Whos afraid of aymann ismail


Aug 27 2018

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At the Republican National Convention last summer, I planned to shoot some photos and video. But just after landing in Cleveland, as I waited in line to get in, a man in full Thomas Jefferson costume approached me and asked: “Are you Muslim?” I told him yes. He told me Islam was evil.

I’m used to this: People openly stared when I photographed the new World Trade Center being built on assignment in Manhattan. They weren't the first. But in Cleveland, when I talked to people—really talked to them—I could tell meeting a real Muslim face to face made some kind of impact.

I’ve come to believe that many who speak out against Muslims are motivated by fear. Fear that I’ll force women to cover themselves. Fear that they’ll be subject to Sharia law. Fear that I’d kill if given the chance. So I’m going to confront those fears, one by one. In “Who’s Afraid of Aymann Ismail?,” a new Slate video series, I’m going to meet with anti-Muslim activists, state legislators, and my own family to find out if there really is anything to fear about American Muslims.

Presented By: The Writer and Producer

aymann ismail



Aymann Ismail is an award winning video editor and producer at Slate whose work focuses on identity and religion. He's appeared on CNN and NPR, and has been featured in The New York Post, Adweek, and The Huffington Post. His current project "Who's Afraid of Aymann Ismail?" is a video series that moves beyond stereotypes of both American Muslims and their self-professed adversaries, finding hope and fault in both. He now lives in Newark NJ, where he grew up.