A woman dresses up as a Muslim

A white woman disguised herself as a Muslim to experience Islamophobia firsthand. However, the criticism was swift and scathing.


A new documentary aired on the UK’s Channel 4 is attempting to show people what daily life is like for many Muslims. According to some, though, the execution left a lot to be desired.

The show is called My Week as a Muslim, and it stars a white woman named Katie Freeman who takes to the streets in a Muslim disguise. Freeman darkens her face with makeup, puts on a prosthetic nose, and dons traditional Muslim clothing. The producers are defending these tactics, but many are accusing the show of being racist and perpetuating negative stereotypes. Is it possible for a television program to use racism for good?

Check out the trailer for the show here:

Channel 4 released a statement to the press, saying that the show was, “an immersive program that will explore what it’s like to be a Muslim in Britain today and challenge some of the assumptions and prejudices that different communities in the UK have about each other.”  The Muslim Council of Britain, a group focused on increasing education about Islam, praised the station’s attempt at shining a light on Islamophobia, but still did not approve of the use of brownface.

“The use of brownface and blackface has a long racist history and it is not surprising that it has caused deep offense amongst some communities.  Had we been consulted, we would not have advised this approach,” according to an MCB spokesperson. While it was certainly a risk for the documentary to use makeup in such a controversial manner, could it be argued that the controversy served a greater good?

Katie Freeman wears brownface.

Katie Freeman’s costume was accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes.

Context Is Important

In the eyes of Fozia Khan, the documentary’s executive producer, the use of brownface in this context is worth defending.  According to Khan, “The program allowed Katie to meaningfully walk in the shoes of someone from a different background and to experience what it is like to be a part of the British Pakistani Muslim community, rather than observe it as an outsider.”

Should Khan have, rather than defending the documentary’s use of brownface, acknowledged and apologized to those who felt offended by the use of it?  “If we’d done it for entertainment purposes, I can see why it would be offensive.  But its purpose and intention needs to be understood.  I feel really proud of it and I hope that when people see it, they will understand why we did it.”  While some people probably won’t understand the intent behind the documentary, it may not be fair to assume that those who disagree with the program’s use of brownface as simply not understanding the message.

Questionable Methods

Fiyaz Mughal, founder of an organization called Tell Mama that monitors anti-Muslim abuse and attacks, certainly seems to understand the documentary’s message, but still disagrees with their method. “They could have simply taken a secret camera and got Muslim women to record things that happen to them every day.” Others seemed to agree, voicing their concerns on social media:

Beyond the brown makeup, many people also took issue with the large, bulbous prosthetic nose worn by Freeman. Critics say it paints Muslim women in a bad light by using a negative genetic stereotype — akin to dressing up as a black person with big lips.

But there’s one point that can’t be overlooked, the showrunners insist: the disguise worked. Katie Freeman passed as a Muslim and was appalled by how she was treated, gaining a powerful new perspective on Islamophobia. Freeman had never communicated with a Muslim person prior to taping the shows, and admitted to once holding negative views toward Muslims. “I had concerns about the way I would be framed. I’m not racist. Although, looking back I am surprised at some of my early opinions,” Freeman said.

Bringing Racism to Light

The debate over when it’s okay to use brown and blackface is a complicated one. In this case, the white actress gained an entirely new perspective thanks to her disguise. She literally got to walk a mile in a Muslim woman’s shoes, and her views were permanently altered because of it. But do the benefits of such an experience justify taking on the skin color of another race? Perhaps not.

What do you think?  Was it a wise decision to use brownface for a show about Islamophobia? Could there be another method that is just as effective, or is it possible that white folks need to see a fellow disguised white person being discriminated against in order to truly understand the harm caused by Islamophobia and other bigoted views?

 

66 comments

  1. Miranda Allison Young says:

    I think it was a bad mistake to have done it that way. What they should have done was what was said in the article. Use a real Muslim woman to do it. Otherwise it comes across as racist.

    1. J says:

      Using a “real” Muslim would have defeated some of the reasoning in performing this experiment or project. If a Muslim women dressed costumed up for Halloween as a white person that would give party dressing up a TRUE experience and perspective similar to being someone she is not. Similar to Jesus walking among the lesser gifted to get a feel of how they are treated 1st hand.

      1. Rene L. says:

        Just as in this day and age there are very well educated black people we can interview, so there are very well educated people of other countries, colors, and religions we can talk to and befriend the same as our traditional ‘white’ circle. It hurts and dismays me we still have not grown enough to drop the selection of others and ranking them as ‘lower’ and a target.

    2. Russ Sharpe says:

      Many years ago John Howard Griffin wrote a book “Black Like Me”, it was published in 1960. Howard was a white journalist who had treatments to darken his skin, he then traveled through the Deep South to experience what is was like to be black in the southern U.S. The book and subsequent movie showed what is was like to be a second class citizen and it showed to the white population told by a white man, which made it more powerful because the people who had to effect the changes that were needed were white. In the same way the audience of this news show are non-Muslims and mainly white the person that has to tell the story of being treated differently and discriminated against is white which resonates more in the community that has to effect the change. This in no different than the young Jewish Israeli man who lived as a Palestinian traveling to and from Israel from the West Bank and the wrote about what it felt like and how those feelings could foster terrorism. In the main these were and are good things and there are more examples of them (The Lowest of the Low, Gunter Wallraff; Soul Sister Grace Halsell; In the Land of Jim Crow, Ray Sprigle). All of it good investigative journalism, which is why they were done to expose wrongs and touch nerves of the group(s) doing the wrongs.

      1. Bob says:

        Excellent example Russ Sharpe: “Black Like Me” opened my eyes as a child as well to the reality of being black in America, whereas a similar book by a black man could have been perceived as ‘whining’. When ‘one of your own’ points out societal issues, you pay attention,

    3. CDawson says:

      It is not racist! People go undercover all the time. There was no bashing of race going on here. It’s not racism anyway as there is only ONE race, the human race! Otherwise it’s multi-culturism. Racism has been wore out and completely over used by anyone not liking how the others correspond with one another. This is an attempt to understand how they live, not degrade. Stop crying racism when you don’t understand whats going on.

      1. kimm says:

        Yep. Getting really tired of the victim mentality. Muslims yeii and whine that they are victims and no one understands….Whatever. Here we have a woman who went to great lengths to go undercover to try to see for herself and understand, and she’s called a racist. And they wonder why people are tired of their throwing the victim card around.

      2. Norma Battes says:

        CDawson
        November 1, 2017 at 7:43 am
        ” It is not racist! ”
        Generally I would agree the intent of this piece was not racially motivated. Also I believe the Muslin speaker wasn’t implying it this was either. It seems they were objecting to the stereotyping of dark skin and large nose. Which is reasonable. If non African-American people were asked to think of an African, would they think of Haley Berry? Or Maya Angelou? The makeup was not outlandishly offensive however to a middle-easterner it could be taken as stereotyping. Much like an Asian depicted with very exaggerated slanted eyes and rabbit buck teeth. What surprises me is neither Ms. Freeman nor her producers appears to have contacted the community for input and collaboration.

    4. Thom says:

      It isn’t brown face. It’s an disguise for a white to experience Muslim life in the UK. Stop with the liberal point of view that whites are bad. Whites are the most intelligent forward thinking human being a. What great civilization has any other race created that enforces laws of civil rights and liberties for all it’s citizens?

      1. Minister Carey says:

        Really Thom? Whites are the most intelligent forward thinking human beings? I am assuming you are attributing the word “whites” or “white” as a status. Because there are people of many ethnicities and cultures, with skin colors ranging from dark brown to pale who are most intelligent and forward thinking and alive today contributing to this world.

        My answer to your question: Great civilizations didn’t begin with Pres Johnson, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Or even with the Romans and Greeks. They learned from ancient Kemet, now called Egypt, built and colonized by Nubia, now called Sudan. A dark-skinned people of various hair textures, ideologies, and intellectual capacities. There were “great” civilizations in “Africa” and America (before the Spanish, Portuguese, French, British, etc. invaded). Great civilizations in Asia. Lots of history and or true history not being learned.

        Now, just how great is a civilization that will deny people their God-given, human rights and substitute them with civil rights that can be changed or taken away at the drop of a hat? Just how great is a civilization that will kill indigenous people off and steal their land, resources, and history? Still happening today by “intelligent” people. Just how great is a civilization that will enslave its people for the sake of monetary wealth and power? Tax the hell out of them and no “free” healthcare and clean water. If it is time to stop playing the victim card, it is time to stop playing the color card. People are not colors. Look at the color chart – have you really seen a white person? Black? Red? Only shades of brown from dark to pale skin, all human.

        1. Tom says:

          Minister Carey…very well expressed…you can add that we are contributing to the problem by refusing to have our schools teach history and human relations…we have a ridiculous reliance on science and math…Tom

    5. Theresa says:

      They were trying to do something good. It makes me sad that some are so sensitized they are unable to appreciate the considerable effort that was made to reveal injustice.

    6. Susanna says:

      I don’t agree. She was trying to get a different perspective to make more people aware, not make a racist statement. As she stated, she didn’t want to observe from the outside. Stop being so sensitive about skin color, facial features, etc. Stopping injustice and discrimination is way more important. We need to focus on what’s really happening to people in other communities and how they’re being treated. Muslims aren’t the only folks with darker skin, brown eyes, and noble features. Color, age, ethnicity, and sex or sexual orientation don’t and shouldn’t matter. We’re all souls who are here for the human experience anyway.

  2. John Smithkey says:

    Greetings to all the blog readers! This lady that changed her appearance did nothing new! It’s been done before! Some of you will remember the best selling book “Black Like Me”. A white man changed his appearance to look like a black man. This book was published in the 1960s. This time period was when civil rights became a very hot issue! The man’s research did produce some surprising results!! Everyone have a blessed evening! John Smithkey III RN BSN

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      AND then a REAL MUSLIM WOMAN would be ACCUSED of LIES BECAUSE SHE is MUSLIM AND,ETC., ETC.,ETC……..

      1. john coburn says:

        huh???

    2. Pat Alfus says:

      John, you beat me to it – I was immediately going to post a comment related to “Black Like Me”‘ That book sure brought a lot of reality to the ‘other side’ back then. I firmly applaud the woman who did this action. Dealing with today’s issues, as a person whose childhood home overlooked the NY Harbor, I literally watched THE Trade Center grow floor by floor; and on my way to work, via the NJTurnpike, witnessed them get destroyed. Thus, until THE HEAD of that fayth comes forth and FIRMLY decries any and all violence using the name of their deity, I will continue to despise iz-slum to the Nth degree. Therefore, to have her highlight how females are treated under that dreadful ree-lig-shun is a positive move to make all know how despicable it really is to one and all. AMEN

  3. J says:

    Ok, so she failed to use shoe-polish (slang) like done in the 60’s & used make-up in lue. No matter what color was employed on her skin, no matter what garment she adorned herself with. Some-person, group or sect will find something to grab on to & run with it to give them-self a reason to bitch & wine how they feel violated or unhappy. I get ppl that complain that we use Aloha & Mahalo claiming we not Hawaiian & have no right to employ said term. Ppl need to pay attention to how THEY may be offending others by their simple actions and less on how they feel offended by the simplest things. PS; Feeling are a gift, experience them with wisdom & discretion. Of the dozens of scripture mentionings that can be spun copious ways. (Phaneron). We favor this one… Proverbs 28:26 ESV ~Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~ Would you like some cheese with that wine?

    1. Pat Alfus says:

      Whatever one wants to say or do – religion is the most despicable excuse for one and all. Without the idiotic gods (cartoons with violence) the world would be a much safer and fine place for everyone. AMEN

  4. Alicia says:

    There was no need for her to darken her skin. I’ve seen many Muslim women who are Caucasian. The skin darkening was a bit over the top.

    1. Nilgun says:

      Exactly. One does not have to be dark with a big nose to play a muslim woman. Wearing Hijab should do it to feel and do the experiment if you know what your objective is. You do not need to put a make up like a clown to portray someone’s belief. It just shows how little understanding the producers and actor had about the religion. If someone needed to feel and understand the nuns, should they put a make up of an old spinster? Religion and faith have nothing to do with the color of the skin or physical features. There are Asians and Arabs that are Christian, Budhists Africans, etc. Linking both is just shows how narrow the minds are, even for those who claim to understand or try to create a common understanding for peace.

      1. W. Pruett says:

        While you are pointing an accusing finger, 3 fingers are pointing at your selves!

    2. Chris says:

      I would suggest it would have made a difference. Perception is a big factor in how one is treated, and light skinned people tend to treat other light skinned people different than they treat darker skinned people. To get a more accurate experience having the darker skin allowed her to be perceived differently and thus be treated differently, and that was the point of the experiment: To see how a different person, a more stereotypical person, is treated. . It’s not like she slathered on the boot black, after all.

      Granted, there are other ways they could have performed this experiment, but in my opinion this was really about the only way many would accept it. I’m skeptical that many would consider it believable otherwise. Had they used a dark skinned Muslim woman, it could be argued that she somehow acted differently than normal for the camera. Had they used a light skinned woman, it could be argued that she was merely perceived as a Caucasian woman.

  5. keithmcwilliams says:

    Well it depends on if she is either Raping a child or a Defenseless woman or ganging up 3-4 to one on a white boy at the time she wears her disquise

  6. Jef says:

    This was done on MTV back in the 90’s. What they discovered is black people have an easier time than white people. The black boy who was turned white only lasted one day and asked to be changed back to black due to the white people beong too hard on him while he was black. Once he changed back to black everyone was noce to him again. I guess this is why mixed race people always identify as black instead of white. Black has privileges.

    1. Tyson Wade says:

      Wow, I’ve never seen an MTV show used as a valid source for anything before. Next you’ll be telling us all about that teenage mother privilege you saw on Teen Mom 2.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      When did they ever persecute, condemn, or even negatively criticize Al Jolson?. Look how far he went in life wearing blackface and singing about his “Mammy”. And then there was Michael Jackson… While it’s true that some of us may have rightfully said some bad things about him,I can’t recall having ever heard anyone put him down for turning white. I bet nobody ever even called him a pecker-wood.

      1. Dreamsinger says:

        Michael Jackson didn’t bleach or whitewash his skin. Jokes about Tyrone Jackson’s abusive parenting skills aside, the guy had vitiligo.

    3. Goodall says:

      Black has privileges? Try indian and puerto ricans. Those guys run this country, especially the puerto ricans right now. They just get whatever they want

    4. DonBiase says:

      Funny how that turned out, isn’t ti

  7. James says:

    Because she didn’t have better things to do. Simple and sweet. People have forgotten what a good work ethic looks like. We are more interested in twaddle telling on every thing. The “oh look at me” syndrome.

  8. Rev.Hoagie says:

    This was extremely racist but for one reason only: being moslem isn’t a race, it’s a religion wrapped in a theocratic dictatorship. Islamics come in all colors so the very act of making a white person any other color to portray an Islamic is racist. They are ascribing a certain “look” to moslems. Okay, then tell me what color a Lutheran is. Or a Baptist. Or Buddhist.

    Now, if they really want to show something they could do a documentary about what it’s like to be walking down the street and be slaughtered by a moslem in a truck. Or have one slit your throat while screaming “Allahu Akbar”. That would be an interesting perspective. Moslems through the eyes of their victims. Try that.

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      It is about bigotry, not racism. In this case, religious bigotry.

      By the way, Muslims are terrorists? That is like saying that Christians are terrorists because certain groups like the Ku Klux Klan or more than 150 different neo-nazi groups in the U.S. claim to be Christian. ISIS/ISIL, al Qaida and the Taliban are just three so-called Muslim groups who go AGAINST the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an.

      Again, this is all about ignorance and bigotry.

      1. DonBiase says:

        Oh, I see now. It’s not muslims, are you blind?

    2. Dreamsinger says:

      Congrats, Rev. Hoagie, it just so happens that your docudrama idea is about to start production… and you’d be perfect for the role.

      You up for backing that talk, or you gonna simply back up your walk?

      If they wanted us dead, trust me we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Get over the hate, it makes you no different than Jihadi John.

  9. Carl Elfstrom says:

    And what about all those christian parents dressing up their children like wicked witches and even the devil himself on Halloween to go out and get candy from neighbors. Are they trying to make their neighbors think they’ll go to hell if they are’nt nice to the devil,or they’ll be cursed by wicked witches, etc.? Nobody ever complains about those darling, little, angels misrepresenting themselves. And I won’t be the first one to do it either. Can you imagine how hard it would be for a fifty-four year old man to get knock on a door and get candy onHalloween if he wasn’t wearing a mask and misrepresenting himself as an overgrown child?

    1. Dreamsinger says:

      Actually, back in the old days of Celtic Ireland, folks and kids alike dressed in costumes to frighten away the spirits that rose from their graves during Samhain.

      The trick-or-treating was simple: you gave sweets or coins to whoever came to your door, and in return they’d offer prayers of blessings upon your household for the year ahead. As for the jack o’ lanterns, they were carved to honor loved ones who had passed away.

      Samhain was never about Freddie Kreuger. It was a day of honoring your ancestors. Christians simply thought we were worshipping a demon that isn’t even in our pantheon.

      Call me crazy, but Christianity has a history of missing the forest for the trees. That’s okay though… we have plenty of Snickers and KitKats to share in brotherhood.

  10. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Just trying to cheer y’all up. You’ll feel better if you laugh more. I probably won’t go trick or treating this year.But I’m not giving it up, I’m just on a diet. It’s harder to find a Halloween costume at Walmart in plus sizes and a thirty five inseam..

  11. Gilbert Mason says:

    RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE:

    It’s first important to clarify a few misunderstandings.

    1. Muslim is not a race, it’s a person of faith as part of a religious culture. You can have any genetic composition and still be a practicing Muslim. You can also be a middle-eastern person and practice any other religion or have no religion at all.

    2. The brown skin makeup and the prosthetic nose is not racist. These extra characteristics may not have been necessary to satisfy the narrative, but if that is the direction the producers wanted to go, it should be allowed. Altering your genetic appearance is not racist as long as the intention is not to portray a negative narrative about the genetic composition. Your race is your genetics, your culture is not. You are racist if you portray a genetic composition in a negative way and it doesn’t appear as they video did.

    3. It’s important to recognize that most practicing Muslims in your surrounding community do not fit this description – the progressive Muslim. They are irrelevant to argument. The referenced social experiment shown in the video is intended on educating. But what is the message. Keep in mind the production company controls the narrative, and will select which clips to show and which clips to hide in order to set the narrative. Based on the video, it appears that the purpose of the video is to take a non-Muslim with a rational fear of Islam that lives in the UK and put them in the shoes of a progressive Muslim living in the UK and show them how they are treated by other non-Muslims. It is expected that they will feel the same cultural discrimination as the progressive Muslim.

    4. Islamophobia is not a real word, it is the conjunction of the Islam religion and a phobia (an irrational fear). Unfortunately there is a rational fear of the Islamic religion, based on frequent, recent, inhuman actions of people that take the faith to a radical direction. If you grew up in the UK, or the US, or Canada, chances are you have not been exposed to the rational fears of Islam that comes from countries that have an Islamic religions political system. Turn off the spoon-fed cable TV, and get on the internet and research real videos about the rational fear of Islam. Rather than dismissing anyone that opposes the general opinion, figure out why they have these opposing views. They probably is merit to their concerns.

    1. john coburn says:

      Well stated and intelligent response. Thank you.

    2. Dreamsinger says:

      Or better yet, invite a Muslim family to share a dinner with yours. There is no greater love than the love of food.

      If Jesus had no problem with Judas, I think we’re all in good hands.

    3. Dreamsinger says:

      Go on the internet?

      How do you think people get indoctrinated into Islamophobes?

      1. Gilbert Mason says:

        If you intended on saying that the internet is the reason why people have a rational fear of radicals Muslims, then you have re-enforced my point. But I think you might be referring to the people that are afraid of progressive Muslims in your community, which in that case means they need to do even more research on the internet to understand the difference.

        I recommend researching Bridgett Gabriel. She grew up in a radical Islamic country and is called the “Anne Frank of Islam”. She tells her story about how she almost didn’t survive as she escaped and made her way America to better her life. She is now an anti-radical-Islamic activist and teaches about the difference between the realized threat of a radical Muslim and the irrelevant progressive Muslim.

  12. Brian H Davies JP. CMC. says:

    The problem with the world today is that everyone is so PC and offended, so we have a bias against anything that should create debate and understanding. My great grandmother emigrated from Ngaphur in India and married out of her sect into another race and culture. She raised 10 sons and immersed herself into her new country and changed her religion to Christianity, but all the while holding onto the core values of the Hindu faith. The problem today is that most western countries have had such a huge mass take up of Muslims that the regular Christian raised citizens haven’t had time to getting accustomed to people wearing mostly the same clothing from the time of Christ, the new arrivals speaking mostly in their own language and adhering to their own religious laws often in defiance of their adopted countries legal values, so there is a very unhealthy intolerance to the Status Quo being upset.
    Like wise the new arrivals are doing nothing to help their own cause by insisting that their new adopted country change to their way of life, when in fact they know they are coming to a predominately Christian Country, and why not say, ” Well we left behind war, sect discrimination, poverty, poor social services, so we should at least try to embrace the good we have come to and try where possible to be great new citizens and leave behind all the misery we escaped from.” The problem is that they are brainwashed from birth to dislike any religion other than their own, and unless a modern day prophet or outstanding leader rises to bring them into the 21st century there will be so called Islamophobia well past the time I take my last breath.

  13. Christina Kniffin-Downs says:

    I think living in another person’s shoes, so to speak, gives a different perspective. I am not offended by the use of “brown face” for this assignment. It was not done to mock or belittle the Muslim community. I think it speaks to the stereotypes that people have. No not all Muslims are darker complected. Not all Muslims have ethnic features. But to get to the heart of racism, looking that part gives perspective. A man cannot understand how it is to live as a woman every day unless he is able to become the woman. A skinny person does not know how it is to live as an overweight person unless they can live as one. A white person does not know what it is like to be a person of color unless they are able to become that person. If you are “put out” by being discriminated against as a “majority” for one day in your life, imagine what it is like to live as a minority or marginalized person every day. Becoming that person gives a perspective. It allows someone to actually feel what it is like to be looked at as different even though, on the inside, we are the same. A hidden camera does not capture the feelings. It shows the behavior. The visual in today’s modern society loses its edge. People are numb to this visualization. Unfortunately, the only way to grasp what it is like, is to become the person.

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Christina – Thank you for your input on this issue. You appear to have a grasp on the concept of perception and perspective. Well done!

    2. Dreamsinger says:

      The prosthetic nose wasn’t accurate, though. It was more “Iago” than “Islam”.

  14. Dave says:

    There is nothing wrong with what was done here. It falls under “undercover investigative journalism.” I say “Good job!”

  15. Tom says:

    This is “a tempest in a teapot”; fodder for those who prefer to examine the minutia, instead of the issues…

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Tom – What do you believe happens to be the actual ISSUE, then?

      1. Dreamsinger says:

        The problem is that Katie Freeman didn’t do that week as herself — a white woman “converted” to Islam. She took the easy way out, because it’s better for ratings than asking an actual Muslim person what it’s like.

        It was well-intentioned, but you can’t learn anything if you pretend to be what you’re not in order to pretend to be something else you’re not.

        Dat schnozz, tho…

      2. Tom says:

        Dan…thank you for writing…i believe the actual issue, which is always the ultimate issue, is whether our actions are loving and caring…and this can only be determined by ourselves…judgments by others ultimately only affect them…Tom

  16. Rev. Bet Bailey says:

    It seems to me that the piece was a success in getting people to think and maybe gain a new perspective on the Muslim life. I think that the fact that a lot of people took exception to the make-up is also telling. Are some afraid that a “regular” white person like themselves could become Muslim? Stretching your mind and thinking new thoughts is a growth process. In that sense, it seems as though the film was successful.

  17. Kevin Ward says:

    The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. That’s what racism is…not your personal petty opinions! That are petty because you don’t offer a better solution or even understand the point of this documentary!

    So whether you are claiming superior or inferior you are racist? It would be easy to say the Muslim objectors are racist because they are upset that a “White” person did this. This was done to fight against racism. Perhaps they should have done a dual change. A muslim woman as a white woman and vice versa to allow both races/cultures an insight. BUT THEY DIDN’T, so deal with it!

    There is a difference between racism and just being offended. It would seem that people are manipulatively using one as the other. This was done to inform and educate white people what it’s really like from the perspective of a white person. Do you not want the white people to know the hardships you face “Muslim and other objectors to this Documentary?” Then you are being racist in not allowing us to understand your culture!

    Also, being an armchair quarterback after the fact is a petty and unrealistic way of handling things. If you don’t have a solution or a better way to do it…nobody really cares except the other “True Believers,” in your unfulfilling little world.

    I dearly love my muslim friends and family (Yeah Family!) and my African American ex-wife as well. I would never stand by something that put them down or held them back racists or otherwise. Nor would I stand by them doing it to another. It’s about the oppression in this world and how we work toward coming together that is important!

  18. Bill Fox says:

    Eddie Murphy did a very interesting skit on SNL some thirty years ago. “Mr. White”. He was made up to be a white man and sent out to make contact with the world, to demonstrate “white privilege”. It was all done with actors, not uninformed people. I don’t see much difference between this Muslim demonstration and the SNL skit. Ninety percent of contact with Muslims is with those who claim ” the Islamic terrorist does not represent Islam.” Of course, you don’t know if the Muslim before you is about to start Jihad on your neck, but the odds are, if he cuts your throat, there will be a sympathetic Muslim nearby, to tell lookers-on, “He doesn’t represent Islam.”

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Bill – not true by any means. Islam and Muslims condemn acts of terrorism and would NEVER condone your example of cutting a person’s throat or removing one’s head.

      Your using of the term “Jihad” is also not quite accurate. The major sense of “Jihad” has to do with the inner struggle we all deal with as to what is right and wrong. All three forms of Jihad have nothing about causing harm to the innocent.

      Maybe you are not aware that in general, Muslims have protested AGAINST the terrorism caused by terrorist idiots from al Qaida, the Taliban and others like ISIS/ISIL. Is it maybe because you have not seen these protests on the evening news?

  19. J. J. Mueller says:

    The show did it for educational reasons. Beats the heck out of dressing like someone else so you can do “damage” to the world.

  20. DannyJane says:

    In a world that is just waking up to the power to blind us to the realities of being a minority, choosing to give up one’s predetermined place to experience what it’s like for someone else isn’t insulting, it’s mind-altering, maybe even life-changing. Yes, a Muslim woman could have been interviewed, many have been, but nothing changes because the white community simply can’t relate to her words. Whereas, if a member of the “privileged” set steps outside her safe boundaries to face the realities of the Muslim woman’s life she can go to her readers and tell them that, no, it IS as bad as they told us–in fact, it’s worse. It’s not a matter of prejudice (although it plays a part) it’s a matter of choosing to take the risk of going inside and looking around for oneself.

  21. Pat Arigoni says:

    It’s been done before. “Black Like Me” book, from 1961

  22. Father Fred says:

    As others have said, it’s been done before. Never underestimate the ability of people to be boars. That said, while not illegal, it was unbecoming of someone with any integrity or culture. It’s safe to say it doesn’t help relations, and the Muslim world would not look at it as an experiment, but more as baiting. One has to ask, what was gained? Or was this for giggle factor and someone’s enjoyment in making someone else mad?

  23. Judi Main says:

    I remember the “fat suit” study, with similar results. I don’t recall anybody saying did she have to be that fat, that unflattering etc. Interesting.

  24. Jim says:

    It’s a stupid thing to do because it proves nothing. I’ve seen this done with the fat suit, as Judi mentioned, and I’ve seen it done with a reported pretending to be homeless. It’s all crap, because none of them have the mindset to go along with what they are pretending to be. The woman in the fat suit has no idea what it really means to be fat because she knows that she will unzip the suit and step out a thin person. The reporter pretending to be homeless for a week knows he has a nice house just waiting for him with his assignment is over. And this reporter knows she will ditch the burka, the brown makeup, the fake nose and return to her white, Christian life. She can react to things that happen in the moment, but she cannot react with a lifetime of experiences. Its all BS.

  25. Dan Anderson says:

    Jim – are you really saying that people will not perceive their own bigotry as well as others’ with more of an understanding of the concept called empathy?

  26. The Prophet of Life says:

    “Some people wonder why God allows war, poverty and suffering in our world. Perhaps God wonders why we allow it.” —The Prophet of Life From Quotes about God

  27. Ron Snow says:

    Two quotes come to mind here. 1: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.” (Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee) 2: “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations). It’s really too bad most people on this planet don’t follow these. I can think of several groups here in the U. S. from both sides of the fence that should follow these.

  28. Ashley says:

    I could see and understand what the program makers was trying to do and has brought about a conversation. However there are white Muslims and I bet they go through the same issues…!! But if the method cause this woman to open her eyes and find some understanding then so be it…!!

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