Muslim Students Association to host screening of ‘New Muslim Cool’

By Juliana Leprich

NIU’s Muslim Students Association will host Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Perez, star of “New Muslim Cool” as a part of its Discover Islam Week.

The film is about Perez’s spiritual journey. It also addresses the way Muslims are perceived and brings up other parts of the Islamic culture.

“The title was inspired by the Miles Davis album “Birth of The Cool,” a very significant artistic milestone signaling the advent of be-bop jazz and culture,” said Jennifer Taylor, producer/director at Specific Pictures and director of the film. “Looking at young American Muslims as they coalesce into a unique and diverse community melding pop culture with religious traditions and global influences … made me think we needed a title that would be a similar kind of signal.”

The film was selected as a part of Discover Islam Week to shake things up a little bit, said Maria Ahmad, Muslim Students Association secretary.

“We had thought about showing the movie to make to make it a little different than the other events in the week,” Ahmad said. “My cousin knows Perez and that’s how we got in contact with him.”

Ahmad said Discover Islam Week and the film showing are opportunities for people to have a dialogue and ask questions about the Muslim community they might not normally ask. Similarly, Ahmad said this week is about getting the truth out about Islam and getting it out on campus.

“I would encourage anyone to come to this event who has any interest in personal or professional growth,” said Ahmad. “This is one of these places to build peace and understanding.”