When the 1988 film, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” in which Jesus is tempted to live out his life with Mary Magdalene, the Islamic Circle of North America, based in Jamaica, Queens, joined with some Christians in protest. They did the same when an artist at the Brooklyn Museum of Art depicted Jesus as a naked woman, said Assistant Secretary General Azeem Khan.
“We interact with non-Muslims every day,” he said. “We understand the misconceptions. Overseas, there’s just an expression of anger that’s just reinforcing a negative image.”
Muslims are taught from the time they are young to try to emulate Muhammad in their everyday lives, by treating neighbors with respect and generosity, and completing good deeds. The Islamic Circle of North America distributes biographies that speak to Muhammad’s virtues.
Azeem Khan, of the Islamic Circle, said another part of their efforts to show the beauty of their faith involves turning the camera on themselves.
“With so much negative propaganda, we realize we have to document our own community,” he said. The New York chapter of his national organization has its own media department, recording their events by photography.
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