The Official Trailer

Since the tragic events of September 11, anti-Muslim sentiment has become increasingly prevalent in America. This phenomenon, referred to by many as “Islamophobia,” has lead to a significant fe! ar of a largely misunderstood world religion. By 2010, TIME Magazine reported that an astonishing 62 percent of Americans had still never met a Muslim. However, much of the American population holds an opinion of this group. “Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti-Muslim Sentiment in America” began its research phase in Fall 2011 with production commencing in June 2012. The team traveled to Washington D.C., New York City, Gainsville, and Naples, Florida to discover the effects of post-9/11 anti-Muslim sentiment on the American psyche.
We have set out to open a discussion about a largely marginalized portion of American society, explore how Islam is defined in America, and counter negative impressions and stereotypes of this group. While empowerment can be difficult to implement effectively, it can begin with the simple act of creating a personal connection to breakdown harmful stereotypes. To make this personal connection, we introduce the audience to a young married Muslim couple – an Iraqi, veiled Muslim woman and a Mexican convert to Islam. Delving into their own personal experiences with Islamophobia, award-winning Muslim comedians Dean Obeidallah and The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi explain comedy’s role in combating media’s negative portrayal of the American Muslim minority.


 By Cassady Coulter

The Northwest Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced on May 4, that the documentary produced by MediaLab has been nominated for a student Emmy Award. This is the third time in five years that MediaLab has been honored with a student Emmy nomination.

Silver-Gold“Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti Muslim Sentiment in America” is a 30-minute documentary that tackles the fear-centered media coverage of Muslims in the United States that has caused backlash against Muslims in America.

The documentary chronicles the lives of Carlos Sandoval and Bashair Alazadi, who fell in love at PLU and learned to overcome the obstacles our society has created for Muslims in America.

Co-producers of the documentary, JuliAnne Rose and Heather Perry, say they are incredibly thrilled about the nomination. “We worked many long hours on this important story. We are grateful that it is being recognized,” Perry said.

“Beyond Burkas and Bombers” was nominated alongside three other long-form student productions: two from the University of Oregon and one from the University of Montana.

Chief editor of the documentary, Andrea Capere, expressed her happiness about the nomination, noting its significance for PLU. “We are truly honored to be considered alongside two big media schools with such great notoriety,” she said.

The documentary was first shown in January in a PLU Journalism and Conflict class. The documentary was then offered to a wider audience at Pacific Lutheran University this spring.  The documentary was well received by students and community members. At this event the documentary was live-streamed online and viewers around the world were able to watch and share their input through live tweets.

The MediaLab documentary was funded by a grant from the Wang Center for Global Education at PLU. The documentary’s producer, PLU senior JuliAnne Rose, was ecstatic about the nomination. “We are fortunate at PLU to have the Wang Center and MediaLab to provide students with the opportunity to ask the meaningful questions and the resources to delve into some of the most important social issues of our day,” Rose said.

The team hopes that this will help spread the word about such a controversial topic and bring anti-Islam sentiment in America to the forefront. The issue is something the documentary team thinks is worth discussing and is becoming increasingly relevant given recent news events.

Media portrayal of Islam in recent years has lead to harsh negative generalizations made about all Muslims. The Emmy-nominated documentary delved into how to break down those barriers and how to prevent such harsh judgments that can condemn an entire group by the actions of a small minority. The documentary addresses the use of comedy as a strategy to break down such barriers.

The Emmy award winners will be announced at the annual Emmy Awards ceremony June 15, 2013 in Seattle.

An Exciting End in Sight

With January Term at PLU coming to a close, “Beyond Burkas & Bombers” has come together beautifully. JuliAnne and Heather have been perfecting their handiwork for the past several months and are eagerly anticipating the April 11, 2013 premiere.

With only the final edits left, a well deserved end is now in sight. Having dedicated hours upon hours to this project, both Heather and JuliAnne are excited to show the world what they have created.  They also won’t mind getting out of the editing suite!

Please join Heather, JuliAnne and MediaLab for the premiere of, “Beyond Burkas & Bombers: Exploring Anti-Muslim Sentiment in America” on PLU’s campus in the Studio Theater on April 11, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Compliments, criticisms, and overall sweet success

This evening, MediaLab enjoyed a private screening of the new “Beyond Burkas & Bombers” documentary, expertly put together by co-editors JuliAnne Rose and Heather Perry. The duo has pieced together a compelling and enlightening story that sheds light on harmful anti-Muslim sentiment in America. Members of MediaLab were flush with compliments and suggestions to help the editing team improve upon this solid foundation. Though far from done, BB&B is shaping up to be an outstanding piece of investigative journalism.

Progress, Progress! Read All About It!

After some strategic storyboarding and additional filming sessions, the puzzle that is “Beyond Burkas and Bombers” is coming together nicely. With the addition of new team member Heather Perry, BB&B has made significant progress in the past few weeks. This coming week, the editing team will be showing a preliminary private screening for members of MediaLab to critique and offer constructive criticism to improve the project.

A Change of Date

With the school year underway and daunting technical difficulties still plaguing the BB&B team, an executive decision has been to pospone the documentary’s premiere date to April 11th, 2013. This decision, settled upon by MediaLab leadership, advisors and the documentary team, will give this project the extra time needed to truly make a powerful and successful story come to life. We continue to strive towards an exemplary product that will shed much needed light onto this difficult and often convoluted topic.

Please Excuse the Technical Difficulties…

After an unreasonable amount of technical mishaps and difficulties, the Beyond Burkas & Bombers team is back and ready to go! Editing for the documentary is well underway and a trailer is being finalized and will be released soon. Stay tuned for details!