Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Islam

Slumdog Millionaire (or I Want to Sue the Indian Government: Memories of Gods, Lovers, and Slumdogs)

An old Native American curse goes like this, “May all your dreams come true!” For many years, I had a dream; I wanted very badly to visit mysterious India. Last month my wish unexpectedly came true. Forbidden Sun Dance, my most recent documentary, was selected to compete in the Tri-Continental Human Rights Film Festival in India.

Desiring Arabs

On September 24, 2007, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran drew derisive laughter from a group at Columbia University when he announced, "In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon." Joseph A. Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia, was likely among the few who were not mocking this assertion.

Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema

Professor Negar Mottahedeh's critical study of post-revolutionary Iranian film industry, Displaced Allegories, is an intelligent, stimulating, and well-written analysis of "a woman's cinema" after 1979. The cinematic industry has been widely criticized by Iranian feminists for its problematic and stereotypical representation of women.

Love in a Headscarf: Muslim Woman Seeks the One

Okay, I’ll admit it. When I first heard the title, my immediate reaction was to roll my eyes. “Not again!” I thought.

The Jewel of Medina

There was a lot of manufactured controversy over The Jewel of Medina. As a practicing Muslim, I fully expected to hate it based on the very idea that it is a fictionalized account of a revered woman: A’isha, wife of our Beloved Prophet. The media made a bit of noise about how it took a particular event in A’isha’s life and twisted it into a “sexier” story. Like most Muslims, I expected it to offend me. I admit I went into reading this novel with a bias.

The Blue Manuscript

The Blue Manuscript, featuring an indigo cover laced with gold detail, aesthetically embodies its elusive subject, a legendary medieval copy of the Quran. Al Khemir's novel traces the archaeological expedition in search of the manuscript yearned for by collectors and scholars alike.


Reading this review will tell you all you need to know about Taken. If you haven't see the film, perhaps now is the time for you to cease reading, as spoilers abound.

Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror

An outstanding, courageous, and straight-from-the-heart book by a very remarkable woman, _Now They Call Me Infidel _gives an inside view of the sociopolitical and religious facets of Middle Eastern countries. Nonie Darwish is the daughter of Colonel Mustafa Hafaz, a high ranking Egyptian intelligence officer who was killed and hailed as a "Shahid," the highest honor bestowed on a Muslim that can be achieved by being killed during Jihad against the enemies of Islam.


Malene Choi Jensen’s InshAllah impresses with its muted visuals and quiet background score. Sabha Khan is a Danish Muslim girl, struggling to create an independent life. She is devoted to her family, has wonderfully supportive friends. She is obviously intelligent, but is unable to find work because of her religious identity and her decision to wear a head scarf. Interspersed with interview footage are sequences depicting Sabha’s home and social lives. She reads to us the countless rejection letters from potential employers—all attempting to conceal their blatant racism and xenophobia.

The New Voices of Islam: Rethinking Politics and Modernity

In The New Voices of Islam, Mehran Kamrava compiles a selection of writings from Muslim reformists whose voices have been silenced and marginalized for much too long.

Nazrah: A Muslim Woman's Perspective

Muslim women have received a lot of media attention recently: driver's license bureaus insisting they remove their head covering, fellow travelers regarding them suspiciously and with pity, and an enterprising Australian woman recently came out with a “burqini” that allows Muslim women to swim without violating their modesty standards. Rarely, though, do Westerners get to hear from Muslim women themselves. Farah Nousheen is an activist based in Seattle, WA.

Arab-American Comedy Tour

Most of the time stand-up comedy is either hot or cold for me, but Arab-American Comedy Tour was lukewarm. Dean Obeidallah made being politically insightful hilarious, but the stereotyping and misconceptions began to be redundant. I do think some of the material was fresh. What I liked about Dean was that he is versatile.

Breaking the Silence: French Women’s Voices from the Ghetto

In her recently translated book Breaking the Silence, Fadela Amara attempts to rework and redefine feminism as it relates to her specific time and place. As a Muslim girl of Algerian immigrant parents growing up in the projects, Amara’s experience of feminism as the term is traditionally defined by western academics was non-existent. In fact, her book critiques the very term as it exists now, perceived by her to be owned by the white middle and upper-class women who coined it.