Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Name is Khan...

... and I am not a terrorist.

So begins the quest of one man to prove that the term terrorist is not synonymous with Muslims. Khan has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism, which causes him to be a bit skittish and frightened by things like the colour yellow. Nevertheless, he is determined to prove to his estranged wife, and in turn to prove to the world, that he is not a terrorist. In the wake of 9/11 a new form of racism has emerged; a racism born of fear. Violence against Muslims, both cultural and religious, becomes something to be feared and many American Muslims change their names and stop wearing their hijab in order to avoid discrimination. Khan, however, continues to honour his religion and heritage as he prays five times a day, no matter where he is, or who he is with.

Khan teaches communities, and the entire country, that love conquers and unites, while hate and discrimination only divide and destroy. It is difficult to describe the impact of this movie... without spoiling the plot. In the course of the roughly two and a half hour film my mom and I pinpointed close to a dozen different themes.

The importance of a mother, determination and never giving up, keeping one's word, telling the truth, what it means to truly love someone, love v. hate, the consequences of keeping certain things to oneself, the best way to deal with grief, and perhaps most importantly, the truth that not all Muslims advocate jihad.

My Name is Khan is officially my family's new favourite film... at least for my Mom and I. The movie is rated PG-13, mainly for violence and several very brief references to sexuality. I highly recommend this film to all over the age of thirteen (at their parent's discretion). Please visit the film website for more information.

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