After President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, and a spike in hate crimes against Muslims, one Jewish filmmaker is pushing back. Joshua Seftel produced a documentary called “The Secret Life of Muslims.”
“American Muslims still face an uphill battle in the national imagination. The current political climate spurred on by constant fear mongering during this election cycle, as well as the saturation of negative stereotypes that flood the news and media continue to make Muslims the target of suspicion and hostility,” read an online description of Seftel’s video series, hosted on the web sites of Vox and USA Today.
“The Secret Life of Muslims” tries to change that environment by featuring American Muslims describing their hopes, desires, worries and accomplishments in their own words. Included in the film are prominent figures like religion professor Reza Aslan and civil rights activist Linda Sarsour.
Seftel, an award winning documentarian, told the Times of Israel that his involvement in the “Secret Life of Muslims” in part sprang from his childhood experiences, when he was picked on for being a Jew in upstate New York. “There wasn’t much he could do as a boy to fight anti-Semitism. Today he has the professional tools to counter negative portrayals of another group in the media,” the news site wrote.