Skip to comments.New comedy hopes to humanize Muslims [“Little Mosque on the Prairie”]
Posted on 01/01/2007 9:13:11 PM PST by jdm
TORONTO The bearded imam in traditional robe is railing against pop-culture idols, warning Muslims to protect themselves from the evil influences of prime time.
American Idol, Canadian Idol, I say all idols should be smashed, Baber tells a small congregation sitting on the floor of a makeshift mosque. Desperate Housewives? Why should they be desperate when theyre only performing their natural womanly duties?
Rayyan, a gorgeous young woman in a headscarf, looks bemused then whispers to her mother Hey, did you tape last nights episode?
The scene is from the first episode of the CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie. (It will air Jan. 9 in Canada, but some Americans in border states will be able to view it.)
The producers hope the topical humor about Islam and Christianity with a backdrop of bumbling buffoons and everyday cross-purposes will be as funny as it is fresh.
To me, this is not a political show, this is not about the Iraq war, its not about 9/11, said the shows creator, Canadian Muslim Zarqa Nawaz. First and foremost, its entertainment.
It may not be about 9/11, but it often feels like it. In the first episode, a handsome young Muslim man is being dragged by police from an airport line after he barks into his mobile phone: If dad thinks thats suicide, so be it. This is Allahs plan for me.
He is talking about his decision to leave his fathers Toronto law firm and become the spiritual leader of the small Muslim community in the fictitious prairie town of Mercy.
Another scene has a character named Joe stumbling upon the new makeshift mosque housed in the parish hall of an Anglican church, then rushing out to call the terrorist attack hot line when he sees the Muslims bowing to pray, just like on CNN.
When the liberal-minded Anglican priest later tells Joe theres nothing sinister about his Muslim neighbors construction company, Joe responds with alarm, Osama bin Laden ran a construction company, too.
Nawaz noted that while the classic sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons dealt with bigotry and racism for the first time on American television, their success was based on the hilarious delivery of those issues, not on preaching to viewers.
If it humanizes Muslims, thats great, she said during a recent taping in a studio outside Toronto. But we live and die by the ratings, and whether people find it funny.
In another scene from the first episode, the Muslims are arguing about the start of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The imam, Baber, insists Ramadan begins when the crescent of the new moon is observed with the eye, just as the Prophet did.
Yasir, a Lebanese-Canadian who owns the construction company, suggests instead, Why dont we just log on to moonsighting.com and let the starvation begin!
His wife, Sarah, a local who converted to Islam for her husband, then offers, Why dont we just do what the Christians do, pick a month and just stick to it? I mean, whats wrong with December? Shorter days for fasting and way, way better shopping.
While Nawaz and the executive producers dont want the show to be pegged as a Muslim comedy, they believe the time is right for TV to tackle the treatment of 800,000 Muslims in Canada and some 6 million in the United States since the terrorist attacks of 2001.
It really is a show that focuses on relationships and families; its not about terrorism, said executive producer Mary Darling. But were not afraid of introducing those issues.
Since 9/11 what we see on the news nearly every day portrays Muslims in terms of conflict, said Nawaz, the 39-year-old mother of four who dresses in jeans and sneakers, while covering her hair with a traditional hijab.
She moved from Toronto to the prairie town of Regina in Saskatchewan a decade ago when she married her husband. Much of the show reflects the conflict and humor she experienced in the more intimate and conservative mosque.
While some media have questioned whether the show might insult Islamic fundamentalists like the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad Nawaz believes Muslims deserve more credit.
This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous, she said. Its just a comedy.
I'd rather have my eyeballs pulled out with a gear puller than watch this insipid claptrap.
Since 9/11 what we see on the news nearly every day portrays Muslims in terms of conflict, said Nawaz...
Ummmm more like since the 1970's when you started hijacking planes, bombing civilians, and causing general mayhem wherever you congregate...a$$hat.
Yeah, let's pretend that Muslims are just another denomination.
Uh, honey, that assumption is NEVER ridiculous. Any group that riots over cartoons has too many screws loose.
"This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous, she said. Its just a comedy.
They are about as funny as cancer.
They're finally going to join the 19th century.
Let the fatwas begin!
Who wants to start a pool on the first death threat?
Another "non judgemental" show that demonstrates Muslims are people too (and Westerners are racist, sexist, homophobes.)
Little Terrorist on the Prairie
Pray for W and Our Troops
And the funniest part is -- that will probably be their (the fundamental muslim's) reaction to the show.
You're talking about people who riot over Danish cartoons and blow themselves up, literally. Give me a break.
There have been little mosques on the prairie for almost two centuries. Small wooden nbuildings with crescents on them. Shi'ite?
It is being produced by the BBC equivalent in Canada, called the CBC (also known as the "Corpse"); as a result it will be very un-funny.
New Radical Islamic show suggestions:
Westerns: "High Plains Fascist" "The Good The Bad, and the Imam" "Pale Burka Clad Rider" "A fist full of Dinars" and hte sequel "For a few dinars more"
Comedy shows: "Everybody loves Muhammad (or else)" SpongeBob Squareturban" "Welcome back Khattamhi"
Soap Operas: "As the world explodes" "General Hospital for infidels only"
Talk Shows: "Convert or die" "Convert or we'll kill you" "Convert or we'll kill your dog you pig"
Movies: "The Turban Wearing Terminator" "Die-Hard You infidel apes" "Psycho" "A few Good Martyrs" "Honey I decapitated the infidels" "The Dirty Bomb Dozen" "The Usual Suspects" http://sacredscoop.com
Reality shows: Fear Factor, Survivor-Bahgdad, Infidel Dog Eat Dog,...
Try this on for a little comedy from Tikrit. This is the kind of Muslim comedy I like.
HA HA HA HA HA....! Hee hee haw >snark< giggle...
Ah HA HA HA HA HA! Oh my goodness.
Oh, that's just so funny... my sides... no, really! I mean it.
That is SOOOOOOOOooooo creative and hilarious!
It's just too d*** bad I live too far from the Canadian border to catch this gem on TV.
Really, I don't know what I'm going to do. I wonder if they'll broadcast it on the web?
Yes I'm sure most do- oh well
Like "Hogan's Heroes"the premise of which took some time for me to get over.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA....tell that to the Danish and their "draw Muhammad" experiment
How can inhuman creatures possibly be humanized???
Yep. Cartoons are just comedy, too.
You did realize the article is a year old?
Post of the thread.
I accidentally wrote 2006.
lol! Strange, though. I could have sworn I read this a long time ago. Then again, sometimes yesterday seems like a long time ago. :)
was it the trailer with a group of Muslims playing the sport of "curling"? I saw it too....I didn't think much of it until I heard the title of the show....THEN the hair on my back went up....(BARF!) :-)
The show will make fun equally between Muslims and westerners; no one will be spared.
The comparisons to the riot resulting from the cartoon depiction of Mohammed aren't legitimate: whether you believe in their beliefs or not, it is a sin in Islam to depict the Muslim. This show won't even come close.
In fact, what I hope will happen is that apart from some superficial differences, people will discover that bottom line, people are people.
I had the pleasure to work on this show; I think that once it starts to air, people's opinion on Muslims will start to change. You'll find that they have the same worries and joy as westerners.
Really gang, you can't blame 9-11 on Mulims in general, just like you can't (continue to) hate all Germans because of the Holocaust.
Finally -- you should watch the show if you're going to comment on it. I think most of you might admit it's pretty blind of you to condemn something you know nothing of.
>The show will make fun equally between Muslims and westerners; no one will be spared.<
...the Hollywood left make EQUAL fun of Muslims? Yeah, I'm so sure...
>The comparisons to the riot resulting from the cartoon depiction of Mohammed aren't legitimate: whether you believe in their beliefs or not, it is a sin in Islam to depict the Muslim. This show won't even come close.<
I think you mean it is a sin to depict MOHAMMED. Yes I know there are depictions of him in Muslim art (all faceless to carefully skirt that sin.)
>In fact, what I hope will happen is that apart from some superficial differences, people will discover that bottom line, people are people.<
You should make a show humanizing Americans and showing the world that we too are people. Ever consider doing that? I like how you just assume that I'm a racist with preconceived ideas about Islamists.
>I had the pleasure to work on this show; I think that once it starts to air, people's opinion on Muslims will start to change. You'll find that they have the same worries and joy as westerners.<
I love how you just assume I'm an ignorant hick from fly over country with no experience outside of my farm.
>Really gang, you can't blame 9-11 on Mulims in general, just like you can't (continue to) hate all Germans because of the Holocaust.<
No, you have to blame those racist, sexist, homophobic Americans. If they weren't driven by blood lust and a thirst for oil, 9-11 wouldn't have happened right?
>Finally -- you should watch the show if you're going to comment on it. I think most of you might admit it's pretty blind of you to condemn something you know nothing of.<
...and how do you know I know nothing? You have no idea who I am, where I'm from, what my background is, etc.
Interesting that you're telling me to keep an open mind...