Religious Freedom in America

Religious Freedom in America

AAM partnered with Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) to produce a documentary series on religion, constitutionalism and religious liberty for broadcast on TRT, Turkey’s leading public broadcast channel. This program examines why religion is playing a larger role in public life and in people’s individual lives; how different governments are responding to the resurgence in religion; how religious freedom evolved into a fundamental human right; and how societies and governments can facilitate peaceful relationships among diverse religions. The three part series was hosted by TRT’s leading anchor and AAM Fellow, Mithat Bereket, and aired as part of Pusula (Compass), Bereket's bi-weekly news and foreign affairs documentary. 

Religious Freedom and the American Experience: This documentary features perspectives from such historical figures as "Benjamin Franklin" and "Thomas Jefferson", portrayed by actors in Philadelphia and Willamsburg. The resulting documentary not only explored the American experience in developing the relationship between religion, government and society, but also provided Turkish audiences with background on religious movements throughout Europe beginning in the Middle Ages, the corruption of the Catholic Church, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the birth of Protestantism, the split between the Church of England and the Catholic Church, and the Puritans flight to the “New World.”

Islam in America, Part 1: Mithat Bereket travels to Detroit, Michigan to explore the historical roots of one of the oldest African American Muslim communities in the United States. Tracing history back to the slave trade, the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights Era, this documentary examines the influence of the Nation of Islam throughout the struggles of racial segregation in American history, and looks at the role of more traditional Islamic teachings in today's African American Muslim communities.

Islam in America, Part 2: Mithat Bereket travels to Dearborn, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York to look at the diversity amongst more recent immigrant Muslim communities in America. Bereket interviews prominent Imams and community members in the largest Turkish and Arab American communities in the US, to discuss the benefits of freedom of worship in the US, and looks at the challenges faced by Muslim Americans since the attacks of September 11.


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