Sound of Metal star Riz Ahmed is taking a stand against Muslim misrepresentation on screen.
On June 10, the actor announced the launch of a brand-new initiative called The Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion, created to combat Islamophobia in the film industry. In his speech, he explained, “The problem with Muslim misrepresentation is one that can't be ignored anymore and one that I can't fix alone.” He also added, “The progress that’s being made by a few of us doesn’t paint an overall picture of progress if most of the portrayals of Muslims on screen are either nonexistent or entrenched in those stereotypical, toxic, two-dimensional portrayals.”
His statements came following the release of a revealing study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which revealed that nearly 70 percent of Muslim characters are racially profiled in films and that 39 percent have perpetrated violence. Given these staggering numbers, it comes as no surprise that Ahmed is making moves to change this pattern. And while there’s still a far way to go in terms of representation, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight standout movies that feature more meaningful, positive portrayals of Muslim characters. From Body of Lies to Malcolm X, here are 10 movies worth checking out.