Monday, June 22, 2009

New Muslim Cool Airs JUNE 23rd on PBS!

The POV documentary New Muslim Cool, about Puerto Rican Muslim hip hop artist Hamza Pérez, airs tomorrow night on PBS.

From the POV website:
Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez pulled himself out of drug dealing and street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. Now he's moved to Pittsburgh's tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family and take his message of faith to other young people through hard-hitting hip-hop music. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself. New Muslim Cool takes viewers on Hamza's ride through streets, slums and jail cells — following his spiritual journey to some surprising places in an America that never stops changing.
I've been eagerly awaiting the airing of this film, and once you see the trailer, I'm sure you too will be be counting down the minutes.

This documentary is especially important in light of the recent conviction of José Padilla, a Puerto Rican convert to Islam, who was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months on conspiracy charges related to his reported involvement with a terrorist plot. Puerto Ricans have always already been seen as "illegal enemy combatants" for resisting the imperialist efforts of the United States, from Lolita Lebron, to Don Pedro, to Filiberto Ojeda-Rios. New Muslim Cool explicitly shows how Puerto Rican converts to Islam are doubly targeted as terrorists, their faith and their Puertorriquenidad supposedly proving their "un-Americanness," making them "necessary" targets in the "War on Terror"

New Muslim Cool also shows the transformative power of music to create what Josh Kun calls audiotopias, or "music's utoptian potential, its ability to show us how to move toward something better and transform the world we find ourselves in."

Please support New Muslim Cool and PBS by tuning in.

For more information:
New Muslim Cool Official Film Site
POV-New Muslim Cool

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