Yes, really. As a moderate Muslim, I’ve had my fair share of harassments post 9/11. Though I’ve chosen not to be too vocal about it, watching the movie couple of days back really unfolded a story that countless Muslims like me faced around the world. One that of being labeled a terrorist or looked upon with suspicion all the time. Of trying to justify what you are not rather than what you are.
My name is Khan dwelled on this subject beautifully. On stereotyping on basis of name or religion.
Questions are always asked as to why Islam is such a violent religion. It actually is not. It is of peace and compassion. For fellow Muslims. For fellow humans. For humanity. Finally someone has depicted this in true light.
I know how it feels when someone looks at you top to bottom with that look in his/her eyes. I’ve had my baggage rechecked all over again at airport security after officers ask me my name. I had pressing questions from immigration officers before stamping my passport. I’ve had people asking me if Masood Azhar or Abu Salem are my relatives. I’ve had strangers ask me questions on things I’ve not done or even thought off before. I’ve accepted this as a trade off for being who I am.
MNIK has touched on terrorism, hijab (veil), jihad (religious war), charity (zakat), public service, compassion, love etc. It has touched on how one can be misguided or be guided and how it is a choice. MNIK has touched upon the lives of millions of ordinary Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism or terrorist activities yet are branded as one.
MNIK has shown that there is nothing wrong to follow a particular faith or religion. And that it is a deeply personal thing. And everyone is entitled to his or her set of beliefs.
Edited to add: Also read what Maria has to say on the same subject at http://cut-to-cut.blogspot.com/2010/02/it-was-khantastic.html