I watched “My Name is Khan” the other night. Here is a trailer.
I really liked this movie because it addresses one of the biggest social issues in the US today: the fear for Muslims. Before getting to that point, Here is a synopsis of the movie.
The movie is about an Indian guy, Rizwan Khan, with Asperger syndrome who came to the US after his mother’s death. His beloved mom kept telling him that there are only two kinds of people–bad people who do bad things and good people who do good deeds. This message was deeply engraved in his heart. Rizwan’s brother was a successful businessman in SF who sell beauty products. He started working for his brother as a salesperson. He fell in love with a hairstylist–one of his customers–and married her. Her son liked Rizwan and he was having a happy life with his wife and son until the day of September 11, 2001… Everything changed after 9.11. And he experienced the most tragic event in this life. After this even (and I won’t mention what it was), Rizwan started a journey to meet the President to deliver the following message, “My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist.”
I’d like you to watch it yourself to explore the rest of the story. It is a long movie–about 2 hours and 40 minutes. But I bet it won’t disappoint you.
So back to the point. I liked it because it delivers an important message to the audience. The message is that there is so much confusion and misunderstanding about the Muslims in the US. Especially since 9.11, people have become to make a generalization that all Muslims can become terrorists and therefore they are dangerous. I totally understand the complexity and sensitiveness of this issue. However, I also understand that you cannot simply make that generalization. Not all Asians are Chinese (this is coming from my experiences in El Salvador and Ecuador). Not all Muslims are terrorists. Same logic.
Now on a different note, I have to admit that I’m not thoroughly understanding the extent of impact that 9.11 had on the Americans because at the time, I was a high school student in Japan. In retrospect, I was very surprised and in shock when it happened. However, the fact that some of my friends started making a joke out of 9.11 proves that the Japanese people’s perspectives and impacts of 9.11 are quite different from those of the Americans.
One of my best friends is a Muslim. He told me once that every time he goes to the airport, he has to go through an extra layer of security check. There is no such thing like a “random” inspection of passengers. For those whose last names is Khan and Abdullah, it is pretty much a “requirement.” It is utterly important to make sure the safety of passengers; however, I also think that it is unjust that this safety is imposing an extra burden to innocent citizens whose last names happen to be Khan. It’s a complex issue and everyone has a different opinion. Those who lost their loved ones have totally different opinions from me, I guess.
Anyways, I highly recommend this movie. Some portions of the movie are a little too unrealistic. Yet, it still captures various important points and delivers a lot of good messages: not only about not all Muslims are terrorists but also about love, inter-cultural-and-religious bond and most importantly about the power of one person’s sincere will and determination.
If you have a Netflix account, it’s available there. If you don’t have one,, I still encourage you to watch it!