Courtney T. Ball

From Iowa With حب (Love)

This is a project my team from Flow Media created for our Corridor Characters channel. Below is an introduction I wrote for Ministry Matters about why we created the video. Thanks for watching/sharing.

“Islam is a violent religion.” “Muslims are dangerous.” “They’re terrorists.”

How many times have we heard these statements in Iowa over the past few months? Not since the aftermath of 9/11 has an anti-Islam agenda been so loudly and aggressively pushed in the United States. But this kind of fear-mongering sounds absurd to the people in my city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Muslims and non-Muslims have lived side-by-side peacefully for more than a century. The historic Mother Mosque, oldest in the nation, is a cherished reminder of this fact.

To counter the negative rhetoric, my colleagues and I at Corridor Characters decided to offer a narrative that better reflects reality as we know it here in Eastern Iowa. We made a short video message called, “From Iowa With حب (Love)”. It celebrates the deep love and friendship between real, everyday Muslim and non-Muslim people in our community.

The warm, positive, sometimes silly tone of the video feels more real to us than what we usually see in the media. We think it’s a better, truer representation of life as we know it. Our team at Corridor Characters/Flow Media* is diverse: men, women, Christian (from conservative to liberal), Muslim, Black, White, Asian, straight, and gay. We don’t all agree on everything, but we really like being friends.

I am a Christian. My study of scripture and practice of faith has led me to the belief that this is the vision Jesus had for the Kingdom of God, a reality in which we don’t let any kind of disagreement or dividing line of identity stop us from loving each other.

As we approach caucus night, the national spotlight shines on Iowa. We hope this message of love and friendship will be picked up and shared even more broadly than the inflammatory statements we’ve been hearing in our state and across the nation. If you watch the video and feel like this is a message you can support, we hope you will spread the word by sharing it with others. Help us give an accurate representation of Iowa to the rest of the world. This spotlight only comes along for us once every four years.

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*Corridor Characters is the public interest channel of Flow Media.

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Courtney Ball

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