WATCH: New Film Depicts Closeted Muslims Under FBI Surveillance

Director Jay Dockendorf was appalled when he found out about the FBI’s program of secret spying on mosques in Brooklyn a few years ago. In a post-9/11 world, tensions are still high regarding Muslims in New York City – and well, the United States as a whole – over a decade later. As a result, Dockendorf became inspired.

An upcoming independent film Naz + Maalik follows two closeted Muslim teens as they go about their day in Bed-stuy, Brooklyn. While it’s a day in the life of two lovers, it’s also described as “a love letter to the grit and color of Brooklyn; a cold-eyed reflection on the effects of surveillance and the War on Terror; a film about the parallels and paradoxes of national and sexual identities.”

To make the film’s screenplay as authentic as possible, Dockendorf interviewed Muslims throughout Brooklyn, including a handful of closeted individuals who still conceal their sexuality from their conservative (and some say, oppressive) communities.

While shooting has completed, Dockendorf still needs funds to complete post production so he launched a Kickstarter campaign which as of today has raised over $31,000 of the $35,000 goal.

H/t: HuffPo

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  • Q8_A

    I applaud their effort to shed light on the struggle gays with different cultural backgrounds face.

    I can somewhat relate to this. I’m a former Muslim (by 21, I’m now 22), and I remember the fear of being outed to my community. I even moved to a bigger city (LA) for my masters just to get away from small town concentrated community where I did my bachelors.

    Not to mention the struggle to reconcile the religion that you grew up with since childhood with my orientation. But I just couldn’t and I now oppose the whole idea of religion.

    I know some some gay Muslims (and hetero ones) who consider being “Muslim” a mere cultural identity rather than an ideology. That is particularly true for second and later generation immigrants. I’m curious how do the couple represented in the movie relate to Islam.

  • 2eo

    @Q8_A: The paranoid fear of the left by the US [and us in the UK] governments, which started after 9/11 by Bush and Blair and carried on through Obama and Cameron coupled with the overt wars of ideaology have left any muslim, especially those in a minority in the minority as it were are vastly more likely to be under surveillance.

    In fact given what we’ve seen from the Snowden files I wouldn’t be surprised if every registered muslim is on a watchlist.

    The christian right has this ridiculous idea that we on the left are in an unholy tryst with islamists, who to make it fit are presented as left wing and not fascist, which they are.

  • fxxx10

    @Q8_A: Very interesting. Let’s get in touch, shall we? Go to my profile and e-mail me. Thanks :)

  • fxxx10

    @Q8_A: Lol, I just realized you couldn’t go to anyone’s profile, so here’s my e-mail: [email protected]. I share your view and I want to know your story. Thanks once again :)

  • jeff4justice

    Good luck. Remember, the FBI is a tool of the evil 2-party system charade. The NSA watches you, the President signed NDAA, and police are brutalizing people daily.

    This will only get worse if you keep voting for the failed 2-party system instead of moving on to real progressive options.

    Notice no LGBT groups making a fuss about this topic.

  • Kangol

    This sounds like an important film highlighting a number of major issues (federal, state and police surveillance, surveillance and profiling of Muslims, issues around sexual orientation, identity and culture; race, religion, and sexualities; and so much more). I am looking forward to helping the filmmaker out as I can and seeing this when it’s done.

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