NEW YORK PRAYS: jummah project
Does America suffer of Islamophobia? There is no denying that there is an anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. According to a Washington Post-ABC poll taken in 2010, only 37% of all Americans declare they have a favorable view of Islam. “Islamophobia has become the accepted form of racism in America", says Muslim-American writer Arsalan Iftikhar.
Associated Press recently reported that, in the decade since September 11, the New York Police Department transformed itself into a domestic counterintelligence unit, engaging in extensive surveillance and mapping of Muslim student associations in New York and more than a dozen colleges in the Northeast, including Columbia, Princeton, New York University and Yale.
While Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that his police department's monitoring of Muslims was "legal," ''appropriate" and "constitutional", the idea of the surveillance of citizens in a city like New York, which prides itself on ethnic diversity, is at least surprising. "Why is the number of times that we pray per day have anything to do with somebody trying to keep this country safe?", ask Muslim students at Columbia University in New York.
Jummah is a congregational prayer (salaat) that Muslims hold every Friday around noontime.
This series was shot at Columbia University and New York University in 2012.