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Riz Ahmed Challenges Misrepresentation Of Muslims On-Screen

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Riz Ahmed has challenged the “toxic” misrepresentation of Muslims on-screen in a video posted to YouTube.

Ahmed is known for roles in Rogue One, Venom and The Night Of. Earlier this year he became the first Muslim to receive an Oscars nomination for best actor, following his performance in Sound of Metal.

Calling the nomination “bittersweet”, Ahmed questioned why he was the first to be recognised in such a way.

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“How was it that out of 1.6 billion people […] none of us had ever been in this position until now?” He said. “What must the unwritten rule be about Muslims? A quarter of the world’s population and their place in our stories, our culture and their place in our society.”

“It’s something that has to be changed and it’s something we can’t change on our own. It’s a structural problem”, He went on. “There is no trickle down of individual successes – we have to join hands. What rewrites rules isn’t exceptions, but it’s when the oppressed and the oppressors –  whether they’re aware of being oppressors, aware of their complicity or not – join hands, open their eyes and make some solid commitments to take some concrete steps.”

The 38-year-old Londoner recently praised the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, for her criticism of a film depicting her response to the 2019 Christchurch massacre. The film, ‘They Are Us‘ has received widespread backlash for ignoring the suffering of the massacre’s Muslim victims.

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