“I’m Muslim, But I’m Not...” is a BuzzFeed video that addresses stereotypes about Muslims by showing a diverse range of young adult Muslims talking about different aspects of their religious, racial, ethnic, national, and gender identities. The video has two parts, where respondents are shown finishing the sentence “I’m Muslim, but I’m not…” in the first part, and “I’m Muslim, and…” in the second. In the first section, the people in the video state their identities and respond to stereotypes. For example, a hijab-wearing woman states that she is Muslim but is not forced to wear the headscarf, and another woman says that she is Muslim even though she does not wear a hijab. A White man says he is Muslim but does not get stopped at the airport because his name is Tom and he is White, and an Asian man says he is Muslim but not Arab. A Black woman says she is Muslim but she is not an immigrant, and does not hate America. Another woman says she is Muslim, but not homophobic, and another says that she is Muslim, but you can be whatever you want to be. In the second half of the video, the respondents are finishing the sentence, “I’m Muslim, and…” and are shown saying things like, “I’m Muslim, and I’m a feminist,” or “I’m Muslim, and I love listening to rap music,” “I’m Muslim, and I’m descended from pilgrims on the Mayflower,” and “I’m Muslim, and my religion teaches me to love everyone.”
This video was published in 2015 on BuzzFeed and is part of a series of videos addressing stereotypes and identity, such as in the “I’m Asian, But I’m Not…” and the “I’m Latino, But I’m Not…” videos. BuzzFeed is an American internet-based news and entertainment company known for producing content that is popular culture/entertainment-oriented and easily sharable and engaged with through social media. While they also produce news articles, most BuzzFeed content is in quick to digest image and graphics-based forms such as lists, quizzes, and short videos.
What stereotypes about Muslims are the people in the video responding to? Did anything they say surprise you? Did you learn anything new?
How are Muslims portrayed in movies, television, the news, and other media? How does this affect the everyday lived experiences of Muslim and/or Arab people living in places like the U.S., where visibility and diverse representations are limited?
What is Islamaphobia? How does this video diversify stereotypical notions of who Muslims are and what the religion stands for?
What are the dangers of reducing people to one singular aspect of their identities? Do you think this video is successful at demonstrating that people have many identities and are multifaceted? Why or why not?