Canadian Muslim filmmaker and journalist Zarqa Nawaz has created a trilogy of films she calls “terrordies” — comedies about terrorism — to confront stereotypes associated with Muslims. Her production company FUNdamental Films's motto “to put fun back into fundamentalism” supplies the title of her talk in which Nawaz will introduce her films and discuss their development. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Geneva Room.
Described as having a “satirical bent of mind,” her films deploy loads of wit to examine stereotypes of Muslims as terrorists, wife abusers and religious extremists. Her film “BBQ Muslims” was inspired by the media flurry and finger pointing at the Muslim community for the Oklahoma City bombing, and Death Threat by the “fatwa (decree) issued by religious clerics against Salman Rushdie and Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen for their writings” (Radhika, 2003). Nawaz has worked as a freelance writer/broadcaster with CBC radio, and as associate producer on a number of CBC programs, including Morningside. She has also worked with CTV's Canada AM, and CBC's The National, and won the Chairman's Award in Radio Production for her radio documentary, “The Changing Rituals of Death.” Her films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festivals, and have acquired cult status. Her current work is on a feature film, “Real Terrorists Don't Belly Dance,” where she continues to break down repressive and oppressive views of Islamic religion and of Muslim women and men.
An open roundtable discussion with Zarqa Nawaz will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 19, in the Fisher Center, Demarest Hall room 212.
Available films: “BBQ Muslims”; “Death Threat”