Ever since 9/11, Muslims have become the N-word of the new millennium, being indiscriminately demonized in much the same way young African-Americans were vilified by the FBI during the rise of the Black Power Movement. In the wake of the civil unrest triggered by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, just walking the streets with an afro was sufficient probable cause for a cop to stop and frisk anyone who resembled a radical figure like Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael or H. Rap Brown.
Such state-sanctioned mistreatment inflicted great harm, unlikely ever to be undone, on impressionable young minds trying to figure out their place in the world. It made the U.S. feel more like an oppressive police state rather than the proverbial land of the free and home of the brave. And it is a similar sort of predicament which is sensitively explored in Mooz-Lum, a coming-of-age flick by Qasim “Q” Basir.