Video

The Muslims Are Coming! A new film by Negin Farsad & Dean Obeidallah

Check out Dean Obeidallah, Aasif Mandvi and many other comedic minds featured in “The Muslims Are Coming!” as they set out to counter Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments doing what they do best: making people laugh!

Understanding Media Psychology Can Help Break Down Stereotypes

By JuliAnne Rose

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – MediaLab’s Islamophobia documentary team interviewed an expert psychologist at Vassar College, Dr. Dara Greenwood, Ph.D., on the human capacity to perceive and respond to media and how humor can be used both as a vehicle and solution for prejudice on Monday.

Media, news or entertainment, is an industry that depends on viewership. Humans have a natural mechanism to perceive media in all forms, and this is a very complex and diverse process, said Greenwood. Because of this, many stereotypes abound in the media to enable the audience to make that immediate, recognizable connection to the character.

This is why Arabs and Muslims are often portrayed as evil, terrorists, or outsiders in many TV shows and movies in American entertainment media.

To read more, click here.

According to the Clarion Fund, Prejudice is Not Just Black and White

By Leah Traxel

NEW YORK CITY – Established with the mission to oppose radical Islam, the Clarion Fund says they hope to give voice to mainstream Muslims in America.

The Clarion Fund entered into the public eye with their controversial documentaries, The Third Jihad and Obsession, meant to expose the alleged radical Islamist agenda. Critics charge the films as giving a very biased, one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the Islamic faith as extremist and anti-Western.

However, according to Ryan Mauro, National Analyst for the Fund’s website, http://www.radicalislam.org, this is unfounded.

To read more, click here.

American Student in Istanbul Becomes Doubtful of Islam

By Sabina Jafarova Vagifgizi

One American student studying aboard in Istanbul said she had no cause of concern with Islam until her experiences in Turkey. While at first she was willing to participate in speaking out, her parents warned against it and she withdrew her statement.

“I actually have a very interesting experience,” said the American student. “When I was in America I did not have any prejudices or problems with Islam – when I came to Turkey, I experienced a few things that have caused me to be pretty doubtful and unhappy with Islam.”

Most pointedly was the prejudice she experienced from Alevites she encountered in the area, who do not commonly give favor to Americans. Alevites are a large ethno-religious minority population of Shiite Muslims in Turkey who advocate for the secular and populist ideals set forth by Ataturk Kemal in the early 20th Century.

To read more, click here.

The Albanian Model for Religious Tolerance

By Katie Baumann

WASHINGTON, DC – The MediaLab documentary team sat down with Avni Mustafaj, Executive Director of the National Albanian American Council (NAAC), for a conversation of international proportions on Friday.

NAAC is a non-profit organization that pledges its commitment to Albanians worldwide and the promotion of peace and economic development in the Balkans.

In the 1990s, the Balkans experienced tragic conflict as Yugosalvia divided and Bosnia erupted in genocide.

“The way it was positioned in the media was you had the Croats, the Serbs, and the Bosnian Muslims,” said Mustafaj. “Why the Bosnian Muslims, why not just Bosnians.”

To read more, click here.

A Blonde and Two Brunettes Walk Into The White House…

By JuliAnne Rose

While at McClatchy Company on Thursday, just as a long shot, we thought “hey, why don’t we see if we can get press passes for an event around DC while we’re here.” We never expected that we would be able to get into the White House, let alone be 20 feet away from President Obama while he led a press briefing.

When we were told they would be able to get us clearance into the White House pressroom, we were excited enough. Leah had heard rumors that President Obama had returned from his trip to Las Vegas the night before our scheduled trip to the pressroom. Crossing our fingers that maybe he’d call a press briefing, we immediately went out shopping for professional outfits worthy of the White House.

On Friday morning, we made our way to the press entrance and watched as journalist after journalist was let through the gate. They gave us our own press badges and we waited anxiously for our escort to arrive to lead us into the room. This was when we found out that yes, the President himself would be giving the press briefing.

To read more, click here.

If It Bleeds, It Leads: McClatchy Reporters Tell All

By Leah Traxel

To most, the building on 17th street is unremarkable, but to any student of journalism, the McClatchy Co. Washington Bureau is an icon.  The third largest print news organization houses its foreign correspondents and political writers in this building, with reporters at the Pentagon, White House, and Capitol, as well as all over the world.

On the inside, the building looks like any other office, but while most companies are setting daily goals, McClatchy is deciding what you’ll read in tomorrow’s newspaper.

The Islamophobia team went to McClatchy on the recommendation of Karen Peterson at The News Tribune on Thursday. Through the inquiries of the editor at the Washington Bureau, Jim Asher, we connected with four correspondents who had first-hand experience in the Middle East and in political new media.

To read more, click here.