Film and Discussion: "By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam"

Zareena Grewal, filmmaker and associate professor of American Studies and Religious Studies, Yale University

In March 1996, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson), an all-star guard for the Denver Nuggets and an African American Muslim convert, was suspended by the NBA for not standing for the national anthem. Previously, Abdul Rauf had earned national headlines only for his record-setting free-throw shooting game and for his struggles overcoming Tourrette Syndrome. His sudden suspension sparked a national debate about race, politics, religion, and freedom of speech. Tracing his evolution from icon of the American dream to an "un-American foreigner," this timely film documents the history of anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia through the story of one man's spiritual journey turned public trial. Join us before the film to see the exhibition Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms.

A collaboration with GW’s Institute for Middle East Studies. Free, but reservations are required. Register online or call 202-994-7394.