Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Review of Unity Productions Foundation "On a Wing and a Prayer"

Unity Productions Foundation's latest film to be broadcast on PBS is "On a Wing and a Prayer."

The film follows Monem Salam, an employee of Amana Mutual Funds living in Bellingham, WA, as he seeks to acquire a pilot's license.

Along the way, we get a curious look at Muslim domestic life, aviation and aviators, and the work of the travelling committed Muslim businessman and activist. It was quirky, but I liked it, and I think it is precisely the kind of thing Unity Productions Foundation should be putting out. After heavy topics such as the life of the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the history of the Iberian Peninsula, and the attempts of a Muslim slave in the United States to redeem himself and his family, this film and others like it will help "normalize" Muslims in the United States. It brings us closer to the day when the description "Muslim" will bring no more of an image to the mind than "Catholic", "Baptist", "Jew", "Hindu" or "Atheist." And, yes, it would be nice if the image of "Muslim" was honesty, hard work, sincerity, devotion, but I'd be satisified with a neutral, blank slate. I think it's impossible to expect that Muslims will achieve the more positive idealized notion we promote because we simply don't behave that way. Our media productions should target that blank slate.

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