West is West, the sequel to the phenomenally successful film East is East is in the cinemas. Fans have had to wait a long time for this moment. The first film blew us away.What follows is the usual ‘Wah! Muslims are always portrayed as terrorists or religious fanatics!’ rubbish.
Success, however, does not always nudge the gatekeepers to open their minds and eyes. In general, the British film and TV drama industries are deeply uninterested in most stories by and about British Muslims – a term I use broadly to mean all those from that background, believers and not.In other words, even if you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or nothing at all, you’re still a ‘British Muslim’ as far as Yaz is concerned…
A series of assumptions lock arms and prevent entry to Muslims, perhaps because Muslims are thought too dangerous – fatwas and all that – or too touchy. And many are. So what? Most of us would like to see our diverse lives and dreams reflected, frontiers pushed out.Then get your own money put behind these sorts of projects, and get out there and get them done. How hard is that?
Surely your fellow ‘British Muslims’ will help?
But by far the most mind-boggling assertion is this one:
When 9/11 happened, he says: "My professional life was shadowed because of my surname – same as Saddam's." The director's chair with his name on it was suddenly a threat. Thankfully Barack Hussein Obama has helped ease things.Yes, because everywhere you go, ol’ Barry insists on his full name on every piece of publicity and documentation, right Yaz?