Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New comedy hopes to humanize Muslims [“Little Mosque on the Prairie”]
AP ^ | Jan 2, 2006 | Beth Duff-Brown

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 they’re 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 night’s 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, it’s not about 9/11,” said the show’s creator, Canadian Muslim Zarqa Nawaz. “First and foremost, it’s 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 that’s suicide, so be it. This is Allah’s plan for me.”

He is talking about his decision to leave his father’s 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 there’s nothing “sinister” about his Muslim neighbor’s 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, that’s 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 don’t 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 don’t we just do what the Christians do, pick a month and just stick to it? I mean, what’s wrong with December? Shorter days for fasting and way, way better shopping.”

While Nawaz and the executive producers don’t 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; it’s not about terrorism,” said executive producer Mary Darling. “But we’re 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. “It’s just a comedy.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cdc; comedy; darkhumor; littlemosque; mosque; mosqueontheprairie; muslimcomedy; notfunny; prairie; stuckonstupid; thosefunnymuslims; zarqanawaz
The show sounds terrible.
1 posted on 01/01/2007 9:13:13 PM PST by jdm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: jdm

I'd rather have my eyeballs pulled out with a gear puller than watch this insipid claptrap.


2 posted on 01/01/2007 9:18:53 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Well, it's 2007. Time to get ready for 2008.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

“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.


3 posted on 01/01/2007 9:19:50 PM PST by SFC Chromey (We are at war with Islamofascists, now ACT LIKE IT!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

Yeah, let's pretend that Muslims are just another denomination.


4 posted on 01/01/2007 9:21:15 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHI)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
“This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous,” she said.

Uh, honey, that assumption is NEVER ridiculous. Any group that riots over cartoons has too many screws loose.

5 posted on 01/01/2007 9:23:32 PM PST by KellyAdmirer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
Funniest line in the whole article:

"“This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous,” she said. “It’s just a comedy.

6 posted on 01/01/2007 9:23:44 PM PST by Theresawithanh (HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
There is absolutely nothing funny about the muslim monsters.

They are about as funny as cancer.

7 posted on 01/01/2007 9:24:02 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

They're finally going to join the 19th century.


8 posted on 01/01/2007 9:24:40 PM PST by Roscoe Karns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

Let the fatwas begin!

Who wants to start a pool on the first death threat?


9 posted on 01/01/2007 9:24:47 PM PST by Ronin (Ut iusta esse, lex noblis severus necesse est.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm


Another "non judgemental" show that demonstrates Muslims are people too (and Westerners are racist, sexist, homophobes.)


10 posted on 01/01/2007 9:25:34 PM PST by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

Little Terrorist on the Prairie

Pray for W and Our Troops


11 posted on 01/01/2007 9:26:56 PM PST by bray (Redeploy to Iran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
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. “It’s just a comedy.”

And the funniest part is -- that will probably be their (the fundamental muslim's) reaction to the show.

12 posted on 01/01/2007 9:27:58 PM PST by Pikachu_Dad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
“This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous,” she said.

You're talking about people who riot over Danish cartoons and blow themselves up, literally. Give me a break.

13 posted on 01/01/2007 9:29:19 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
How I Met Your Mother "My parents arranged it with her parents"
14 posted on 01/01/2007 9:31:30 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (South Park Liberal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

There have been little mosques on the prairie for almost two centuries. Small wooden nbuildings with crescents on them. Shi'ite?


15 posted on 01/01/2007 9:31:43 PM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sheik yerbouty
Yo .... sheik ..... over here.
16 posted on 01/01/2007 9:42:51 PM PST by knarf (Islamists kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: jdm
the new makeshift mosque housed in the parish hall of an Anglican church

How prophetic.

17 posted on 01/01/2007 9:48:42 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * Allen for U.S. Senate in '08)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm
I saw the trailer while in Canada.

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.

18 posted on 01/01/2007 9:51:20 PM PST by ikka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

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


19 posted on 01/01/2007 10:01:26 PM PST by CottShop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CottShop

Reality shows: Fear Factor, Survivor-Bahgdad, Infidel Dog Eat Dog,...


20 posted on 01/01/2007 10:05:55 PM PST by rottndog (While reading this tag, remember Tens of Thousands of Americans are risking their lives for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: CottShop
Everybody Hates Christians
21 posted on 01/01/2007 10:18:27 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (South Park Liberal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: rottndog

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7373128225578708570&q=tikrit&hl=en

Try this on for a little comedy from Tikrit. This is the kind of Muslim comedy I like.


22 posted on 01/01/2007 10:38:02 PM PST by Sundog (Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Go Parse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Sundog

LOL!

Funny stuff!


23 posted on 01/01/2007 10:42:23 PM PST by rottndog (While reading this tag, remember Tens of Thousands of Americans are risking their lives for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: jdm

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?


24 posted on 01/01/2007 10:46:13 PM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oztrich Boy

Yes I'm sure most do- oh well


25 posted on 01/01/2007 11:08:46 PM PST by CottShop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: jdm
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.

But we weren't dealing with people who blow themselves up and think a bunch of virgins are waiting for them. Nor were we dealing with a group who wants to behead people. I don't see why this show will make any kind of difference. If anything the Muslims will be angry and whine much more unless they opt for a terror attack on the building where they film the stupid show.
26 posted on 01/01/2007 11:32:01 PM PST by pandoraou812 ( zero tolerance and dilligaf?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tzimisce
"Another "non judgemental" show that demonstrates Muslims are people too..."

Like "Hogan's Heroes"—the premise of which took some time for me to get over.

27 posted on 01/02/2007 2:08:13 AM PST by Eclectica (Ask your MD about Evolution. Please!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: jdm
“This assumption in the media that Muslims are going to riot in the streets, freak out and get upset is ridiculous,” she said. “It’s just a comedy.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA....tell that to the Danish and their "draw Muhammad" experiment

28 posted on 01/02/2007 2:18:46 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdm

How can inhuman creatures possibly be humanized???


29 posted on 01/02/2007 2:54:37 AM PST by tkathy (Sectarian violence? Or genocidal racists? Which is a better description of islamists?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Theresawithanh

Yep. Cartoons are just comedy, too.


30 posted on 01/02/2007 4:07:44 AM PST by gotribe (There's still time to begin a war in Iraq.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: jdm

You did realize the article is a year old?


31 posted on 01/02/2007 10:34:51 AM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oztrich Boy

Post of the thread.


32 posted on 01/02/2007 10:38:06 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: sageb1

I accidentally wrote 2006.


33 posted on 01/02/2007 11:27:16 AM PST by jdm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: jdm

lol! Strange, though. I could have sworn I read this a long time ago. Then again, sometimes yesterday seems like a long time ago. :)


34 posted on 01/02/2007 11:33:20 AM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ikka

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!) :-)


35 posted on 01/03/2007 4:05:19 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Tzimisce

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.


36 posted on 01/08/2007 12:48:52 PM PST by Nigel_Walkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: jdm
The only things that could make this show funny would probably result in a fatwa against the creator.
37 posted on 01/08/2007 12:58:36 PM PST by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nigel_Walkey

>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...


38 posted on 01/10/2007 8:52:57 PM PST by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson