NEW YORK- This past Thursday, I had the privilege of watching CNN’s new “Muslim In America” documentary, “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door.”
The hour long documentary covers the protests of a proposed Mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn by local residents. The story did not receive as much coverage as the infamous proposed “Ground Zero” Mosque, but was an equally interesting and somewhat entertaining look at a piece of America. One that shows a side of America that I do not not see in New York, not the Muslims, who wanted to build the Mosque but the right wing, anti-Muslim religious fanatics who opposed them.
The Lawyer who represented the lawsuit against the proposed Mosque was as funny a bigot as Borat or Archie Bunker with his colorful suits and language. If not for my respect for CNN and Soledad Obrien, I would think that this was a not a documentary, but a mockumentary.
The only characters I could relate to were the daughters of a Muslim professor at the local college, who were smart All-American (at least what I know of America) girls who were valedictorians of their classes.
Forty two years ago, Mike Wallace made the “Hate That Hate Produced,”to show Black Muslims and their hatred for white Americans, now we have a documentary that shows the hatred white Americans have for Muslims. Many people in the audience saw parallel between the ignorance, prejudice and bigotry of whites in the South during the civil rights era and the ignorance, prejudice and bigotry of middle American white people towards Muslims today, as well as a Black man, whos hatred of Muslims perhaps comes from his Muslim ex-wife.