By Any Media Necessary: Mapping Youth and Participatory Politics

Wajahat Ali



Wajahat Ali describes himself as an "accidental activist."  He is a lawyer, award-winning playwright, investigative reporter, and co-host of Al Jazeera America talk show "The Stream."  His play The Domestic Crusaders was also published by McSweeney's and follows a day in the life of a Muslim American family post-9/11.  He was the lead researcher and author on the investigative report "Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America."

One recent action Ali fell into was a campaign in honor of Aasiya Zubair, a Muslim Pakistani American community leader and MBA student murdered by her husband.  Organizing with his friends on social media after they heard news of the tragedy, they called on imams to speak out against domestic violence in the Friday community prayer, mobilizing Muslims' collective identity to amplify their political voice.  In conjunction, he launched a facebook group that has become a global hub for anti-domestic violence activism.
"We always assume that we’re being watched. I sometimes send emails to my friends saying, 'Hello NSA!' even in my texts...And almost I use it as an educational opportunity when it comes to my speeches. My background: Wajahat Ali, Muslim, popular kid in school. Often times when I was in the Bay Area, I found out that there were plain clothes detective who used to come to my talks just to listen, even though they were just about storytelling and art and plays, nothing controversial."
-Ali on surveillance in the Considering Your Story's Afterlife webinar
Contributed by Samantha Close on 5/10/14

Wajahat Ali Media


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