Film depicts the tragic past of a Northern California mosque

Jul 22, 2014

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 250,000 Muslims. They work in tech, medicine, commerce, the service industry. And if you drive two hours north of San Francisco, to Yuba City, you’d find a Muslim farming community that’s been there for nearly a century. Pakistani immigrants made their way to Yuba City in the 1920s and today grow almonds, oranges, alfalfa, and prunes. Lots of prunes. The community was living peacefully until one fateful day in 1994, when disaster struck. Oakland filmmaker David Washburn’s new film An American Mosque tells their story. I spoke to Washburn about making the film.

DAVID WASHBURN: For me, when I learned this story, of multi-generational Muslim Americans who were farming and decided to convert this farm land into a house of worship…it was the kind of Little Home on the Prairie mythology that we share with each other in a Muslim context.

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview. 

An American Mosque aired on PBS stations nationwide, and you can see it online until July 28th.