Friday, January 19, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prarie...

For those of you who live in Canada, I am sure you are now rather familiar with the new and controversial show that is flooding the media, "Little Mosque on the Prarie." Often compared to the Islamic version of "Corner Gas", Little Mosque is said to aim to break tension between Muslims and Non Muslims in Canada by approaching regular day to day occurances and encounters with the use of humour.
My question to everyone is who are we laughing at?

We as people in general all need to have the ability to laugh at ourselves, admit faults and take life with a "grain of salt" so-to-speak but I have concern about this show, and what it means for the Muslim community.

Now before I start to list off the things that bother me about the program, I must acknowledge the fact that because of it I do think more people are willing to bring up the topic of Islam in a friendly conversation type manner, without attaching it to militia, the middle east, or other controversial media topics. Since the show has aired I have had numerous people ask me what I think, and ask me about Islam. Alhamdulillah it gives us a chance to tell people what is true about our beautiful religion. This is where I start to have a problem. A program about Islam should represent Islam... period. It shouldn't leave us as Muslims having to explain which portions are accurate and represent the relgion as a whole.

The creator of this television series, a practicing Muslima herself, has been quoted as saying "this show may offend conservative Muslims."
I know I have talked about this issue before, but why are we as Muslims dividing ourselves? Contemporary Muslims, conservative Muslims... Are we not told in the Quran not to create divisions amongst us? Do we not all read and insha'Allah follow the same Qur'an and believe in the same Prophets?
How can we create divisions then by saying "contemporary Muslims" will like the show, while those who are conservative won't. What does that mean? Those who take the faith seriously and want to practice it sincerely, upholding the instructions of modesty, faith, segregation of men and women and public venues and especially the mosque, this show is not for them? If that is the case, why are we showing people things that aren't representative of the faith. For example... praying in the mosque without dividers and men and women mixing freely at a Ramadan dinner-- just two of the scenes of the pilot episode of this program.

Alhamdulillah we as Muslims might be able to gain opportunities to talk about our faith with others because of this show, but please make sure we know what we are talking about. That we are spreading truth about our religion and not creating more confusion for people in a world that already terribly misunderstands our perfect faith.

If you haven't seen the show check it out on YouTube. Type in Little Mosque on the Prairie and then post a comment later to let me know what you think...


Leena said...

Hmm, I think you've done a bit of dividing yourself in this post. The remark that "those who take the faith seriously" would be offended kind of points out that you don't think the show's creators take the faith seriously.

I can tell that you're bothered because they didn't "stow away" women in the show like they do in many mosques, but instead let them have a primary role and appear to take part in every mosque event.

While you might consider that separating men and women at every conceivable place is "Islamic" there are those who disagree with you, Zarqa Nawaz being one among many, including scholars.

Please watch Ms. Nawaz's documentary "Me and the Mosque" which goes in depth about the "barrier" in the mosque.

If you go around correcting the show to non-Muslims saying, "Actually, women aren't supposed to be in the main mosque hall and we can't eat in the same room as a man" You're going to alienate them.

AB said...

I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

I watched the show thru YouTube, it's nice...I like smiling...Prophet smiled in such a way that all his 32 teeth were visible almost all t time. Alhamdulillah. It is really pleasing to see that someone has come up with a show on Muslims, that doesnt have any disgusting scenes or political you said, there are things in program which I dont think that a muslim would do in any case....such as

1. kissing or hugging in public place
2. touching men's bottom (even if he is ur husband) in public place...that too in mosque

those are the scenes i hope tat Ms.Zarqa cud have avoided...and if it comes to barrier between men and women in mosque....this serial cud be much better...if it does not focus on controversial things of our community like nikab/faceveil, beard, barrier, etc.

Hope none starts issuing fatwa against it...:)