Female Muslim viewers praise ‘Quantico’ for its strong Muslim women characters

At Quantico, an emergency disciplinary hearing causes deep secrets to be spilled, while in the future Alex works covertly with her team to find the real bomber before her time runs out. (ABC/Phillippe Bosse)

The television drama Quantico received high praise from young female Muslim viewers for its depiction of three Muslim characters at the center of a mysterious FBI terror plot. Indian actress Priyanka Chopra plays Alex Parrish, while Lebanese-born Yasmine Al Massri plays twin FBI agents Nimah and Raina Amin.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh gosh, please don’t let her be a stereotype,’” Komal Rasheed, 33, a Pakistani-American who works in public policy, told NPR.  “I watch Homeland and it’s just awful because the women can be easily manipulated and one-dimensional, whereas on Quantico she’s seen as more empowered.”

“It’s nice to see them now, especially in the climate we’re in,” writer Gabrielle Deonath a said in the report. Deonath said she began wearing a hijab when she was 16, in the middle of high school, and that it was “scary.” Seeing the character Raina Amin wearing a hijab felt personal, she said. “They kind of normalize who Muslims are and are educating viewers on things like the hijab,” she told NPR.

Other viewers said that the facts that the Muslim characters are depicted as succeeding within the FBI, choosing whether or not to drink alcohol, and even just swimming in bathing suits alongside non-strict Muslims, helps show that Muslim women lead normal American lives, with or without the hijab. Al Massri said she has received an outpouring of thanks from Muslim girls appreciative of her depiction of the Amin women, and hopeful that they are not involved in the terror plot.

Read the full story at NPR.


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