An organisation dedicated to overcoming irrational Islamophobia; refuting Islamophobes; and countering anti-Muslim/anti-Islam sentiments in the mainstream and right-wing media. By rationally dispelling repeatedly discredited statements and remarks made by anti-Muslim groups, individuals and certain "reformed" Muslims, we hope to overcome the dangerous myth of the "other" Muslims.
Cut, paste, smear & repeat false narratives on Muslims need to end:
Containing concise responses to over 200 Q&As against ordinary Muslims and Islam, this book aims to counter the most vile, widely debunked and yet variedly repeated Islamophobic comments by renowned Islamophobes, anti-Muslim groups, talk-show hosts, right-wing politicians, atheists…………………….as well as individuals with Muslim names who commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, in an easy-to-reference Q&A format, so that a confident and articulate generation can emerge rather than fumble every time the camera is pointed towards them.
“This is a timely book that approaches some of the key questions facing Islam and Muslims in an honest and forthright manner” Murtaza Hussain, Journalist and Writer for Buzzfeed and Contributor for New York Times, The Guardian and Al Jazeera English
“Instead of the usual evasive and convoluted responses from Muslim “leaders”, an ordinary Muslim has taken it upon himself to address much of the misinformation about Islam in a no-nonsense manner and tone.”Ani Zonnevald, President, Muslim for Progressive Values
“Siddiq Bazarwala went above and beyond to illustrate the manufacturing of Islamophobia without falling into the victimisation trap. In times of sweeping populism, we need more of this work to demystify the presence of Muslims as minorities in predominantly non-Muslim countries and to deconstruct the myth of the “domestic Muslim enemy.” Yasser Louati, Human Rights and Civil Liberties Activist, Author of the 2016 Report on Islamophobia in France
“Rather impressive. It is my fervent hope that this author will not only be widely read but that the sentiments of peace with the world, self development, and personal evolution be the guiding light for all.” Ken S
“Its a book every bookshelf must have. As for Islamophobes, this book is an axe that cuts through their ignorance. This is my honest review of your marvellous work. May Allah increase you in goodness.” MA Jamal
“I am so thankful that I made the order. Its a fortune of information that we need the most nowadays. Looking forward to more from you. Your efforts are highly appreciated.”Alma
Please click here to download a few intro pages along with two sample chapters from the book. This will give you an overview of the way rest of the book is structured.
Given the challenging times ordinary Muslims are living in today, what is urgently needed is a strong and transparent horizontal leadership structure, consisting of at least 10 to 20 well-rounded, media savvy and eloquent Muslim individuals who can connect with today’s youth and teenagers and speak for ordinary Muslims in the non-Muslim West.
And thus, help shape and guide this peaceful dissent against growing irrational Islamophobia today, with the sole aim of helping raise the morale and self-confidence of ordinary Muslims worldwide.
However, this seemingly simple initiative has proven to be difficult to kick-start.
Embarking on a whirlwind tour funding it out of my own pocket meeting a number of Islamic-majority governments and ultra-high net worth individuals in early-to-mid 2015, I, spent months pushing the idea of an ordinary Muslim focused group among ambassadors and career diplomats in Europe some of whom were advisers to or senior members of a certain royal family as well as Islamic organisations like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a large entity known for its dozen-odd annual toothless and cosmetic Islamophobia reports.
Travelling to London, Paris, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur meeting senior embassy officials at Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Brunei, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE, discussions were held with a handful of very senior Arab diplomats and their legal advisers at their embassies and private office suites at high end hotels, owned by their fellow ultra-high net worth Muslims – to no avail.
As bottomless as the depth of their wealth seemed to a clear outsider like me, I was left just as profoundly disappointed when these philanthropists, diplomats and senior royal advisers politely suggested one after another that Ordinary Muslim Productions tone down (read: “guarantee to withhold”) its criticism of Muslim-majority countries and find ways to work with them instead, a compromise that seemed too much of a dilution from the original vision OMP had in mind.
Not long after, I gradually gathered how these wealth-savvy individuals and senior diplomats seemed more concerned on gathering exotic-branded artworks and fancy cars parked outside their embassies and private properties than funding a US$2-3 million global project that could crucially help reverse the decline of self confidence of ordinary Muslim youth worldwide.
Thus, the idea of training a small group of between ten to twenty well-rounded, media savvy and eloquent Muslim individuals who can connect with today’s youth and teenagers and speak for ordinary Muslims in the non-Muslim West, was ironically too unsettling for a number of key Muslim-majority governments, principally in the Middle East (perhaps due to skeletons in their own closets including suppression of human rights, regressive policies contrary to the teachings of hadiths, etc.,)
To be fair to those I met with – especially in Paris and London, it felt at times as if there was some sort of an intra-embassy protocol among these senior diplomats.
Almost every senior ambassador I met with privately confided there was nothing stopping OMP from turning the metaphorical gun barrel at these royal families, despots and dictatorships given OMP’s active stance on researching, preparing and countering every lie about Islam and ordinary Muslims with a short and concise response.
In some ways, they were probably right, I concede.
The perpetrators of Islamophobia are notonly right-wing politicians, anti-Muslim hate-groups and the media in the West but indirectly, a number of Muslim-majority governments have done little to raise the morale and self-confidence among the next generation of Muslims around the world, exacerbating the crises among ordinary Muslims, all the more.
It was perhaps for this primary reason alone among surely others, I struggled to obtain the necessary funding required to kick-start this project and was forced to consider nine months into the project how the idea may have to be put on hold.
There were of course a number of self-professed Muslim billionaires and philanthropists (according to Forbes magazine), in the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia, many of whom very courteously sent their best wishes back in writing, when responding to my meeting requests, adding how they preferred supporting “non-political charities” addressing social causes rather than what one notable Arab princess called “seemingly controversialones” like OMP – regardless of the fact that all OMP aims to do is help raise the morale and self-confidence of Muslim youth and teenagers by directly tackling irrational Islamophobia.
Utterly exhausted from hearing “great idea but no thanks”, I then met with Mahathir Mohamed in July 2015, former maverick Prime Minister of Malaysia and a historically controversial and vocal critic of Islamophobia at his office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, incidentally on his ninetieth birthday (10 July, 2015), as I foolishly found out the next morning reading the local paper.
Like others, Mahathir spoke many words of encouragement but unlike others genuinely advised me on some minor gaps in my thinking and most crucially added how this battle should never be given up until an avenue is found that can fund this. Once a fighter, always a fighter, I remember thinking, as I left Mahathir’s office for the lobby.
Looking out the window in a taxi on my way back to the hotel, I had an epiphany. It suddenly dawned on me perhaps there was a way not to let the in-depth literature I developed for this project go to waste by turning the 10,000 worded OMP pitch into a book on countering irrational Islamophobia, for the masses, everywhere around the world.
This is how the idea of the book Q&A with an Islamophobe came about.
To be honest, “the easy part was writing it”. The hard part was to “undertake research going through volumes of books, articles and video clips by Islamophobes, talk-show hosts, anti-Muslim hate groups, right-wing politicians and misinformed, self-doubting Muslims who veiled themselves as reformed Muslims”. Summing up the entire experience, the effort was perhaps “as painful as having to read a Dummies Guide to Islam written by ISIS or its fellow deviant groups”.
Fast forward two years growing the wordcount to 79,000 nevertheless, I hope the book Q&A with an Islamophobe (official release date: 30 October 2017) will help tilt the tectonic plates and bring about much needed positive change for ordinary Muslims by sparking a much needed debate in the West for overcoming widespread Islamophobia today – which could in turn, help raise the morale and self-confidence of Muslim youth and ordinary Muslims around the world in their own faith, which is today under attack from multiple directions.
Siddiq Bazarwala, Founder, Ordinary Muslim Productions
Unlike CAIR, the well-established and leading US-based civil rights advocacy group or its counterparts in the UK (MEND, Tell Mama, IHRC) or NCCMin Canada, CJL and CCIF in France, ICVand Islamophobia Watch in Australiaand others including MPV, MPAC, Muslim Advocates, SPLC, ACLU,etc,. we at Ordinary Muslim Productions are not involved in advocacy or tracking anti-Muslim abuse nor do we have the financial or manpower resources to initiate legal proceedings against individuals or companies behind hate crimes and discriminatory policies towards Muslims.
Instead, our singular goal is adversarial activism i.e., to act as a catalyst so that millions of Muslims will rise up to the challenge and become eloquent activists for themselves.
Ordinary Muslim Productions (OMP) is committed to the aim of:
Generating research and content to help revive the self-confidence of ordinary Muslims (our young children) around the world.
This includes producing responses to the most vile, widely debunked, repeatedly discredited and yet variedly repeated Islamophobic comments levelled against ordinary Muslims and Islam today, in an easy-to-reference Q&A format, targeting local, regional and global media press, policy makers, bloggers, op-ed columnists, television talking-heads and global think-tanks.
Our two key activities include:
Charity where total or partial proceeds from a given project is donated to peace-seeking projects or special causes where for example in May-June 2017, £5020 was raised from the sale of a children’s book (“The Ant & The Hud Hud”) and 100 percent donated to The White Helmets in Syria, a leading charity assisting those injured in the war (click her for proof of payment);
Commercial projects like the proceeds from the book (“Q&A with an Islamophobe” that contains over 200 concise responses to the most vile, widely debunked, repeatedly discredited and yet variedly repeated Islamophobic comments levelled against ordinary Muslims and Islam today, in an easy-to-reference Q&A format) is used to fund initiatives that will help revive the morale and self-confidence of ordinary Muslims worldwide.
Our aim to raise approximately US$260,000 in order to fund and produce research to equip the current and next generation of Muslim children to speak up eloquently and confidently about Islam as a religion of peace to non-Muslims worldwide, using verifiable facts sourced from non-academic contemporary history, political science, the Qur’an and Hadiths.
IF YOU HAVE:
(1) any ideas on how to produce the anti-venom to the poison affecting ordinary Muslims worldwide, we’d like to hear from you;
(2) some constructive criticism about us, we’d also like to hear from you;
(3) an anti-Muslim or anti-Islam viewpoint, we’d like to hear from you, too.