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Filmography - Islam: Islam – religion and law

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Islam – religion and law

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on biology topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary:




A jihad for love. 2008.  1 videodisc (81 min.). First feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality.  The film travels a wide geographic arc, presenting lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France.  Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film's characters show for it. DVD 5640

Eastern and Western philosophy. 2002.  2 videodiscs (300 min.). Eastern & Western Philosophy is a groundbreaking series that explores the roots of ancient philosophy, religious thought and spiritual enlightenment. Eastern philosophy explores the genesis of spiritual thought and investigates the central doctrines of Confucianism, Shinto, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. Western philosophy traces the evolution of philosophy from classical Greece, its development in Europe and through the medieval period and the enlightenment into modern existentialist thought.  DVD 5971-2

Essentials of faith Islam. 2006.  1 streaming video file (24 min.). The Five Pillars of Islam-belief in one God, praying five times a day, fasting, giving to charity, and going on pilgrimage-guide all Muslims. But cultural and political influences have shaped the observance of the faith in various ways from country to country. This program explores the beliefs of four Islamic leaders and scholars who communicate penetrating insights and observations on the contrasts and continuity within their religion. Interviewees include Imam Abdul Sajid of the Al-Hijrah Trust, chef and TV show host Michael Bukht, prominent London banker Kosser Sheikh, and Professor Haleh Afshar, a lecturer in politics and women's studies at the University of York.  Streaming video

Faith without fear. 2007.  1 videodisc (60 min.). Follow along on the journey of Irshad Manji, a Muslim dissident, as he tries to help restore humanity and reason to Islam.  DVD 3028

Faith, politics, and tradition. 2003.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). This straight-talking program seeks to understand if religious belief can be reconciled with the changing values of modern life. Archbishop Rowan Williams argues that religion must suit a modern audience by changing the way it communicates its message-a point disputed by conservative historian Jonathan Clark, who believes the forces of modernity should be resisted. Reformist Muslim Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Islamic adviser to George W. Bush, submits that the West lacks acceptance of Islam despite Muslims' tolerance of Christianity. A valuable dialogue between representatives of major religious entities searching for mutual knowledge. (26 minutes).  Streaming video

Hajj The pilgrimage.  1999.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). Every year, millions of Muslims journey to Mecca to take part in the Hajj, the fifth pillar of faith-a sacred duty that transcends race, nationality, and even time. This program captures the day-by-day events of one such pilgrimage, including the ritual of tawaf, the performance of wuquf on Mt. Rahmah, the overnight stay at Muzdalifah, the symbolic stoning of the Devil in the valley of Mina, and the festival of sacrifice. Footage of the holy city of Medina, the ancient battlefield at Uhud, and the changing of the embroidered cover on the Kaaba is also included, as well as detailed historical background on Islam and its prophet, Muhammad. (53 minutes).  Streaming video

 I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim. 1994.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). This program introduces Sufism, a branch of Islam which is much less well known in the West than some of the more fundamentalist forms which are frequently in the news. The program travels to India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Macedonia to explore exactly what Sufism is and observe how it is practiced in various parts of the world today. Among the many aspects of Sufism featured in the program are the whirling dervishes of Turkey, who find God through ecstasy; ecstatic fakirs in Macedonia, where there is a big revival in popular Sufism; and the vital role of music in Sufism in India and Pakistan. The program also features Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, perhaps the most well-known performer of Qawali music. (50 minutes).  Streaming video

I named her Angel. 2007.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (29 min.). The Whirling Dervishes, also known as the Mevlevi Brotherhood, are part of the Sufi mystic tradition of Islam. While little is known in the Western world about their traditions, the filmmaker gained rare access to a Mevlevi religious den who allowed her to film their practices. For a year she followed Elif, a 12 -year-old Turkish girl, who undertakes the spiritual and physical training to learn ritual whirling. In this colorful film we see the gentle Elif attend meetings where she listens to the spiritual leader talk about matters of life and death, being human, the meaning of the colors of the Tenures (robes) worn by the worshippers, and the nature of Allah. She learns the teachings of Rumi, the mystic poet, who was the founder of the Dervishes in the 13th Century .She understands. She masters the trance-like state that allows dervishes to mentally detach themselves from their bodies and dance without becoming dizzy. The film concludes by showing the Seb--i-Arus ceremony at the centuries -old Galata Mevlevi Temple where Elif conquers her stage fright and joins in the extraordinary dance. An important film that shows viewers a different face of Islam.  Streaming video;1645971

Inner journey The path of mysticism. 2001.  1 streaming video file (57 min.). This program respectfully explores mystical aspects of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Taoism. Learned scholars, including Elliot Wolfson, professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University; Peter Awn, professor of Islamic studies and comparative religion at Columbia University; and Eric Yudelove, author of The Tao and the Tree of Life, introduce Kabbalism, Sufism, Hesychasm, kundalini yoga, and Taoist yoga. Together they shed light on the history of mysticism, purification practices for mind and body, challenges and struggles associated with traveling an esoteric path...and mystical union with the One. (57 minutes).  Streaming video

Interfaith discussion, part 1. 2007.  1 streaming video file (28 min.). In this program, Dennis Wholey begins a dialogue on the role of religion and faith in contemporary American culture with spokespeople from the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship; the Islamic Society of North America; the Agudas Achim Conservative Jewish Congregation of Alexandria, Virginia; and the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Maryland. Topics of discussion include a nuanced definition of religion, the tendency among religions to define themselves by their differences, the dynamics of intra-religious and interreligious intolerance, and the importance of respect rather than mere tolerance between religions. (27 minutes).  Streaming video

Interfaith discussion, part 2. 2007.  1 streaming video file (28 min.). In this program, Dennis Wholey continues a dialogue on the role of religion and faith in contemporary American culture with spokespeople from the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship; the Islamic Society of North America; the Agudas Achim Conservative Jewish Congregation of Alexandria, Virginia; and the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Maryland. Topics of discussion include why diversity is frightening to many today; the responsibilities of religion in America's ongoing immigration debate; the importance of embracing the present, whatever it holds, rather than clinging to an idealized past; and the varied degrees of influence that belief in an afterlife can have on daily living. (27 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam and Christianity. 93.  1 streaming video file (30 min.). This program examines the historical relations between Islam and Christianity and the long history of conflict between them. Iran's ambassador to the Vatican, Mohammad Masjed Jame'i, explains the basic differences and similarities between Islam and Christianity: the roles of Christ and Mohammad, the Bible and the Koran, and the main differences of approach. The program also examines the reasons for the continuing conflict between Islam and the West, and whether an understanding can be reached between them. (30 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam and its five pillars. 2004.  1 streaming video file (28 min.). A meaningful understanding of Islam begins when its principles are discussed with an open mind. In this program, Amina Wadud, of Virginia Commonwealth University; Ibrahim Kalin, of the College of the Holy Cross; and Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, join together to examine the meaning of Islam-both within a Muslim context and in relation to the Christian and Jewish traditions of Abrahamic monotheism-and to explain Islam's Five Pillars. The purpose of hijab, the distinction between individual and congregational prayer, and mosque design are given special consideration, as are the Virgin Birth, Jesus, and an almighty God. (28 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam The five pillars of faith. 1995.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). Residing to the north of India, the population of Kashmir is primarily Muslim. This program travels to the place known as the Switzerland of the Eastto study the beliefs and practices of Islam. Topics such as the Koran, the Pillars of Islam, the influence of Sharia, and traditional Muslim festivals and holy sites are addressed. Background on the arrival of Islam in Kashmir and its spread throughout India creates a historical context for the religion's predominance in many regions. (52 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam. 2003.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). Five times a day, one fifth of the world's population faces Mecca and falls to its knees in prayer. This program illustrates how, through architecture and art, Muslims have articulated their faith. Architectural sites include the Great Mosque of Djenne, in Mali; the Jama Masjid Mosque, in Delhi, which took 5,000 workers more than six years to build during the time of Shah Jahan; the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul; the Great Mosque of Cordoba; and the ultramodern New York Mosque. (26 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam. 2007.  1 streaming video file (28 min.). In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Islam with Imam Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America, in Dearborn, Michigan. Topics of discussion include the meaning of the words Islam, Muslim, and mosque; the two predominant denominations of Islam, Sunni and Shia; the Five Pillars of Islam; the Muslim view of life after death; and the deplorable hijacking of Islam by radical Muslims for use as a tool of hatred and violence. The program also goes inside the Center's mosque to observe aspects of a typical Muslim prayer service. (27 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam. 1996.  1 streaming video file (56 min.). Smith discovered Islam as an adult, and became enamored with Islamic conceptions of order, justice, mercy, and compassion. He still prays five times a day as Muslims do. The Sufis opened the doors of Islam to Smith. Through their trance-inducing dances, these mystics bring God into the immediate moment. Smith and Moyers discuss misconceptions about Islam held in the West today. The DVD version of this program also includes a special video introduction by Mr. Moyers. (56 minutes).  Streaming video

Legacy of peace. 20??  1 videodisc (120 min.). Explores the nature of Islam and unfolds many of its inner-dimensions. It dispels many myths and discusses contributions from science and math.  DVD 9610

Money Man-made or a divine gift from Allah? 99.  1 streaming video file (53 min.). In the world of business, Muslims are striving to remain faithful to Islamic law while accommodating economic changes and technological advances. After providing a concise overview of the Muslim religion, this program explores the third pillar of faith-zakat, or alms-giving-and the Islamic financial system, where usury and speculation are forbidden but profit-sharing and dividends are mandatory. The application of zakat in everyday life is addressed, along with the impact of no-interest banking for a Saudi Arabian multinational conglomerate, the Albaraka Group. (53 minutes).  Streaming video

No god but God. 2005.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). In this program, Robert Winston focuses on monotheism as he continues to examine the building blocks of faith and humankind's quest to plumb the nature of God. Visits to Mt. Sinai, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, St. Peter's Basilica, Mecca, and the Abalfazl and Imam Mosques, Isfahan, shed light on the beliefs that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have in common and the issues that divide them. Featured experts include scholar Zaki Badawi, historian Elizabeth Lev, authors Jonathan Kirsch and Jack Miles, and Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain. A BBCW Production. (60 minutes).  Streaming video

NOW with Bill Moyers Azizah al-Hibri on interfaith dialogue. 2002.  1 streaming video file (47 min.). By applying her deep knowledge of the Quran and the U.S. Constitution to issues involving democracy and women's rights, Azizah al-Hibri has been instrumental in nurturing an urgently needed interfaith dialogue both at home and abroad. In this program, Bill Moyers and Dr. al-Hibri explore her role as a bridge builder between Muslims and non-Muslims as she advocates conflict resolution through mediation, not violence. She also addresses Arab animosity toward the U.S., America's tarnished image in the eyes of many Middle Eastern countries, and the hijacking of Islam for political ends, using the 9/11 attacks as a powerful case in point. (47 minutes).  Streaming video

NOW with Bill Moyers Karen Armstrong on religious fundamentalism. 2002.  1 streaming video file (41 min.). If you were God, would you do away with religion? With that question, Bill Moyers launches into a discussion with Karen Armstrong, one of the world's foremost commentators on religious affairs and author of Islam: A Short History. In this program, they seek to understand the psychosocial impact of religious fundamentalism, which frequently elevates God at the expense of personal freedom. Over the course of their dialogue, they also cover the concept of sacredness, the relationship between religion and psychology, and the profound connections among the three religions of the Book-all within the context of Ms. Armstrong's own spiritual journey from disenchantment to peace. (41 minutes).  Streaming video

The Islamic state. 1993.  1 streaming video file (30 min.). Islamic movements throughout the Muslim world are demanding an Islamic state. What is an Islamic state? What is its relationship to the people, and how democratic can it be? In this program, Dr. Hassan Turabi, widely regarded as the architect of the Sudanese Islamic state, describes the ideal Islamic state and its ideology; he also discusses the issues of human rights, women's rights, and the position of minorities in the Sudan. (30 minutes).  Streaming video

The language of the soul Abraham's children. 1999.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). Apart from their outward differences in ritual and doctrine, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share an inward-pointing imperative to know God. In this program, clergy, theologians, and others with religious vocations delve into the esoteric aspects of three of the world's great religions. The use of meditation and contemplation as vehicles for transcending the mundane and drawing closer to the divine is examined, especially as exemplified by monastic life, Kabbalism, and Sufism. (53 minutes).  Streaming video

The pig commandments. 2007.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (69 min.). This fascinating film illustrates how religious differences, even on the basic level of dietary prohibitions, can affect the way neighbors interact. It focuses on Malaysia, home to 12 million Muslims and 6 million Chinese. Islam bans the eating of pork, considering it unclean, while the Chinese have treasured pork for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese character for "home" was a pig. For the Chinese the pig is a symbol of prosperity and all celebrations involve a pig roast. "Pig Commandments" outlines the ways in which the Muslim prohibition to eat pork affects the relationship between the Chinese and Muslims in this part of the world. There is legislation to keep pig farms away from the Muslim population. Many Chinese in Malaysia have converted to Islam. For them, the Koran has been translated into Chinese; and four chapters of the Koran deal with the prohibition to eating pork. One Chinese convert describes the problem with eating with her family. Only once a year when the Chinese celebrate the New Year with a vegetarian meal, can she join her family at dinner. "The Pig Commandments" shows how dietary laws can divide people or being them closer together. It demonstrates dramatically the social effects of food regulations and the sensitivity of people who are offended by another culture's eating habits. Scholars, religious leaders, and people of both religions express their feelings about this contentious issue. In addition we see how generations of pig farmers are proud of their succulent product.  Streaming video

The Quran, the Bible, and the Torah. 2004.  1 streaming video file (34 min.). Islam, Christianity, and Judaism possess a rich body of writings that are authoritative and normative for the life and faith of their respective communities. In this program, Timothy George, author of Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?; Amina Wadud, author of the groundbreaking Qur'an and Woman; and Ibrahim Kalin, author of many articles on Islam and Islamic thought, present their perspectives on the revelatory and inspirational texts of the three religions of the Book. In the process, they compare the illiteracy of Muhammad to the virginity of the Virgin Mary as essential conditions for the untainted transmissions of the Word and contrast views on the validity of sacred works in translation. (35 minutes).  Streaming video

The shadow of God Turning the dark side of monotheism to the light. 2006.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). No religions have proved more combative than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite the fact that they share the same deity-or perhaps because of it. In this program, renowned biblical scholar and religious historian Othmar Keel sheds light on topics such as the volatile historical and cultural contexts in which the Old Testament originated; the protracted struggle of monotheism for supremacy over polytheism; and brutal ruptures between successive belief systems that have pitted Jews against polytheists, Christians against Jews, and Muslims against both Christians and Jews. Keel urges adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to critically review their own histories within a vertical ecumenical vision based on their common origins and not on their denominational differences. (58 minutes).  Streaming video

Three pillars Confucius, Jesus, and Mohammed. 98.  1 streaming video file (53 min.). The identities of the founders of three major religions-Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam-are studied in this program. The story of Confucianism and how its tenets spread to the Chinese social and political structure includes discussions about the yin (feminine principle) and the yang (masculine principle). The significance of Jesus as a prophet for Muslims, and God incarnate for Christians, is analyzed. Mohammed and the religion he created as codified in the Koran are examined. Temples, churches, and mosques are discussed as intrinsic to the practice of each religion. (53 minutes). Streaming video