Published in early December 2015, this AJ+ video features a compilation of American Muslims talking about how they feel being a Muslim in America in the contemporary Islamaphobic social and political context. They describe feelings such as feeling unapologetic, oppressed, overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, uncomfortable, tired, depressed, tense, sad, frightened, hurt, and worried with regards to what one describes as the escalating Islamaphobic, anti-Muslim, racist rhetoric that dominates U.S. public discourse from sources including presidential candidates, other prominent public figures, and the news.
AJ+ is a digital news, politics, and current events channel by Al Jazeera Media Network.
What do you need to know about the social and historical context of this video in order to understand the feelings expressed by the American Muslims in the video?
What is Islamaphobia? What are the dangers of stereotyping, generalizing, and stigmatizing groups of people based on difference?
Aside from direct contact, where and how do you learn about people with different backgrounds and cultures? Why does it matter how people from underrepresented groups are portrayed and discussed in media, such as in the news, on television, and in movies? Why does it matter how people from underrepresented groups are talked about by powerful public figures, such as presidential candidates?
What other major historical moments come to mind when thinking about large groups of people being unjustly targeted, stigmatized, and punished because of their religious, racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds?
In what ways can we challenge racist, damaging public rhetoric perpetuated by public figures and in the news?
What is the intended message of this video? Do you think it is successful in conveying its message?