At the University of Washington in Bothell, staff, faculty, deans, and 43 students created this video for the Contemporary Muslim Artists class. They used the popular #MannequinChallenge model to show how Islamophobia is affecting college campuses and students, including violence against Muslim students, protests, and prayers. The audio is incredible in the piece, as they feature audio from a news broadcast of 9/11 attack, reported hate crimes against Muslims, 2016 campaign speeches & protests, Islamic Adhan by Edris Aslami, and “This Land is Your Land” performed by Adel Abidin. It is very powerful call to end hate and Islamophobia.
Here is their project statement:
We are a class of 43 students of diverse races, religious beliefs, and political affiliations, attending the University of Washington Bothell. Brought together through “Arts In Context: Contemporary Muslim Artists” a course taught by IAS faculty member Anida Yoeu Ali, we have been inspired to bring a deeper awareness and compassion in challenging Islamophobia and the rise of anti-racial biases. In class, we discussed how the recent spike in hate crimes and campaign promises about bans and the registration of Muslims continue a post-9/11 fear of “terrorism,” with roots in Orientalist concepts. Our class final project was a challenge put forth by our professor to address the ways in which Muslim bodies engage crisis. Instead of dividing up individually or in small groups, we decided to come together as one large collective creating one ambitious project. We chose to perform a mannequin challenge titled “Shoulder to Shoulder” to address the violence experienced by Muslim communities on and off our campus. Five times a day 1.6 billion Muslims around the world stand “shoulder to shoulder” in peaceful prayer. We want to show that Muslims belong here as much as any of us. We will stand with them in solidarity and we will protect one another from harm and hate. These are our classmates, friends, neighbors, veterans and fellow Americans. Our project counters the national divide between race, religion, and politics as we hope to bring together our communities to reclaim the American value of prizing humanity over hate. Join us in unifying our nation to denounce hate and instead spread hope, compassion, and understanding.