Teachers from around the country attend webinar on “The State of Muslims in America” | The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

In the contemporary context, Dr. Rashid spoke as well about the role of pop culture and media, including television sit-coms, music, and comedy (examples included the “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour” and the hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco among others), and the ways in which these have historically functioned as a normalizing force for marginalized communities in the U.S.  Participants in the webinar opened discussion about the notion of “Muslim culture” in this context, reflecting on the relationship between unity and diversity within a community that contains a multiplicity of backgrounds and cultural contexts within the U.S.  Rashid noted that the most significant forms of normalizing visibility often come with characters who present markers such as self-identified Muslim identity but are not defined by them.

See a recording of this session here