Muslims on TV

A few months ago, there was an article in the LA Times about the new Canadian show, “Little Mosque on the Prairie,” depicting the lives of a few Muslims living as minorities in a small town in Canada. Somebody (can’t remember who) had a few youtube clips of this show on their blog, and so I watched it for the first time…even though the review I had read had filled me with a few misgivings, which I can’t quite remember anymore.

In short, it was interesting. I watched a few episodes and, after the stereotypical airport and journalist scenes, which I totally related to, I found myself going “this is bad news.” Why? Because of the imam’s character: Why is he clean-shaven?! And why did episode 5 have instances of him and the single female daughter of the mosque founder gazing into one another’s eyes, albeit with entirely innocent smiles? There was just something wrong with that picture!

Then there were the scenes of the conflicts Muslims face over moon-sighting issues, whether to have barriers in mosques separating the genders, and whether to Halloween or to Halal-oween. At first blink, I was like, but these are non-issues! Nobody I know cares about having a barrier or a separate room for women! Everybody I know goes ahead and does Halloween to whatever extent they are comfortable with! What’s the big deal?! And then I stopped and realized that of course these are the issues our parents had to overcome when immigrating west-ward. Of course, some of the newer issues (like barriers in mosques) will gain momentum. There is such diversity in our thought processes!ย  Sometimes, you get so used to the diversity, that you don’t even recognize it as diversity anymore…until a screen-writer spells it out for you one after the other!

But I am still not down with the imam and the chic looking all admiringly and compassionately at one another. Thats just plain weird. For an imam? Come on. Is that even realistic/probable?

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12 Responses to Muslims on TV

  1. HijabiApprentice says:

    “Thats just plain weird. For an imam? Come on. Is that even realistic/probable?”

    Unfortunately, yes it is.

    ma’a salaamah,

    ha

  2. suraya83 says:

    Assalamualaikum my dear sisters!

    Oh my gawd, I watched that too and I was like..HELLOOOOO…what are they even going on about? It was just all too typical. Blah.

    Anyway…guess where I went (and you expect me to email you when I can’t find your email address! lol)? I’m here:

    hadithoftheday.wordpress.com.

    I’m being all mature now. Alhumdulillah. Tehehe. :o)

  3. HijabiApprentice, Welcome to our blog! Ah, you had to shatter my illusions, one of the few I had left?! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ That is so tragic, its not even funny. Well, its quite the reality check.

    Suraya, WaAlaykum Salaam! I guess the goal of the show is to “normalize” the image of Muslims. I say to that: If people need a TV show to spell out to them how normal we are, then they are lame! ๐Ÿ˜› I would be curious to know a non-Muslim perspective on that show as far as what kind of difference it made to his/her perceptions. ๐Ÿ˜•

    The email address is hidden on the About Us page ๐Ÿ˜† And you’ve got mail ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Faith says:

    The show was a big thing here. The Non-Muslims LOVED it and the majority of the non-muslims HATED it. So it was 50/50. I know that barrier issue isn’t that big of a deal! But the producer of the show did a documentary once about the issue of women being seperated from men in the mosques…she was totally against, so yea it was expected to show up in her show.

    I had mixed thoughts on the show. Though I didn’t agree with many aspects of the show but I found what they were showing are true happenings in the Muslim community. I feel that people try to sugar coat things too much for the non-muslims.

    But yea I agree 100% with the imam and the girl. I was like “errr…”

  5. HijabiApprentice says:

    Thanks for the welcome :). LOL! I’m sorry to shatter your illusions ukhtee. Let’s just pray that imaams and all believers continue to get better, increase in knowlege, our faith and our piety. Ameen.

  6. At first I thought this show was just not that funny, and that I wouldn’t be interested in watching it if I wasn’t Muslim. I kinda still feel that way…

    But as the show has progressed, I find myself liking it more. What I liked about it was that it showed that Muslims are regular people who are more relatable than a lot of people think. I also liked that it showed how Muslims are not this one big monolith, and that we have differences in how we understand and practice our religion. Maybe someone that sees this show will have a more difficult time stereotyping us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    They do stuff a lot of BIG issues into each show, though. These characters’ lives are more exciting than mine! Thank God!

    I was not shocked at the Imam being so friendly with the girl. What I *was* surprised about was that everyone else (including Baber, the really conservative character) seemed so casual about it. In real life, people would be freaking out over them being alone together. I guess the intention in the script is that they are very professional and innocent. But no matter what their intentions, folks would SO not be letting them hang out like that!

  7. Umm Layth says:

    Talk about showing the ‘differences’. We are a sad Ummah man.

  8. HijabiApprentice, Ameen! Its ok to shatter my illusions; I think thats what they call growth lol! ๐Ÿ˜•

    PurvisTheMuslim, Welcome to our blog! Thanks for the input, you make such a good point in saying “Maybe someone that sees this show will have a more difficult time stereotyping us.” I didn’t really get around to thinking that way, but that is so true! We aren’t one big monolith, we have our normal differences, our own peculiar ways and thoughts and beliefs–and can still, at the end of the day, all just be Muslim.

    Umm Layth, Well, we are certainly in a sorry state of affairs. Its hard to know where our problems began–externally or internally, because of politics, or economics, or whatever–but we all do know where the solutions are: with ourselves. InshaAllah, may we all be granted the strength to do what Allah loves. And maybe eventually, one Muslim at a time, we can fix our Ummah! InshaAllah! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. umm luqmaan says:

    salams digiN…i so totally know what you mean. I saw a clip of that show and wanted to throw up. i couldnt understand what all athe hype was about this show.

    recently I posted a show on my blog called 30 days as a muslim and had a comment that that show was very demeaning to muslims. I was like whatever dude. if you wanna go there go look at that freak show little mosque on the prarie. That show was so disgraceful it wasn’t even funny. it’s justa mockery of our deen. and the person that made it…well it just shows how ignorant they are of the deen.

  10. Regarding having ANY show about Muslims, it’s guaranteed that most Muslims will not like it, no matter how it’s portrayed, and that’s just the way we are as a community. So regardless of the show and whether it’s good or not, I gotta give the lady who produced it props (I can’t remember her name, but I saw her speak at the ISNA convention a few years back, and I was impressed that there was a semi-successful Muslim hijabi filmmaker out there) for putting out a show about Muslims, knowing full well it wasn’t gonna maker too popular, no matter how she did it.

  11. Umm Luqman, “that little freak show” Big ouch! I think, whether good or bad, its a reflection of the state of Muslims today. We’re all in some way responsible for the freakiness. Unfortunately. “Progressives” point to “orthodox” who point to “salafis” who point to “whoever” and before you know it, we are all part of the freak show ๐Ÿ˜• Funny thing is, I found it amusing in the first 15 minutes…and then started seeing current and future reality all over it. Which makes me realize that WE are the problem…ok, I am getting morbid now, so I’ll stop.

    PurvisTheMuslim, I think that is true, nobody will be completely satisfied with anything anyone else does. I can honestly say that if she presented a more Sufi-oriented view of Islam, it would have been perfect…for me. Which might have made it awful for someone more Salafi-leaning. She actually did quite a great job depicting the reality that we as Muslims in the West are in right now. And if we don’t like it, we have to take steps to fix things. For people like me, who are not wild about the show, its important for us to realize that she is depicting Muslim behavior, not necessarily Islamic behavior.

    But, the imam dude was just way out of line. Sigh.

  12. Faith! I didn’t even realize I did not respond to you! Forgive me darling! Ah, this is what happens when I spend too much time on stupid code! “I found what they were showing are true happenings in the Muslim community. I feel that people try to sugar coat things too much for the non-muslims.” Thats what I was trying to say up there, and you said it soooo simply, mashAllah!

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