Source: Huffington Post
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.com, dropped some serious wisdom last week about the need for diversity in the media.
During a panel at The White House’s first United State of Women Summit, Al-Khatahtbeh was asked, “How do we empower the people we call the voiceless?”
Her answer was, simply, “pass the mic.”
“One of the most important things for us to do to amplify those voices is to pass the mic whenever we have it,” the writer said at the summit. “If there’s someone that can speak to a lived experience that you cannot, do not take up that space, do not speak on their behalf, let them speak for themselves.”
If there’s someone that can speak to a lived experience that you cannot, do not take up that space.Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
As an example, Al-Khatahtbeh brought up an upcoming biopic about the 13th-century Sufi Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi. Although Rumi was born in modern-day Afghanistan, the screenwriter and producer behind the film told The Guardianthat they had their eyes set on Leonardo DiCaprio to play the lead role.
“A blond, blue-eyed white man,” Al-Khatahtbeh said. “But when you think about it, when we have roles in Hollywood, in television, in the media, that have to do with terrorists, that have to do with villains, that have to do with people that want to destroy us, that hate our freedoms, we have absolutely no problem finding brown actors to play those roles.”
“It’s so important for us to remember representation in these conversations.”
A short clip of Al-Khatahtbeh’s remarks has gone viral on Facebook, earning more than 1.2 million views in about four days.