Film Proposal: The Muslims of Flint

This is a story about the Muslims who call Flint, Michigan home. A story about Muslims from all backgrounds finding a home in Flint and contributing to it in unique ways is one of the greatest untold stories. According to data from the Association of Religion Data Archives, the Muslim population between 2000 and 2010 grew by more than 400%. This was the largest growth for any county in Michigan among counties that had at least 1000 Muslims in the year 2000. It is a growing community in a city that is losing population.

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The goal of this documentary is to change the narrative around Islam in America and places like Flint. Documentaries, such as the one proposed here, aim to create a space where those stories can be told and heard by those outside of these communities. In a way, this documentary can contribute to a deconstruction of false narratives. The rationale that underlies the proposed documentary is that a combination of storytelling and visualization can highlight the lives of Muslims in America in the places they call home such as Flint, Michigan. It may answer the question of, Why Flint? We seek to understand the place of Islam in America with the City of Flint providing an interesting microcosm to that larger story. There is a larger discussion about diversity in America and the rise of Islamophobia among other forms of prejudice. Muslims are often framed as outsiders in the United States. There have been many contributions that challenge this narrative, but none that focus on place and how Muslim Americans find home in this country. In addition, the idea that Flint would appeal as a home is similarly transgressive to the overall narrative of this particular place. This contribution will be significant because there has not been a focus on place in the experience of Muslims in America and how these local experiences contribute to the larger experience of Muslims across the United States.