An Act of Worship

A portrait of the last 30 years of Muslim-American life.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
82 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Told through the lens of Muslims living in the United States, director Nausheen Dadabhoy offers a counter-narrative of pivotal moments in U.S. history and explores the impact of anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy on young Muslims who came of age after 9/11.

Featured review

"A gracefully crafted, persuasive portrait of communities demonized for the acts of an extremist (and mostly overseas) minority with whom they share a religious identity."
Dennis Harvey
Critic, Variety


ABER’s father was deported when she was 16. Now, she’s a community organizer leading a sanctuary city initiative in New York. KHADEGA is an 18-year-old Sudanese immigrant living in Michigan. While she feels compelled to advocate for her community, she struggles to overcome society's expectations of her and find her own way. AMEENA is a civil rights lawyer in California, but as a mother, she’s conflicted between caring for her three young children or sacrificing her time with them to fight for change.

Weaving together observational footage of these three women with community home videos, and evocative recollections from individuals impacted by incidents of Islamophobia, An Act of Worship opens a window into the world of Muslim Americans through collective memory.


Siddhant Adlakha
Critic, Indiewire

Awards and Screenings

Tribeca Film Festival

Director Commentary

I was in college when 9/11 happened. My dad put a large American flag outside of our house, and he told my sisters and I to stop telling people that we are Muslim. My mom stopped covering her hair. Our community at large turned inward as we tried to hide ourselves from the anti-Muslim sentiment growing around us.

The rising tide of Islamophobia is part of a long legacy in America that existed before 9/11, but the tragic events of that day caused a shift in the relationship between America and its Muslim minority. Today we are witnessing another shift in this often-fraught relationship. Since the 2016 election, the number of hate crimes against Muslims surpassed even the highest levels of those reported post-9/11, according to the Pew Research Center. We are also witnessing a shift in the Muslim community where young female leadership is organizing the community to fight back against Islamophobia and discriminatory policies.

This new generation of Muslim-Americans who have only known a post-9/11 America are so different from me and my parents’ generations; whether despite or because of this country’s hostility towards them, they are unapologetically Muslim and unapologetically American, and are proud to proclaim both publicly.

-Nausheen Dadabhoy, Director of An Act of Worship

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning

Film/Audio Languages

  • English
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