"Religion of Peace: Media (Mis)Perceptions of Islam, 10 Years After 9/11," a film written and produced by Junfu Han, Art and Art History and photojournalism student; and Andrew Beale, a recent graduate of Communication and Journalism, premieres in the UNM Student Union Ballroom A on Friday, Sept. 9 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. and at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, 202 Harvard Dr. SE on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. The suggested donation is $5.
The film is 40 minutes long. Questions for the film's producers will follow.
In the 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, media portrayals of Muslims in the United States still present a misguided interpretation of Islamic culture and religion, as exemplified in the framing of a public community center as "the 9/11 mosque," a striking recent example of the way the media misrepresents Islam.
"To my Muslim friends, the word ‘Muslim' is equated with ‘terrorist.' This is an unfair and inaccurate reflection of a religion," Han said.
"Actual Islamic voices are underrepresented in the media sphere. When citing experts, the media often uses religious studies experts, not practitioners of the faith," Beale said.
"Our documentary will give UNM Muslim students and the wider Muslim community a chance to add their voices to the discussion," Beale said.
"Through the film we hope to correct many negative stereotypes about Muslims and Islam as a religion. Islam is a significant part of American culture and strongly represented at UNM. Our purpose is to foster understanding and cohesion among various social and religious groups on campus and promote equity and diversity among students," Beale said.
Han said that the subjects in the film talk about how they are treated in post-9/11 America. "We asked our subjects what the principle tenets of Islam are and what they think the public should know about their religion. By giving them a chance to present their religion for themselves, our film will correct cultural misunderstandings about Islam," Han added.
For more information on the film, call 505-604-1347.
Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org