On September 11, 2009, playwright Wajahat Ali’s “The Domestic Crusaders” will make its world debut off-Broadway. Why does this matter? Because with this play, Ali is thrusting the genre of Islamic art into a modern arena, where theater, television, and other venues are becoming part of the artistic discourse.
“The Domestic Crusaders” is the story of a Muslim family whose children struggle with identity issues, among other things. But it is way more than a Muslim “All in the Family” or your typical East-meets-West kids and parents clashing-type fare, says Beliefnet contributor Shahed Amanullah, who offers up his review of the play.
The play takes a leap forward by attempting “to tie together themes of Muslim history and American Muslim culture, as much as such a culture exists today,” Amanullah writes. It asks many questions, like “What does it mean to be a Muslim in America? What parts of American culture can be integrated into the still-emerging American Muslim culture? Where is the line that exists between the cultural values of the immigrant generation and the Islamic ones?”
If you happen to be in New York in the fall, check out “The Domestic Crusaders.” (Learn more about the play on its website) You’ll get some laughs, and learn a thing or two.