New Muslim Cool Screening and Q&A with Film Subject Hamza Pérez
On October 10, 2009, the Pluralism Project co-sponsored a screening of New Muslim Cool at the Sackler Museum at Harvard University. Directed by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, this film tells the true life story of Hamza Pérez, a Puerto Rican American hip hop artist who converted to IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to... at age 21. Before the screening, the Sackler Museum offered extended hours for the special exhibit, Sacred Spaces: The World of Dervishes, Fakirs and SufisSufism is often called “the heart of Islam,” as its emphasis on the inner life enlivens and supplements the outward practices of ritual and legal obligation. It is not a sect of Islam, but rather a stream of interpretation stressing the interior path,.... After the film, Hamza Pérez answered questions from the nearly 300 students, faculty, staff, religious leaders, and community members in attendance. Dr. Diana L. Eck, director of the Pluralism Project; Ray Williams, director of Education, Harvard Art Museums and Pluralism Project Affiliate; and Dr. Ali Asani, associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program also offered their reflections on the film. This event was co-sponsored by the Pluralism Project, the Harvard Art Museum, and Cooperative MetropolitanA Metropolitan is the title given to a bishop, used especially in the Orthodox family of churches today. Ministries, with Active Voice, the Center for the Study of World Religions, the Harvard Foundation, the Harvard Islamic Society, the Hiphop Archive at Harvard University, the Islam in the West Program, the Muslim American Society Boston Chapter, the Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program. Photos by Zachary Ugolnik.