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New Muslim Cool

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PBS Premiere: June 23, 2009


Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez pulled himself out of drug dealing and street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. Now he's moved to Pittsburgh's tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family and take his message of faith to other young people through hard-hitting hip-hop music. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself. New Muslim Cool takes viewers on Hamza's ride through streets, slums and jail cells — following his spiritual journey to some surprising places in an America that never stops changing. Produced in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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TAGS: 9/11, islam, latinos, music, muslim, muslim american

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Film Information

New Muslim Cool (90 min.)

Premiere Date: June 23, 2009

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Filmmaker Statement | Critical Acclaim | Press Release


Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

New Muslim Cool came out of my long-standing interest in the power of pop music and culture to create social change, and a deep feeling that we urgently need to look for common ground as our world grows increasingly diverse and interconnected.”

— Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

New Muslim Cool possesses a kind of beauty that sneaks up on you: it is in Hamza’s humility, in the dignity with which he confronts so much of his misfortune, in his commitment to rehabilitating drug dealers because, in his mind, no one else will.”

— Ginia Bellafante
The New York Times

Read full review »

Thank goodness, this is the story of the new America that is unfolding — the one that young Americans across traditional divides are claiming everyday as their own.”

— Bakari Kitwana
NewsOne / Huffington Post

Disarming docu New Muslim Cool... [is] a fine illustration of the melting pot's latest cultural flavors, as well as a helpful look past post-9/11 Islamic stereotypes...”

— Dennis Harvey

Spellbinding... San Francisco filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor gives us the full dimension of a Muslim American man who's a rapper, educator, father, husband and idealist.”

— Jonathan Curiel,
San Francisco Chronicle

New Muslim Cool explores a world that few Muslims are aware of, a streetwise scene filled with mixed cultures, economic hardships, and hip hop.”

— Zahed Amanullah

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A Co-Production of

Logo: LPB

Logo: CAAM

In Partnership with

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