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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 03, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

Dear Blogger,

For the first time ever, I rented and watched a Hindi movie from start to finish! Only because this movie was one of the most critically acclaimed foreign-language movie of last year. From the title of the movie, one might think it was a biography of a mega-famous Bollywood actor. No it wasn't. The movie was "My Name is Khan".


Shah Rukh Khan stars as Rizvan Khan, an Indian Muslim with Asperger's Syndrome. He went to San Francisco to live with his brother after their mother died. He met future wife, Mandira (played by Kajol) who was a Hindu divorcee with a young son. Life was fine and dandy until the Sep 11 attacks.

Years after 9/11, their lives and other Muslims in the States were still being tested. When their son was murdered after a soccer game, Mandira became disillusioned and sent Rizvan away. She told him he could only return after he had delivered the President with this message, "My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist". So we followed Rizvan on his trip across America to meet the President.

The melodrama of a Bollywood movie is evident in this film and so is the length of film. However, it has no song and dance that typifies a Bollywood movie and it has a strong Hollywood arthouse production feel to it since it was produced by Fox Searchlight.

I think when any moderate Muslim watches this movie, he can't help but feel like he has gone through the experience of prejudice and racism that 9/11 brought at some point in his life. Even though I live in multi-racial Singapore, Muslims here were unfairly and uncomfortably brought into the limelight just because of one deranged man's actions. Fortunately, our government (say whatever you want of our government) went all out to ensure peace and tolerance rule the day by educating everyone about the true nature of Islam.

The same can't be said of the government in America. Sure Osama bin Laden did a horrendous thing. The whole world condemned it, even till now! But do you know who made it worse? George "trigger-happy" W Bush. He made Osama bin Laden his personal vendetta and all of us, not just the Muslims, are still bearing the brunt of his actions. Only God knows why he was elected president TWICE!

What frustrated me even more was the soft vocals of the moderate Muslims. How we could have allowed the extremists to be so loud in their actions was beyond me. We have made improvements though. Over the years, moderate Muslims have become more vocal in upholding the true meaning of Islam. We are more critical of those who use Islam for their own destructive agenda. We are slowly but surely educating the world that Islam is not a violent religion. No religion is violent. It is people's behaviours and actions that are violent.

We should all learn from our children. Children are blind to colour, gender, size, race, religion and lifestyle choices. All they see are people with a head, a body and pairs of limbs. They will play with anybody. They don't know what prejudice means and segregation is unlike that of an adult's. They want to be friends with anybody!

In the movie, when Rizvan was a boy, he had heard a couple of men talking about killing the Hindus for the massacre against the Muslims in a just happened Hindu-Muslim riot. His mother was shocked to hear him repeating what the men said. To educate the boy with Asperger's, she drew 2 pairs of stick men. A pair with swords and a pair with lollipops. The pair with swords were bad and the pair with lollipops were good. From this picture, could you tell who was a Muslim and who was Hindu? Of course not!

His mother concluded that there were only 2 types of people, good people and bad people. That was brilliant wasn't it?

So let's all shout to the world! My name is _______ (fill in your name here) and I'm not a terrorist.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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