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An American Mosque is a groundbreaking documentary about the first mosque destroyed by arson in United States history and the Americans affected by this horrible hate-crime. In 1994, arsonists broke into a newly constructed mosque in Yuba City, California, doused prayer rugs with gasoline, then lit the building ablaze. The mosque was reduced to ashes. Everyone asked:
Why would someone attack a community’s house of worship?
Most of the film’s characters are second-generation Americans who speak passionately about hard work and anticipation, heartbreak and fear, triumph and hope. Members of other faiths echo their words, expressing compassion, support, and a shared desire for justice in the wake of the arson. Although deeply saddened, the community’s spirit was not shaken. They wanted to show that all Americans, including Muslims, are entitled to a religious sanctuary and the right to practice their faith openly. The community re-doubled their efforts and constructed a new mosque by 2000. For everyone involved, this film is a tribute to their struggle.
In a broader sense, this documentary resists negative stereotypes of all American Muslims, gives value to every house of worship, and imagines a more tolerant America. As mosque projects are increasingly scrutinized around the country, An American Mosque tells a timely story that all Americans should see to better understand why our Constitutional right to worship needs to be upheld everywhere.
This is a story that speaks to audiences across the nation, regardless of faith.
Producer, David Washburn, is an award-winning filmmaker and interfaith activist. For over a decade, he has worked on films and oral history projects that document America’s rich cultural history to bring forward underrepresented stories. David’s films have shown at film festivals, museums, and libraries nationwide; this is his second film headed for PBS. He is the recipient of grants from the California Council for the Humanities, Center for Cultural Innovation, and U.S. Department of Education, among others.
David is often asked, “Why, as a non-Muslim, did you make An American Mosque?” His response is simple: Our country is greatest when Americans of all backgrounds speak out against injustice, work together in unity, and resist the “otherness” which creates division and fear. History shows this ethos fosters positive change in civil rights struggles, gender equality, and interfaith work.
Shouldn’t we all ask: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
Islamophobia Conference, UC Berkeley, April, 2014 (details forthcoming)
Cleveland Film Festival (World Premier)
Atlanta Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
CAAMFest (San Francisco), Screening & Panel Discussion
Asian American International Film Festival (New York)
Athens International Film & Video Festival (Ohio)
Little Rock Film Festival, Arkansas
Santa Cruz Film Festival
Sacramento Film Festival
Festival of Tolerance, Zagreb, Croatia
Montalvo Arts Center
SALAM Islamic Center, Sacramento, CA
South Bay Islamic Center, San Jose, CA
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, Oakland
University of Southern California, Islam Awareness Week
Sutter County Library
Evergreen Islamic Center, San Jose, CA
Zaytuna College, Berkeley, CA
Al Medina Education Center, Newark, CA
THANKS TO RECENT DONORS – NAMES COMING SOON.
Rashid & Shaheen Ahmad
Arshad & Nadira Alvi
Metwalli Amer & Rosalie Cuneo Amer
Javed & Khalid Siddiqui
Carolyn & Randy Benthien
Aqil & Attia Abbasi
Bashir & Sughran Choudry
Ghulam & Naseem Fareed
Muhammad & Musarat Farooq
Asif & Shahina Haq
Haseeb & Farkhanda Rana
Shereen Z. & Zakaud Din Vera
Ameer Alsawaf & Mona Younis
Nazra Parveen Ahmad
Saeed Sohail & Connie Ahmed
Javid Iqbal & Tasnim Kausar
Sakina & Sajad Janmohamed
Riffat & Muhammad Javed
Musarrat S. Malik
Omar & Suzana Malik
M. H. Mohanna
Tariq & Sowaiba Munir
T. Sami & Saima Siddiqui
Please contact us for booking & preview copies
$25 – Watch the film
$50 – Digital download of film
$100 – DVD + audio podcast
$250 – Name as “SUPPORTER” on website
$500 – Name in FILM CREDITS
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