Socialist Worker

New film Freesia tells the story of the fight against Islamophobia

Freesia uses real examples of racist attacks to paint a picture of Islamophobia in Britain today. The film’s director Conor Ibrahiem spoke to Yuri Prasad

Issue No. 2562

The racist murder of Mohammed Saleem on 29 April 2013 inspired one of the stories told in the new film Freesia.

Three stories interweave to create an indictment of Islamophobia in Britain today.

The film is set in Bradford, the site of many fascist demonstrations targeting Muslims.

Director Conor Ibrahiem explained why he chose the city.

“Bradford has a high Muslim population, as does West Yorkshire as a whole.” he told Socialist Worker.

“Hatred towards Muslims is felt in our region as well as other places across the country.”

Ibrahiem spoke about the challenges making the film. “It would have been an easier ride if I had chosen a comedy or a daring drama that further targeted Muslims or South Asians as being groomers or terrorists,” he said.

“I hope the film can go someway in negating the stigma faced by Muslims,” said Ibrahiem.

Support

“They also need to step up and support such projects as films of this nature are still a few and far between.

“The more audiences we can engage with the better. I hope audiences don’t react with the anger I have seen on social media when Freesia has been mentioned.

“Many people are in denial that Islamophobia even exists.”

Given the complex nature of the material the film deals with, Ibrahiem stressed the need to maintain a balance between art and politics.

“They are two sides of the same coin,” he said. “Art is a reflection of the times we live in and politics governs it.”

Ibrahiem dedicated the film to “Mohammed Saleem of Birmingham and sincere thanks to Maz Saleem for her support.”

Freesia is in selected cinemas in August. Watch the trailer at youtu.be/6-BOCCINZDQ

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