What does it mean to be 14 and Muslim in Canada?

This one-hour documentary follows Sahar, Malaieka and Ahmad as they make the transition from a private Islamic elementary school to high school. Will they and their family choose the familiar – though some might say insular – confines of Islamic High School? Or will they opt for a public or even Catholic high school and enter a new, less familiar world?

Shot over six months, we follow our kids as they navigate new worlds and take their first tentative steps towards adulthood. Through the wide eyes of those still forming what it means to be a person in the world, we begin to understand the dilemma facing many Muslim kids here in Canada.

As they take us on their journey revealing fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams, their story moves from the familiar to the strange, from the known to the unknown and unfolds against a larger backdrop -- that of a western world that seems to be increasingly turning against them. Up-close and personal, 14 & Muslim looks at how ideas of diversity and tolerance play out in the Canadian classroom.

 

Director's Statement

"I have teenage kids and I know the kinds of pressures that teens face daily. After Trump was elected and the anti-Muslim sentiment in the US and Canada began to grow I started to think, what it must be like for a Muslim kid growing up in Canada right now…... hearing almost daily on the news that they are not wanted in the US, or there has been a hate crime in Ottawa, or the niqab is being banned in Montreal.  What kinds of conversations do their parents have with them about Islamophobia, intolerance and racism? It's a lot to try and understand when you are just trying to figure out your own place in the world."   - Wendy Rowland, Director, 14 & Muslim