Mustafa Davis, Film Director and Co-Founder of Ta’leef Collective says,
“There is cultural imperialism in the Muslim American community that results in many Muslims being forced to commit cultural apostasy, denying who they are and losing themselves in the process.”
This seemed to be the grain in the film and in the video “Behind the Scenes” that you can watch below, director Mustafa Davis says, “His experience growing up and Jordan (Richter’s) experience growing are exponentially different – it’s not the same thing. But it still resonated with him. It still told his story.” And although I’m not a convert and I am not in America, I felt that the film was, in some ways, a reflection of my life.
I don’t skate and I don’t have parents who are non-Muslims. But I am a born-again Muslim. And I believe I speak for many Muslims in Singapore who were born as Muslims but never really knew what that meant for them until one day, they finally see an event in their life as Allah’s doing, as Allah directly guiding them and that’s when things really change. That’s when being Muslim is now their choice, instead of something they were born as.
For Jordan Richter, a professional skateboarder who won many competitions, acquired paid sponsors and appeared on the covers of some of the most popular publications in the industry, his journey to Islam resulted in an identity hijack by Muslims who only projected their own understanding of the religion on him.
He was made to believe that photography was prohibited in Islam, causing him to leave skateboarding because his main source of income was through the photography and videos of his famed face and extra ordinary skills on the half pipe.
For many of us, we left the things we held dearly to our hearts because we believed that Allah would be happier with us. In our zealous attempts to achieve His Pleasure, we removed friends, hobbies, even our own history, to be a “proper Muslim”. While some may never look back, many others would eventually feel resentment for the expectations and pressures that fellow Muslims have burdened upon them.
15 years after Jordan Richter left professional skateboarding, he is getting back on it to discover who he really is, and to reconcile his faith with his personality. As we watch him attempt the flips and tricks with his skateboard, a part of many of us will demand a reunion with a familiar friend – our selves before our own spiritual hijrah.
What: Screening + Post-screening Discussion with the Director of “Wayward Son”
Where: Madrasah Aljunied Auditorium, 30 Victoria Lane
When: 8:00PM till 10:00PM, 21st September 2011 (Wednesday)