Luckily Blueprint Studios agreed with me and took a different approach to Muslim identity.
1. BuzzFeed’s video focused on stereotypes. Yawn.
“I’m not angry. I’m not forced to wear a headscarf. I’m not dangerous. I’m not a terrorist.”
At this point I just wanted to scream, “Okay, everyone gets it at this point.”
When a video spends most of its screen time focusing on persuading others that Muslims aren’t scary, oppressed, or terrorists, you’re missing the point about my faith. Muslims have bigger things to discuss besides convincing people that we don’t hate America.
And media outlets aren’t discussing them. Instead, they opt for the knee-slapper “I ate pork once. Woops!” or how going through TSA is a chore.
2. Yes, we’re people, just like you. But we also face a unique set of circumstances.
I’m tired of dialogue that states, over and over, that Muslims are people. Because it should be a no-brainer at this point. Rather than saying “Look! They do the same things you do! They’re harmless! They really are human beings!” why not talk about the actual, human parts of us? The emotions and situations that us humans face, specifically.
Being angry is human. Being upset about the civil rights movements in our parent’s countries is human. Being livid with how immigrants are treated, and how we are treated — these are all subjects that we want to talk about.
3. Blueprint Studio’s video actually taught you something new.
I can say at this point that many people (yes, even many Muslims) don’t want to care how peaceful we are.
And if they do, what does it accomplish, and how practical is that? I’m glad you watched a BuzzFeed video about how Muslim people are…well, people. Would you like a gold star?
This video gives awareness on my struggles. Rather than leaving off on the “I hate Jews,” it goes into more detail: “I hate Zionism. Which is a globally recognized form of racism.” Muslims aren’t angry because they’re terrorists, they’re angry because people assume they’re terrorist, and then go to hate rallies against Muslims. Blueprint talked about how Muslims believe in fair wages, not publishing satire, and not droning countries.
But no, BuzzFeed, bring up prejudice against the hijab again. People haven’t heard that one before!
Ultimately, this video recognizes that it’s not the job of Muslims to explain things, justify their actions, or apologize for being themselves.
Even if you think that they do, “it’s hard to make complex arguments about race, history, faith and culture in condensed YouTube videos.”