“New Muslim Cool” Premieres on POV Next Tuesday Night!

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Clear your calendars! Set your DVRs! POV’s 2009 season kicks off on Tuesday, June 23rd with the premiere of Jennifer Maytorena Taylor‘s New Muslim Cool. The film, which follows the spiritual journey of Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez, has received glowing reviews and is sure to start many fascinating conversations. Hamza pulled himself out of drug dealing and street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. In the film, he moves to Pittsburgh to start a new religious community, gets married and spreads his message of faith to other young people through his music. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself.

Find out more about the film and watch filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor talk about her subject, Hamza Pérez, and about her film, in POV’s extended filmmaker interview:

The film premiered in New York City last night with a screening at Lincoln Center, and on Saturday, June 20th, New York’s Rooftop Films will be screening it on the roof of El Museo del Barrio. Check out Rooftop’s interview with Jennifer.

We can’t wait for you to see the film, and we’re eager to hear what you think. Visit the POV website for New Muslim Cool!

Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.
  • Rukayah

    FOREIGNID: 18392
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I am soo happy to see this comming along. I am a muslim convert just as Brother Hamza and Im so glad that the truth and a positive of Islam is in the media. Alhamdulillah, I can not wait to see the show! Allah is the greatest. May Allah reward all of those who are in this project and all who helped out! Ameen.

  • http://www.muslimmuseum.org International Museum of Muslim Cultures

    FOREIGNID: 18393
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Powerful, Alhamdulilah. Insha’Allah, may this film open eyes,subhan’Allah, that refuse to see the truth in regards to Islam. From what little I saw in the review, all young men in America need to watch, no matter what your views on religion is. WATCH! “Tselane”

  • http://www.mcnny.org Meer Abdul-Waali

    FOREIGNID: 18405
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I just saw this documentary at El Museo del Barrio, and truth be told that it was really well made. The film exceeded my expectations and really inspired me. This documentary should be watched by everyone regardless of from whatever ethnicity, race, religion, or background they come from, so long as they want to partake in civic society. It will appeal to those who go through challenges and struggles, and to those who overcome them.

  • Jawhara Childs

    FOREIGNID: 18423
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I plan on seeing this on my PBS next week. Amazing
    and on-time. Br. Hamza is an inspiration and
    role-model for our youth and those he touches with
    his poetry.

  • Nadia Al-Ramahi

    FOREIGNID: 18487
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    This is so inspirational to me…I am so happy that PBS put something like this to broadcast; it’s beautiful, poetic, powerful, hopeful…What a wonderful role-model; this is what our youth needs and what everyone should take as an example that ANYTHING is possible if you put your heart and soul into it. Life can be positive and wonderful…the choice is in your hands. Thank you PBS!

  • MS,CROOM

    FOREIGNID: 18489
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    THIS FILM WAS AMAZING!!!! I LOVE TO SEE YOUNG MEN WHO TURN THERE LIFE AROUND AND NOT ONLY DID THIS YOUNG MAN TURN HIS LIFE AROUND BUT HE’S HELPING OTHER LIKE HIM TURN THERE’S AROUND TO. I SEE NOTHING BUT GREAT THINGS COMING TO HAMZA PEREZ GOD BLESS

  • Philip

    FOREIGNID: 18500
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I truly feel for American Muslims who basically practice their religion privately and by all accounts, “good Americans” and are being harassed. However, they must also realize, that as far as I know, not one single Muslin group has profoundly denounced 9/11. In the eyes of most Americans, that will always make them a hated enemy!

  • Maia

    FOREIGNID: 18525
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Thanks and God Bless to PBS for airing a positive story about American Muslims. My family has been in the North America since the early 1600′s, before there was a “USA”. My ancestors fought in the American Revolution and Civil War, and every war until Vietnam. We have held public offices and served our communities. But because I dress Islamically, I get asked every day if I speak English and what country I’m from. By the way, EVERY Muslim group I’m aware of (CAIR, ISNA, MANA, MYNA…) has soundly and repeatedly condemned 9/11 and every other act of terrorism.
    Almost every depiction of Muslims in the media is negative, so thanks to PBS for offering some of the TRUTH. Should all of America be condemned for the actions of Ted Bundy, Tim McVeigh, or the FOUR American soldiers who raped and murdered a 14 year old Iraqi girl and several members of her family?
    Educate yourselves!

  • Linda

    FOREIGNID: 18559
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I watched “The new Muslim cool” on PBS last night and found it very inspirational. Thanks to PBS for playing this show. May Allah bless Hamza for keeping true to his dream and goals. My son is a convert to Islam and presently incarcerated. Everyone who is in prison needs to have interested people form the community spend time with them… whatever their religion. They need to know someone cares and is listening, not condeming. Keep up the good work Hamza and many blessing to you and your family.

  • Maati

    FOREIGNID: 18562
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Greetings,
    I am an African American woman, married to a puerto rican man. I was so touched by this documentary for many reasons and on many levels. I intend on ordering this documentary to share with my spouse. Race,language,hair,color, does not matter. Love of thy neighbor and thy self. Seek to know the most high.
    Thank you to brother Hamza and his family for sharing with all of us. I was studying Islam when I met my spouse who is catholic. I still study the Bible, and live to learn. I really think that this film will reach many.
    Thank you

  • Cengiz Yetken

    FOREIGNID: 18574
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    “New Cool Muslims”. Thank you. Outstanding work. I wish you presented it at 8pm rather then 10pm.

  • Mohammed Allam

    FOREIGNID: 18577
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I thought the Imam in the film converted to Islam as a rejection to what he imagines the culture to be in the United States, and not for any real religious conviction. His hip hop clothing and sideways baseball hat assure us of that, and the film maker foolishly understood this obvious vagrancy as ‘cool’. Presenting individuals who practice Islam as a rejection of capitalism or the United States presents Islam as a rebellion as opposed to a spiritual practice where people try to become closer to God. The terrorists killing innocent people believe they win God’s favor by doing so, by rebelling, and this program was reflective of that ideology.