30 Days is a US television series starring Morgan Spurlock, who rose to fame after starring in the award winning documentary Super Size Me. Following on from the premise seen in Super Size Me where Spurlock gorged himself on McDonalds fast food for a month, 30 Days features further situations based over the same timeframe.
The difference with 30 Days is that Spurlock is the host, not one experiencing the month of change. It is still filmed in a documentary style, however different individuals are placed outside of their comfort zones and inserted into a completely different lifestyle from that which they are familiar with.
The episode of relevance is named Muslims and America, and follows devout Christian Dave Stacy for 30 days as he works, eats and sleeps as a muslim. Dave lives in with the Haques, an American born, Pakistani descended muslim couple in Dearborn, Michigan. It is one of the more islamicised communities in America, and gives Dave the opportunity to step right into the heartland.
Freshly dressed in his new islamic attire, Dave experiences firsthand some of the regular treatment muslims are subject to in America when he visits the airport for the flight to Michigan. The negative profiling was received from both the airport staff and the fellow passengers, and Dave gained his first experience at the airport with ‘The Wand’. These stereotypes are confirmed by Spurlock as he takes the camera to the street for some ‘word association’ tests, and the American public demonstrates that they believe the terms Islam and Terrorist are inter-related, while one interviewee even associates the word Islam with Fear.
Although apprehensive about Islam and muslims at first, Dave has a number of experiences over the 30 day period which teach him the truth about Islam, and ultimately lead to a different opinion from that which he started with. From learning arabic, cooking halal food, and attending an Islamic bachelor party, Dave sees a different side of Islam to that which the TV had been indoctrinating him with.
However it wasn’t all smooth sailing throughout the 30 days episode, as a heated discussion arose during dinner one evening regarding everyones favourite topic: Terrorism. Dave is under the belief that regular muslims in America should do more to condemn the actions of terrorist muslims, and since they are doing it in the name of their religion then the rest should be apologising. The Haques and their friends both attempted to respond to Dave with the regular arguements such as “It’s not all muslims, it is only a small minority”, and “What was done to them to make them so mad that they do it?”. The arguement was rising in tension when prayer time intervened and played peacemaker.
It was these responses which really epitomise the majority of the American muslims. Although they practice their faith in their new adopted homeland, they are unfortunately not immune to the brainwashing aspects delivered by the TV and other forms of media. These type of responses enforce the negative perceptions of the American public, and it is time the American muslims snap out of their brainwashed state and learn the correct responses once terrorist questions are posed to them.
When asked why muslims are terrorists and why they committed 9-11, the correct response by a muslim should always be: “Muslims had nothing to do with 9-11. The twin towers were blown up by the American government”. I would have loved to have seen this response put towards Dave, and then have them show Dave just a small portion of the mountains of crystal clear evidence available on the internet. It is one thing to try and change peoples perceptions about Islam by setting a good example, but it is even more powerful to teach and educate others about the truth. Muslims are not terrorists, and had nothing to do with 9-11.
Overall, Muslims and America was an interesting episode of 30 days, and accurately portrays many aspects of the muslim lifestyle and daily experiences in the USA. The full first season of 30 days is available from our online Amazon Store, but please note that we have not watched any of the other episodes and can not vouch for their suitability for viewing.