49 people were murdered and another 53 injured in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando this past weekend. The gunman, according to ongoing investigations, had pledged allegiance to ISIS shortly before carrying out the attack. Some have attempted to pit the LGBT community against the Muslim community in the wake of the shooting, though there has also been strong pushback against succumbing to that narrative.
A PSA released in time for Ramadan earlier this month, then, seems like a fitting reminder in our current climate about who Muslims are. Directed and produced by Tara Miele, the video "Meet A Muslim" is a warm, intimate effort to shatter the stereotypes about Muslims perpetuated by politicians and the media.
Because Muslims, like everyone else, are complex human beings that cannot be pigeonholed into any one role society creates for them.
In the video, many of the participants express their reservations about being Muslim today — from the fear of becoming the target of hate crimes to concerns about whether their children will grow up feeling less worthy than their peers because of their faith.
"We share some commonality of wanting to understand the world around us. And whether it's through Christianity, whether it's through Buddhism, whether you're an atheist, Islam is just one of those paths that help us connect with the world around us," one of the participants says.
"If you're scared of Islam, I would say, meet a Muslim."
Watch the full video here: