The Forum

Welcome to THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN FORUM — where the film and its major themes are open for discussion and debate.

THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN tells the story of a single American Muslim community, bringing many important issues to life and providing a spark for conversation. But no such film can present a comprehensive view of a topic; by nature it is limited to the world of its characters. This FORUM seeks round out the picture — exploring the larger context, bringing in additional perspectives and moving the conversation to the next level.

Read on for original essays from prominent leaders and thinkers, Muslim and non-Muslim, on the film’s major themes. Explore the personal reactions of characters and viewers. Learn about the experiences of other communities. And join the conversation!

Just keep in mind that all essays collected on this site reflect the views of their authors, who were no way required to endorse the film.


Islamic Center of Morgantown imam Sohail Chaudhry argues that Asra does not deserve credit for progress at the mosque.  Read More»

Harvard professor Leila Ahmed explores the larger context surrounding Asra’s activism.  Read More»

Morgantown resident Parween Mascari reacts after attending the Morgantown premiere: “I left the screening with tremendous respect for Islam and its practices, its focus on family, its eloquence and its traditions.”  Read More»

Shahed Amanullah of writes that “confrontational action can sometimes be useful in jarring the conscience of a community.”  Read More»

Past MSA-National President Hadia Mubarak says that “Muslims in the 21st century have become so disconnected from their own religious tradition that we are posing questions that have long been resolved.”  Read More»

The Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Salam Al-Marayati is critical of Asra’s campaign in Morgantown, noting that “conservatism and extremism are two different issues.”  Read More»

Georgetown professor Yvonne Haddad surveys the global Islamic feminist movement.  Read More»

UC-Irvine’s Mark LeVine sees THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN as “a quintessentially American story of religious progress.”  Read More»

Writer Sumbul Ali-Karamali calls on the American Muslim community to “dispense with dogmatism and reclaim our Islamic heritage of respect, dialogue, and diversity of interpretation.”  Read More»

Harvard professor Ali S. Asani predicts that “American forms of Islam will, in the future, be at the vanguard of dialogue on diversity in the greater Muslim world.”  Read More»

Quran translator Laleh Bakhtiar explains why Islam’s holy book does not allow wife beating.  Read More»



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