashada and Hadiyah Duncan with the opportunity to talk with the film’s writer and director, Qasim “Q” Basir. (Photo by Earl Stanback)|
“This film was in my heart because there has been a consistent, negative and inaccurate portrayal of Muslims in movies post 911,” Basir said during an interview with the Tri- State Defender.
“Mooz-Lum is one of the first American feature films depicting the life of a young Muslim American. The all-star cast includes: Danny Glover, Nia Long, Roger Guenveur Smith, Summer Bishil, and Ross.
“I was born and raised Muslim. I know Islam to be very different, peaceful, loving and accepting,” said Basir. “I wanted to make a film that people could connect to and understand in a more human way rather than the demonization that Muslims have been portrayed in other films,” said Basir.
Dr. Awadh A. Binhazim, Muslim Chaplain at Vanderbilt University, traveled to Memphis for the event.
“Everybody should see ‘Mooz-Lum’ because many lessons can be learned,” he said. “Muslims are citizens in this country and they have pledged allegiance to the Constitution of this country. Muslims are active citizens in this country, because they work and attend many schools, colleges, and universities. So, they should be accepted as American Muslims.”
Yehaan Paten, president of Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of Memphis, said, “The film offers a different perspective of the Muslims’ life post 9/11, and the struggle we face as being Muslims in today’s society.”
Islam is stereotyped, said Paten, and “not necessarily understood the way it should be.
Marcus Peak called the film moving, noting that it showed that the events of 9/11 affected Muslims as well.
“We are all one country and we need to pull together,” said Peak. “We shouldn’t single out one group and label them as dangerous. If everyone had the opportunity to see this film it would question their attitude about Muslim Americans.”
Basir, who makes his writing and directorial debut with this venture, said film making is “my journey. I’ve decided I need to do what I love, and make a difference while doing so.”