This weekend saw the premiere of a compelling original production by Link TV, Who Speaks for Islam? Hosted by Ray Suarez, the series explores the diversity of Islam in an age when Muslim extremists are laying claim to the religion. The first installment is available online.
Suarez interviews a panel of researchers, scholars, Hollywood producers and actors, that includes Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and co-author of the groundbreaking book Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, and author Reza Aslan (No god But God; How to Win a Cosmic War).
Support for such illuminating content is percolating among a variety of media outlets: The New York Times applauds the "density of information" in the program. On the Huffington Post, Dalia Mogahed emphasizes the importance of open dialogue and understanding different views by examining the warm reception of President Obama in Cairo earlier this year: "Obama's success in Cairo provides a valuable lesson in diplomacy: understanding perspectives we may not agree with makes us stronger, not weaker."
San Francisco Chronicle blogger Tim Goodman is enthusiastic towards the second installment of the program, Muslims on Screen, which examines the role of Muslims in American film and television. Goodman writes, "...the discussion on media portrayals and influence is so relevant and timely. Hell, even Jack Bauer seems to be a changed man on the issues." The program features interviews with actors, writers and producers, including Howard Gordon, Executive Producer of 24 and Kamran Pasha, former writer of Showtime's series, Sleeper Cell, about Hollywood's evolving portrayal of Muslims.
Muslims on Screen premieres Sunday, November 1, on Link TV, and also will air in New York City on CUNY TV on Monday, November 2 at 9:00 am, 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET, and in Los Angeles on LA36 on Monday, November 2 at 7:00 pm PT.
Watch What a Billion Muslims Really Think online: