Muslim Voices



A Free, Family-Friendly Film Festival at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Click HERE for the official press release

Chicago, IL – On Saturday, June 8th from 12:30 PM to 9:00 PM, Scribe Video Center invites you to Muslim Voices of Chicago, a free, family-friendly film festival showcasing films that portray the African American Muslim experience and community. The Muslim Voices of Chicago film festival will take place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts located at 915 East 60th Street in Chicago, IL.

Muslim Voices of Chicago is a component of Muslim Voices, a nationwide project coordinated by Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, PA and supported by the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.  Founded in 1982, Scribe Video Center is a community, media arts organization where emerging and experienced media artists and community groups can gain access to the tools and knowledge of documentary video making and work together in a supportive environment. The Muslim Voices project travels to five select cities -- Chicago, Newark, Houston, Atlanta, and Oakland -- to (1) host a festival focused on exploring the challenges and experiences of African American Muslims through film, and (2) running a training/mentoring program to help local media makers produce their own short film over a period of six months. This project replicates the successful Muslim Voices of Philadelphia program where 11 shorts have been developed and distributed through Scribe Video Center.

The Muslim Voices of Chicago screening features 10 films, two panels, and Q & A sessions with the audience. The program begins at 12:30 PM with a welcome and overview.  At 1:00 PM, the film festival continues with the screening of the award-winning documentary, THE HONEST STRUGGLE (USA, 2017, 60 min) directed by Justin Mashouf. Filmed in Chicago, this is the true story of personal transformation and community building. It is followed by WHITE FRIGHT (USA, 2018, 29 min), a documentary on a plot to massacre Muslims Americans, ignored for the most part by US mass media. The film is directed by Emmy-award winning filmmaker, David Felix Sutcliffe. After the screening there will be a panel discussion with filmmakers, community activists, and scholars on the particular challenges faced by African American Muslims and the solutions. 

From 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM, there will be a block of short films from the Muslim Voice of Philadelphia project and films by local Chicago makers. There will also be a panel on the role of film/video as a tool for social change. The closing film, shown from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, will be JINN (USA, 2018, 92 min) directed by Nijla Mumin. JINN is a modern tale of a young woman coming to awareness about her identity and faith, is a dramatic film suitable for the entire family including children aged 13 and over. 

Muslim Voices is supported by the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Muslim Voices local partners in Chicago include CAIR of Chicago, The Community Film Workshop of Chicago, Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN),  Kartemquin Films, Sisters In Cinema, University of Chicago, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Initiative.

Program Overview*

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM | Opening, Welcome and Program Overview

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM | THE HONEST STRUGGLE directed by Justin Mashouf (USA, 2017, 60 min)

The film looks at the challenges faced by Sadiq recently released from prison, as he struggles to find gainful employment and stay on the straight religious and moral path to an honorable life.

2:05 PM - 2:35 PM | WHITE FRIGHT directed by David Felix Sutcliffe (USA, 2018, 29 min)

WHITE FRIGHT examines the plot to massacre Muslims in an upstate New York community, a plot ignored by much of the US mass media.

2:40 - 3:25 PM |Panel Discussion - Addressing challenges of African American Muslims and media representation by local Muslims, activists, community.

3:35 - 4:50  | Short films on the Muslim community produced by local and national filmmakers

5:00 -5:45  | Panel Including local filmmakers, filmmakers from Scribe Video Center, and community representative discuss the role of film and documentation as tools for progressive social change.

6:00 - 6:45 | Mixer and light refreshments

7:00 PM - 8:37 PM | JINN directed by Nijla Mumin (USA, 2018, 92 min) 

Summer is a 17-year old carefree African American girl, whose world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular television meteorologist, converts to Islam and begins to transform her professional and work relationships, prompting Summer to reevaluate her own identity.

9:00 PM | Program Close

*Program subject to change

Program Details

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019

Time: 12:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts - 915 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL
Free and open to the public


For more information, please contact
Learn more about Scribe Video Center at


Scribe Video Center, founded in 1982, is a media arts organization that provides training in all aspects of digital video, film, audio, and web-based production. Scribe offers instructional workshops to adults and youth. Scribe also works with community groups to produce media that explores issues of concern.

Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC), the media arts center host for Muslim Voices Chicago, has been empowering people of color in underrepresented communities to produce their own films since 1971. CFWC partners with the Logan Center for the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Initiative to develop the “DSI Production Institute” and cofounded “Diverse Voice in Docs” with Kartemquin Films.  

The Digital Storytelling Initiative (DSI), made possible through an endowment from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, is a joint project of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center and Logan Center Community Arts. Through adult media workshops, summer camps for youth, and the incubation of relationships with individuals and artist groups on Chicago’s South Side, the DSI serves as a sponsor of media arts training, as a presenter of new artistic work, and as a creative hub for University- and community-based media practitioners.





Scribe Video Center is seeking submissions of short fiction and non-fiction films (20 minutes or less) for MUSLIM VOICES OF CHICAGO, a mini-film festival of films and media exploring the unique story of African Americans who have chosen the Muslim faith. We are looking for films that tell a strong story about the African American Muslim Experience.  We encourage works of all genres (fiction, documentary, web shorts, experimental) that are authored by filmmakers of color.

Along with your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number and your role in the project, please submit a password protected web-link (Vimeo or YouTube) of your film to inquiry or to by Friday, May 24, 2019.

Filmmaker will be paid a licensing fee and the film will be screened at the Muslim Voices of Chicago screening at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Local filmmakers will be invited to the screening to meet the audience and discuss their work.

Muslim Voices of Chicago is a project of Scribe Video Center ( It is supported by the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.  Partners in Chicago include CAIR of Chicago, Chicago Film Workshop, Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Kartemquin Films, Sisters In Cinema, and the University of Chicago Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts


Click here for a pdf of the Application for Short Films for Muslim Voices of Chicago.


Visit the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia Website

Muslim Voices of Philadelphia is a community history project exploring the long history of a diverse array of Muslim communities in the region. Members of mosques, masjids, schools, cultural centers, and other Muslim groups combine archival research, ethnography, oral history, and digital media to form a clear and expansive picture of the rich history of Islam in Philadelphia.

The goal of the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia Project is to provide instruction and media tools to traditionally underrepresented Muslim groups in Philadelphia so that they can research and share the stories, significant events, achievements and issues that are part of both the history of Islam in Philadelphia and the history of the city itself.

Upon completion, the finished media works, which include a series of short documentaries, are available for public screenings by the participating groups. The general public also have access to the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia project through screenings organized by Scribe at museums, schools, universities, community organizations, and through a website dedicated to the project.



Premiere Screening

On Tuesday, June 24, 2014, Muslim Voices of Philadelphia premiered at International House Philadelphia. Following a reception for participating Muslim Voices group members and facilitators, the ticket office was flooded with hundreds eager to see the films. By the time the show started, every seat was filled, with many standing along the sides of the theater.

All nine groups involved in Muslim Voices screened their work to the packed theater. At two times during the screening, we paused for question and answer with the filmmakers and facilitators. All groups members were invited to the stage to introduce themselves and their projects and respond to questions from the audience. Group members shared stories from production, discussed challenges and triumphs, and expressed appreciation for each other and the chance to dialog with diverse Muslim communities in Philadelphia.

Participating Groups

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and Mosque

The Mosque is the Heart of the Fellowship

The Mosque is the Heart of the Fellowship explores the history and mystical inspiration of the first community-built Sufi Mosque in Pennsylvania through the heartfelt reflections and memories of its original members.

Lajna Ima’illah (the women’s auxiliary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community)

Maidservants of Allah: Muslim Women in Perspective

Through personal stories of Muslim women in Lajna Ima’illah, the web series Maidservants of Allah dispels common misconceptions of Islam by foregrounding its true beauty.

Masjid Freehaven

Masjid Freehaven: The Struggle, the Sacrifice and the Gift

Masjid Freehaven: The Struggle, the Sacrifice and the Gift chronicles the history of the Masjid Freehaven community, established through faith and struggle for a breath of freedom.

Masjid Muhammad

Get to Know Us: Keeping Islam Simple & Serving the Common People

Through their entrepreneurial and humanist approach to Islam and the desire for community, Masjid Muhammad continues to build a place for Muslims to organize and to serve the needs of Philadelphia in the face of great adversity.


Masjidullah: Struggle for Human Excellence

Masjidullah: Struggle for Human Excellence looks into Masjidullah’s origin, development, and visions for the future.

Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc., Temple #11

The Moorish Science Temple of America: Branches to Philadelphia, Rooted in Peace

The Moorish Science Temple of America highlights its one hundred years of existence as one of the first Islamic organizations in America, and its historical impact in Philadelphia.

Muslim Student Association at the University of Pennsylvania

A Place to Build Our Community: Penn MSA’s 50th Anniversary Documentary Film

A Place to Build Our Community explores different spaces at the University of Pennsylvania and in West Philadelphia that have housed the main activities of Penn MSA throughout its 50 years history, emphasizing the relationship between community and space over time.

QAAMS (Qa’id Ameer Abdul Majeed Staten Hajj Foundation)

This film documents the Muslim youth group, QAAMS, whose main objective is to send its members on Hajj. The film delves into the lives of QAAMS’ members and their journeys, drawing on the contrasts of its Senior and Junior council members.

The New Africa Center (Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council, ICPIC)

Lost No More

Lost No More focuses on the transition and evolution of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, after the death of its leader the Hon. Elijah Muhammad in February 1975, from a Black consciousness/social protest/religious movement to a faith practice following traditional Islam under the leadership of his son, Imam W. D. Mohammed.


Islam In Philadelphia

Islam’s presence in the Philadelphia area goes back several centuries. We know of Muslim travelers visiting Philadelphia in the 18th and early 19th century, including Abdul Rahman, a West-African prince, who came to the city in 1830. Rahman, who had spent forty years in slavery, was subsequently freed by order of President John Quincy Adams.

Later in the 19th century, small numbers of North African and Turkish Muslims immigrated to the region. African-American converts have added substantially to the city’s Muslim population. In the early part of the twentieth century, Philadelphia saw an increase in Islamic presence with important formative events such as the founding of the local Moorish Science Temple and the establishment of a mosque by the Albanian community.

Waves of immigration from all over the world, including the Middle East, North and West Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Indonesia, have added to the Muslim population. In 2014, Philadelphia is home to Muslims from every part of the world and every faith tradition, including Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Sufi, Nation of Islam and Ahmadiyya. The aim of the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia project is to capture this history and diversity.

Project Pilot

During the planning phase of Muslim Voices, two participating groups produced the following pilot projects through Scribe Video Center:

The Sun Rises in Philadelphia (10:00min)

Lajna Imaillah, Women’s Auxilliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community documents and highlights the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s historical beginnings in Philadelphia in the early 1920s along with the community’s lively activities, unique educational efforts, and contributions to this city spanning nearly a century. Interviews with early converts and pioneering community members, archival documents and personal photographs, along with contemporary footage of community activities and Philadelphia sites that played a pivotal role in the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s development, provide the viewer with a deeper appreciation of Philadelphia and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s roots and impact on the people of this diverse city.

Seeds of Awakening: The Early Nation of Islam in Philadelphia (14:00min)

The New Africa Center has produced a video documenting the development and growth of the Nation of Islam in Philadelphia circa late 50’s-early 60’s. Told through first hand accounts by pioneers of the community, this video paints a portrait of a black nationalist, social reform movement that inspired self determination and economic development within the African American community. Discover how through the Nation of Islam a community developed and experience how Islam affected their lives and the community around them.