On November 10, ABC affiliates across the United States began airing Professor Craig Detweiler’s latest documentary film, [un]Common Sounds. The film, which will be broadcast in over 100 cities, explores how music can be used to foster peace between Muslims and Christians—two religious groups plagued by thousands of years of violence against one another.
"We started this project in the wake of September 11 with the goal of getting Christians and Muslims to pay more attention to their similarities, rather than their differences," says Detweiler.
Detweiler and his crew traveled all over the Middle East and Southeast Asia meeting with various scholars and musicians to document the role of music in worship and everyday life. Showcased in the documentary is an array of musical performances that, although derived from different regions and cultures, sound remarkably similar.
[un]common Sounds also features musicians dedicated to bridging the gap between Christians and Muslims by performing songs that accentuate their commonalities and encourage peace. One such band, The Ma'had, made up of Indonesian high school students, reminded Detweiler of U2. "Like [U2], they come from a country riddled with violence; yet, they're committed to writing songs that bring people together and promote a 'peace generation.' The fact that they're so young and have this kind of attitude is incredible," he says.
After watching Detweiler's film, one can't help but believe in the power of music. He says, "Music's true essence is to unite. Therefore, it's one of the greatest peace-building instruments we have. We know we're not going to cure the world's problems with this film; but hopefully we'll encourage further collaborations between Muslims and Christians, and maybe even make some great music while we're at it."
Tune into KABC-TV on Friday, November 15, to check out [un]Common Sounds. A complete list of show times is available here.