Program Archives
New Muslim Cool
Producer: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Genre: Documentary
Program Length: 1 Episode/90 Minutes
Broadcast Date: Available on PBS (P.O.V. Series) June 23, 2009 (Please check local listings)

Hamza Pérez left life as a drug dealer and found Islam twelve years ago. Now, after a devastating break-up with his first wife, he moves to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side.

In a rundown building surrounded by crack and crime, he helps start a new community for African American and Latino Muslims. Like Hamza, many are ex-gang members who are using hip-hop culture to take their religious message to the streets, slums, and jail cells of urban America.

Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage. But when the FBI raids their mosque, Hamza and his community come face to face with a whole new set of challenges, and have to choose how they respond.

While he continues his rise as part of the provocative rap group Mujahideen Team, Hamza starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his own faith — leading him to some surprising new relationships with Christian and Jewish allies.

Setting Hamza’s story in the context of young American Muslims’ emergence among the deep dividing lines of the post-9/11 world, New Muslim Cool gives audiences an authentic, intimate, and fresh view of life in one of the world’s most rapidly growing and least-understood communities.

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Latino Public Broadcasting is the leader of the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community on public media throughout the United States. Latino Public Broadcasting is a registered 501(c)(3), EIN: 95-4776447.
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