Published: Nov. 24, 2010

MSU filmmakers’ documentary on imam shooting to premiere

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129 Tom.Oswald@cabs.msu.edu, Geri Alumit Zeldes Michigan State University professor office: (517) 432-1413 alumitge@msu.edu

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A documentary made by two Michigan State University faculty and a doctoral student that examines the controversial shooting of a Detroit-area Muslim leader will be premiered Dec. 1 in Dearborn.

The film, “The Death of an Imam,” will be presented at 7 p.m. in 1600 Social Sciences Building on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The film was made by Geri Alumit Zeldes, an MSU School of Journalism faculty member; Salah Hassan from MSU’s Department of English; and Brian J. Bowe, an MSU media and information studies doctoral student and visiting assistant professor at Grand Valley State University.

Ryan Hurst and Sarah Jaeger, recent graduates of MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences, edited and filmed significant portions of the documentary.

The filmmakers will introduce the 17-minute documentary.  After the screening, a panel featuring, among others, Dawud Walid from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Niraj Warikoo, a Detroit Free Press reporter, both of whom appeared in the film, will provide updates on coverage and be available for questions.

The film examines the news reporting associated with the Oct. 28, 2009, shooting of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who was killed by FBI agents at a Dearborn warehouse.

The film explores the issues at the core of the incident: The allegations of a terrorism conspiracy, the use of FBI informants and Muslims in the mainstream media.

The documentary is part of MSU’s project titled “Islam, Muslims and Journalism Education.” More information is available at www.imaje.msu.edu.

The premiere is being presented by these organizations at UM-Dearborn: Arab American Studies, African American Studies, American Studies and Ethics, and Communication Studies.

The project was funded by the Social Science Research Council.

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Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Geri Alumit Zeldes is an assistant professor of journalism. She also directed the documentary "The Death of an Imam," a flim that examines the controversial 2009 shooting death of a Detroit-area Muslim leader.

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