Miral: a Movie about Israel/Palestine Causes Controversy
Posted March 28, 2011 by Kamal Nawash
Over the last few days, several pro Israel groups, and pro
Palestinian groups have contacted the Free Muslims Coalition to
support or oppose a new movie called Miral.
On March 15, 2011, the U.N. General Assembly hosted Julian
Schnabel's film, "Miral" about a young Palestinian girl growing up
in East Jerusalem. Miral is the first American movie
about Israel-Palestine told from the perspective of Palestinian
Following the screening, journalist Dan Rather moderated a panel
discussion on the movie where he called the film "moving" and then
asked Schnabel, why a devout Jew would make a film about the
difficult lives of Palestinians in Israel.
Schnabel noted that as a Jewish man, "I love the state of Israel"
but "I think that if you listen to the other side there might be a
chance of making peace.
The movie has caused enormous controversy. Some Jewish groups have
called it anti-Israel and anti Semitic while other groups have
supported it for depicting the reality of Palestinians living in
Jerusalem without equality or citizenship.
The biggest critics of the movie have been the Israeli government,
AJC and ADL. While the biggest supporters of
the movie have been Jewish Voices for Peace, MPAC, J Street, AAPER, and AJJP.
"Miral" has been released in NY and Los Angeles, by The
Weinstein Company. The Free Muslims Coalition has not had the
benefit of seeing the movie to pass judgment and so we ask those
who are able to see the movie to post a critique of the movie on
the Free Muslim website at: http://www.freemuslims.org/blog/?id=123
To see a Free Synopsis of the movie, visit: http://miralmovie.com.
For Tickets contact the Weinstein Company on 212.845.8650 or email at
If you have questions contact Kamal Nawash of
the Free Muslims at 202-776-7190, [email protected];
Posted March 15, 2011 by Kamal Nawash
By Kamal Nawash
These are new and exciting times in the Middle East and North
Africa. The world has witnessed two nonviolent revolutions in Tunis
and Egypt that brought down two powerful leaders in a matter of
days. Other countries are experiencing similar calls for change and
in the case of Libya, the call for change has turned deadly.
As was the case during the uprising in Egypt, many Americans
requested the U.S. government to actively side with the
demonstrators or those who want change. This is a MISTAKE. The U.S.
should NOT attempt to influence the outcome in the changes taking
place in the various Arab Countries.
To the extent that change occurs in Arab governments, it should
be organic without any interference from outside powers. The United
States is not popular in any Arab country. This is due to decades
of American involvement in the Arab world that includes the Iraq
war, Arab/Israeli conflict and numerous other strategic decisions
taken by the United States since WWII. Consequently, any liberation
or freedom movement that receives overt help from the United States
will be delegitimized in the eyes of the people they are trying to
liberate. This is why the Libyan rebels, who are desperate for
help, specifically said they don't want American military
involvement on the ground. The rebels know that if the U.S. joins
the battle on their side, the rebels will lose most of their
support from the Libyan people.
For the most part, the U.S. should be on the sidelines in the
call for change in the Middle East. The U.S. can play an indirect
role, however. One of the reasons that People like Qadaffi refuse
to step down from power is because doing so could mean suicide.
Qadaffi has nowhere to go and if he stays in Libya after stepping
down, he will be killed, jailed or humiliated. The U.S. should
sincerely suggest a way out for Qaddafi and other leaders who find
themselves in the same predicament. It is not enough for a U.S.
president to tell Qaddafi to leave Libya as Obama has done. The
U.S. should try to convince rebels in Libya and the global
community in general to guaranty Qaddafi's safety and provide him
with immunity from future prosecution from any country. If such an
offer was on the table then leaders such as Qaddafi of Libya and
President Saleh of Yemen may seriously consider stepping down from
Any leader who faces danger to his life and his family's life is
likely to fight to the end. The world would be better off by
offering leaders like Qaddafi a safe and comfortable
Please respond to this article by posting your comments
For More information contact Kamal Nawash at the Free
Muslims Coalition: www.freemuslims.org;
Rep. King Hearings on Radicalization of Muslims--How should Muslims respond?
Posted March 07, 2011 by Kamal Nawash
On March 10, 2011, Representative Peter King, R-N.Y., of the
Department of Homeland Security Committee will hold hearings on the
radicalization of Muslims in America. Not surprisingly, most Muslim
organizations have accused Representative King of pursuing an anti
Muslim agenda and of being a hypocrite since he was a strong
supporter of the Irish Republican Army, which the United States
labeled a terrorist organization. Representative King has fired
back that the Muslim community has not done enough to assist law
enforcement in fighting terrorism and that 85 percent of Muslim
Mosques are controlled by radicals or the Muslim Brotherhood.
Consequently, a controversy has erupted around the hearings and
King's allegation that the Muslim community has a problem with
extremism has received more media attention than any rational
Muslim leader could possible want.
The Free Muslims Coalition does not know the intention of
Representative King but we do know that the response of traditional
Muslim organizations, in opposing the hearings, has done a
disservice to the Muslim community.
It is a well known fact that American Muslims are perceived as
extreme and radical by many Americans. Even if Representative King
is insincere and has bad intentions, Muslim leaders should embrace
the hearings and take the lead in understanding and eliminating the
cause of radicalization, to the extent that it exists among Muslims
in America. When Muslims take the lead in the fight against
radicalism, extremism and terrorism then it will be difficult for
their critics to cast the blame on all Muslims or Islam for the
actions of a few deranged lunatics.
For this reason, the Free Muslims Coalition salutes Dr. Zuhdi
Jasser, a devout Muslim and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum
for Democracy, for taking the lead in the fight against extremism.
We can only hope that other Muslim leaders learn from Dr. Jasser's