Fifteen years after 9/11, 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.
Building on its work in The Secret Life of Scientists, Seftel Productions' new series, The Secret Life of Muslims, uses humor and empathy to subvert stereotypes and reveal the truth about American Muslims: fascinating careers, unexpected talents, and inspiring accomplishments, providing a counter-narrative to the rampant Islamophobia prevalent in the media.
It features Ahmed Ahmed, Khalid Latif, Rais Bhuiyan, Linda Sarsour, Layla Shaikley, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Dena Takruri, Reza Aslan, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Mona Haydar and Sebastian Robins, Wajahat Ali, Aman Ali, Zahra Noorbakhsh, Maz Jobrani, Omar Regan, Iqbal Theba, and Negin Farsad.
What does it mean to be Muslim? There are 1.7 billion answers.
Khalid Latif: Muslim NYPD chaplain: saluted in uniform, harassed as a civilian
Sarah Stacke/The Moth
Ahmed Ahmed: An American-Muslim comedian on
being typecast as a terrorist
CBS The Early Show
Cross Cultural Entertainment
The Comedy Store
Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times
Royal Oaks Entertainment Inc.
Jude Ferrara/The City Paper
lol flix (YouTube channel)
Warner Bros. Pictures
Rais Bhuiyan: This Muslim American was shot after 9/11. Then he fought to save his attacker’s life
Al Jazeera English
Misty Keasler / Esquire
World Without Hate
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh: Tired of being bullied, this “MuslimGirl” found a way for Muslim women to talk back
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
Women in the World
One helpful rule for being a Muslim on the internet – don’t read the comments
Mona Haydar & Sebastian Robins: After San Bernardino, this couple fought Islamophobia with doughnuts and conversation
Al Jazeera American News
Dena Takruri: Meet Dena Takruri, the Muslim-American journalist working to give voice to the voiceless
NBC Nightly News
Walt Disney Studios
Reza Aslan: Why American TV needs a Muslim Modern Family
Huff Post Live
New York Times
Warner Bros. Pictures
Linda Sarsour: Before organizing the Women’s March on Washington, Linda Sarsour fought for Muslim holidays in NYC
Arab Women Activists & Leaders (A.W.A.L.)
Coalition for Muslim School Holidays
Detroit Public TV
New York 1
New York City Department of Education
New York City Mayor’s Office
New York Times
A Beginner’s Guide To Hijabs: Muslim-American women answer basic questions about the head covering — like whether you wear one during sex.
Funding Provided by
Filmmaker Joshua Seftel began his career at age 22 with the Emmy-nominated Lost and Found, a documentary film about Romania’s orphaned and abandoned children. The PBS broadcast of the film led to the American adoption of thousands of orphaned children. Seftel went on to direct the anti-war film War Inc., a political satire starring John Cusack, Ben Kingsley and Marisa Tomei, as well as the groundbreaking Emmy Award-winning television program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Recently, he created a YouTube series consisting of candid conversations between him and his 79-year-old mother. Seftel's essays and commentaries have appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, and This American Life.
Reza Aslan is a best-selling author (Zealot, No god But God), commentator, professor, and producer for The Leftovers (HBO), Of Kings and Prophets (ABC), Rough Draft (Ovation), and Believer (CNN).
Anna Bick Rowe
Jill Landaker Grunes
Series Created By
Rabab Haj Yahya
Graphic Design by
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art
New York Community Trust
Jonathan A. Brown
© Seftel Productions, Inc. 2016