(LOS ANGELES, CA, 2/26/10) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today sent a letter to Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula to thank them for recognizing Muslims' contributions to American society in the newly released film, "My Name is Khan."
The film shows a central Muslim character, played by leading actor Shah Rukh Khan, who preaches the values of kindness, generosity and challenging injustice.
In the letter, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush stated in part:
"The film offers a poignant view of the struggles and ambitions of American Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Arab communities to fully integrate in America after the horrific 9/11 terror attacks. Incidents of harassment and discrimination, such as bullying at schools and hurling racial slurs at women for wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) -- depicted in the film -- mirror trends that have almost become commonplace in the past several years."
CAIR-LA also sent a letter to film's director, Karan Johar, congratulating him on his initiative to humanize American Muslims and their often-maligned faith, Islam.
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"We appreciate Mr. Johar's tenacity and determination in conveying the many significant contributions of American Muslims to a worldwide audience, and urge those who are against the values of peace and harmony to take a lesson from this film," said Ayloush.
CAIR's offices in Los Angeles, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area consulted with Johar on the film. CAIR representatives shared actual anti-Muslim incidents of harassment and discrimination and their impact on Muslims' life, and arranged tours of Muslim and Arab neighborhoods for the director.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org