Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Keeping Faith: Muslim Kids in America

Spring 2005 Television
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Network: Nickelodeon
The terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 victimized American Muslims in two ways: first as Americans, then again as their compatriots became suspicious of them. Linda Ellerbee asks a group of students and adults what it's like to be Muslim in post-9/11 America. Tweens and teens talk about dealing with comments like "Go back to your own country." The students discuss whether girls should wear the hijab (head scarf) for devotion's sake, for family expectations, or to make a point. Indeed, the biggest source of conflict for the kids doesn't come from the occasional bigoted comment, but from living a lifestyle which is so different from typical American teens. For example, girls are not to participate in the swim team, and neither sex should attend school dances or date. Underscoring the pressure coming from home, one mother says she hopes and prays her children won't come home from school one day and say "I don't want to be a Muslim today." The program concludes with a profile of three friends who are Muslim, Christian and Jewish. The girls obviously have fun and respect each others' faith and traditions. This hopeful note is a good way to end an interesting program.
Reilly Reagan   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Reilly Reagan, M.L.S. is a librarian and teacher currently working as a full-time mom. She has been reviewing media since 1991, writing for Library Journal and Video Librarian magazines. Her eight-year old and five-year-old sons enjoy helping with critiques.

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