Your DGB for today is to learn a little something about Muslim-American art and culture.
It has become glaringly obvious in America, particularly since 9/11, that Muslim-Americans have had their faith politicized and demonized by outsiders, their narrative stolen, their identity collectivized and imposed upon them, and their uniqueness and American-ness silenced. Their commonality is their faith, but the identity of Muslim-Americans as individuals knows no boundaries.
When sharing what it means to be a Muslim-American, there can be little that is more powerful than artistic expression; whether it be written, visual, musical or culinary, to name a few. In an effort to connect their faith with their American identity and then share that message with others, Muslim-American artists have carved themselves out a voice in the cultural narrative of this country.
Check out these artistic works of the Statue of Liberty painted with a Muslim twist (few know she was modeled after an Arab woman), this American Flag sewn from the fabric of hijabs, or learn about the music of Omar Chakaki and Nizar Wattad - country music is not just for good ole’ white, southern cowboys anymore.
These words by Michel Moushabeck are a powerful reminder of why those outside the faith need to delve into learning about this dynamic religion and those who practice it:
“I felt that if people in America started reading our literature, eating our food, and listening to our music they would be less likely to want to bomb us and they'd be less likely to support our occupation.”
So, watch this video, pick up one of these children’s books, learn about how food is a connection to faith, resistance, and origins, and listen to this female narrative of Muslim art and culture. If you have time, follow some of the links below to learn more about our fellow Americans and how they're positively impacting art and culture in America.