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Author Topic: Little Mosque on the Prairie 3
M.Gregus
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posted 09 March 2007 01:16 PM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Since the season wasn't over when the second thread was closed, I thought I'd go ahead and start a third one.

I watched what I think was episode 8 this past Wednesday (is this the last one?) which dealt with issues around Rayyan's dating a non-Muslim man. It was handled somewhat gingerly and, (spoiler ahead) culminated with her breaking off a first date and heading to the mosque for prayer. The point I guess was that Rayyan was fed up with the over-reaction of everyone around her and to defy them went on a date with the firefighter guy. It was made out to be very scandalous, but I didn't really get that it was. I guess of the three episodes I've seen, this is the first one where I'm not with the show completely.


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Boom Boom
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posted 09 March 2007 02:16 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the show defined itself quickly as 'no holds barred' and now seems to be backing off from that position. This week's episode seemed really conservative. Maybe it's a case of now settling down and trying to show us the regular, daily lives of devout Muslims.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 09 March 2007 02:23 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Imam seems attracted to Rayyan, so his discouragement of the non-Muslim would-be suitor was no surprise.

But Rayyan's father's sudden over-protectiveness of his adult, medical doctor daughter didn't add up.

After all, Rayyan's father himself married a non-Muslim, and until now he's been very dismissive of religious orthodoxy.

While I like the show, it would benefit from stronger writing and more believable characters.


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Boom Boom
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posted 09 March 2007 03:00 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The show has interesting educational potential, in explaining, through the use of humour, and through the lives of ordinary Muslim people, what Muslims believe and hold dear. I hope it doesn't lose its humourous edge.
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penumbra
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posted 09 March 2007 04:03 PM      Profile for penumbra     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sorry, i am not watching the show very much, but they have shown patriarchal-type streaks in the father before right? (sorry forgot his name) maybe he is showing up to be a bit domineering and overprotective, reflexively not trusting his daughter's taste in men, or is just not comfortable seeing her date? if it weren't the issue of the man she found not being a muslim it would be something else, maybe?

[ 09 March 2007: Message edited by: penumbra ]


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Peech
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posted 09 March 2007 07:17 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Little Maquerade on the Prairie

From The Canadian Muslim Congress:


quote:
Little masquerade on the prairie

By Tarek Fatah
and Farzana Hassan
The Toronto Sun
Fifteen minutes into the first episode of the Little Mosque on the Prairie, we looked at each other in bewilderment. A small group of us had decided to watch the premiere, but midway through it, we had still not had our first laugh.

"This is worse than my son's high school play," gasped a Muslim playwright known for his wit and cutting humour. "How could CBC put this farce on air in the name of Muslims."

After giving the series the benefit of the doubt and going through the first four episodes, we feel we must expose this travesty being committed in the name of serving Canada's Muslim communities. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To begin with, a completely false picture of the Muslim community has been forced into the homes of non-Muslim Canadians. CBC has validated the image painted by Islamist groups that Muslim lives revolve around mosques -- nothing else. We don't play hockey, none of us have 9-to-5 day jobs, love affairs, play poker or, dare we say, cheat on our taxes or our spouses.

After watching the fourth episode of Little Mosque, we question the motives of the writer, producers, and directors of the show for focusing singularly on the most conservative segments of the Muslim community. Although the characters are meant to reflect the diversity of Muslim society, a closer examination reveals the show is not about liberal or progressive Muslims competing with conservatives. Rather, the writer has created a false dichotomy of "conservative" Muslims vs. "ultra-conservative" Muslims; the former being disingenuously passed on as feminist and progressive. Muslims who do not pay homage to their Imams; the liberal, secular or progressive segments of the community, are conspicuous by their complete absence from the Little Mosque narrative.

Writer Zarqa Nawaz has played a deft hand in attempting to sanitize what really goes on in the typical Canadian mosque. The hijacking of our religion, Islam, by politicized clerics affiliated with Saudi Arabia or Iran, finds no resonance in the sitcom.

Depicting recent immigrants as clumsy buffoons while portraying their children as sophisticated and savvy yuppies is a reflection of the writer's own complexes, not reality. Going on a sex strike and then debating its conclusion inside a mosque? Who are CBC and Nawaz kidding? Lawyers giving up Toronto law practices to become Prairie imams? Fat chance.

Indeed all of the depictions point to an Islamist agenda that seeks to justify inequities that pervade Muslim communities under the pretext of progress. Orthodox Islam is presented as the only authentic belief system that is in consonance with progress.

While the Muslim characters are fake, fellow non-Muslim Canadians, who have shown tremendous generosity in embracing peoples of different cultures and religions are continually and unfairly portrayed as paranoid bigots. What has raised eyebrows about the show among Muslims is that such distortion may be deliberate in order to exaggerate the incidence of racism and bigotry against Muslims in Canada to foster the culture of victim-hood and accentuate the chasm between Muslims and non-Muslims in Canada.

If CBC was sincerely trying to be inclusive in bringing Canada's Muslims into the picture, then we suggest they include Muslim characters in their regular sitcoms or shows, not make a farce of our community and present it as an act of generosity.

After this series, what is CBC going to promote, "Little Gurdwara on the East Coast" or "Little Mandir on the Oil Sands"?
--------------------------------
Farzana Hassan is author of Islam, Women and the Challenge of Today, Tarek Fatah is author of Chasing a Mirage: An Islamic state or a state of Islam to be published in 2008



From: Babbling Brook | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 09 March 2007 07:42 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am sure the show is horrible. But then that's the tradition with the CBC, isn't it. To make bad ethnic TV, that doesn't represent the community is par for the course. Like all Canadian Jews live in Kensington. Its a kind of multicultural right of passage to have your community made to appear trite, and unfunny by the CBC.

Perhaps Fatah should offer to write up a chartcacter portrait and submit it based on this summary:

quote:
We don't play hockey, none of us have 9-to-5 day jobs, love affairs, play poker or, dare we say, cheat on our taxes or our spouses.

He no doubt could do a good job flushing out the charachter as a loud mouthed grandstanding amateur politico, who has no personal loyalty to anyone, who sole ability seems to be burning bridges and vilfying anyone who doesn't agree with his views by playing on the prejudices, and cultural paranoias of the Judeao Christian community about Islamic fundamentalist Al Queda moles at the CBC.

[ 09 March 2007: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Greeny
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posted 09 March 2007 08:23 PM      Profile for West Coast Greeny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, its good enough to keep me watching...

Not good enough for me to be thouroughly addicted, like "Heroes". (NBC isn't showing another episode until late April, curse them)


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bohajal
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posted 09 March 2007 08:42 PM      Profile for bohajal   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mr. Fatah is now known for a rhetoric that seems to be "aimed at making Muslim haters feel secure in their thinking." The phrase is in quotations because these are Tarek Fatah's own words when he criticized Irshad Manji.

Tarek Fatah and the MCC do not and never did represent Muslims Canadians. Nobody really knows why did he attack the show. My view is that he is bitter because he was not considered the person he thinks he is ("Muslism leader"), was not consulted nor asked to give any opinion about the show.

For someone used to (right wing) media seeking his comments everytime a Muslim farts or fails to fart it must have been quite an upset.

quote:

It's a sitcom

Re "Little masquerade on the prairie" (Feb. 12):

Writers Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan are missing the point. Nobody has said the CBC's Little Mosque On The Prairie, was produced to accurately portray Canada's Muslim communities. Repeat after me, Tarek: It's a sitcom. A situational comedy. Totally different from a news report, or a documentary. It's about fictional Muslim characters, in a fictional town, with fictional story lines. So why shouldn't it have Muslim buffoons, funny rednecks, savvy yuppies and wives going on sex strikes? We don't expect to see complex politics of the Italian community on Everybody Loves Raymond. Corner Gas says nothing about the plight of the Canadian farmer, or the marginalization of our Native communities. Then why this scrutiny for a farcical look at a bunch of small town Muslims whose lives revolve around their new mosque (which, incidentally, is quite true for many Muslims across Canada)? Why should we expect a sitcom to talk about Saudi or Iranian influences on our mosques? If that's what you want, Tarek, I suggest you watch a documentary, or read a newspaper (and I don't mean the comics section). To me, the fact that Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan expect any accuracy from a comedy show, and spend their time writing poorly thought-out articles about it, is laughable.

Yasir Khan
Producer
CBC News: The Hour


"Repeat after me Tarek: It is a sitcom"

[ 09 March 2007: Message edited by: bohajal ]


From: planet earth, I believe | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Elbow Grease
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posted 10 March 2007 04:29 AM      Profile for Elbow Grease     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Repeat after me Tarek: It is a sitcom"

Yeah it's a sitcom, the 'com' stands for COMEDY.
To me the biggest fault with "Little Mosque" is - IT ISN'T FUNNY. That's reason enough to stop spending money on it and pull it off the air. On top of that it appears that it is not portraying Canadian Muslims honestly. Come on CBC, surely we can do beter than this?

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bohajal
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posted 10 March 2007 04:38 AM      Profile for bohajal   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What is funny and what is not has never been a matter of unanimity, Grease Elbow, and off course it is your right to call for the show to be improved or pulled off as it is others' right to call for all sorts of suggestions.

Now I am not targeting you, but there are certainly those who do not think that Muslims should be depicted as ... humans.


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E.Kootenayt
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posted 10 March 2007 01:25 PM      Profile for E.Kootenayt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bohajal:
Mr. Fatah is now known for a rhetoric that seems to be "aimed at making Muslim haters feel secure in their thinking." The phrase is in quotations because these are Tarek Fatah's own words when he criticized Irshad Manji.

Tarek Fatah and the MCC do not and never did represent Muslims Canadians. Nobody really knows why did he attack the show. My view is that he is bitter because he was not considered the person he thinks he is ("Muslism leader"), was not consulted nor asked to give any opinion about the show.

For someone used to (right wing) media seeking his comments everytime a Muslim farts or fails to fart it must have been quite an upset.

"Repeat after me Tarek: It is a sitcom"

[ 09 March 2007: Message edited by: bohajal ]



From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
E.Kootenayt
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posted 10 March 2007 01:38 PM      Profile for E.Kootenayt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have watched every episode of Little Mosque and have had a good laugh throughout almost the entire episodes. It is unfortunate that in this day and age one must be wary of ""Freedom of Speech"" in what is a sitcom/comedy. If anything I am surprised the Christian Right has not reared it's ugly head to oppose this show,instead they would have us watch
What if God were one of us, thankfully it was short lived. As the show writers gain more confidence I am sure there will be more to debate. I sincerely hope there is no political interference in the writing of this refreshing sitcom. I think most people do not like it because it is not some American drivel that dumbs down the citizens of both our countries and instead sticks to the Canadian ideology of some semblance of intelligent broadcasting.

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bigcitygal
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posted 10 March 2007 02:43 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've enjoyed the show (the episodes I've seen). I could also slam a critical and unhelpful analysis on it, but I'm not feeling it, you know?

It's the mainstream, FFS! CBC! And, as people have already said, it's a frikkin sitcom!

But I will say the following with trepidation that I get lumped into the Fatah camp, which I'm not.

[Sidebar, what kind of camp would that be? Loud obnoxious posturing in the morning, crafts, kissing butt with the Islamophobes after lunch, swimming, then burning bridges between likely allies?]

It's very sad that, in Canada, progressive POC are so starving for any non-stereotypical less-racist portrayals of our lives that we'll defend this show (which I will) against it's detractors, to the bitter end. Sigh.


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Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2007 02:51 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've enjoyed every episode, except last week, where Rayyan was about to date the fireman. Hardly any humour at all, and very conservative sexual ethics emphasized. The previous week with the visit of the Archdeacon was quite funny.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
pencil-skirt
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posted 11 March 2007 02:11 PM      Profile for pencil-skirt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it's pretty funny. I mean compared to some of the other CanCon on TV like Degrassi or Whistler or whatever, it's pretty good.

We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. Not all the white people in the show are rednecks or bigots - the Anglican priest and the white woman who married the Muslim, the mayor of the town - all of them seem to support pluralism and befriend those in the Muslim community. But it would be really dishonest for there to be no bigoted characters - like the shock jock DJ.

Anyways, some Muslims are really conservative and I know it's taboo to mock them, but if the episode showed conflict between a father and daughter because he didn't want her dating a non-Muslim..well that happens in a lot of houses! That happens in Catholic houses, in Jewish houses, in Muslim houses. It happens with Chinese, Pakistani, Arabic and even Italian families! A lot of our parents and grandparents are more conservative and a little afraid of other cultures. I know everyone is afraid of criticizing the Muslim community as being too religious or too non-Western because we don't want to promote Islamophobia or the idea that Muslims are fundamentalist conservatives, but depicting a debate between father and daughter shows the diversity of opinions in the community and probably resonates with anyone from many other immigrant cultures whose parents were conservative!


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Boom Boom
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posted 11 March 2007 03:47 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a sitcom, and the daughter-dating episode last week was lacking in the "com" part. In my opinion.
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CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2007 08:01 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If the writers of Little Mosque really want to show tolerent, kind hearted muslims, why didn't they allow Ryyan to date her fireman? Non Muslims do convert to Islam in the name of love. If the creator of the show wanted to keep Muslim fundies happy, why not just show Jeff becoming Muslim?

[ 11 March 2007: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 12 March 2007 11:07 AM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Completely unecesary post.

[ 12 March 2007: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


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siren
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posted 12 March 2007 01:41 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:
Completely unecesary post.

Pshaw. That never stops me from posting.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 12 March 2007 06:34 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with a few points here.

1. When Ryyan's character thought of dating him it was because she was angry at the Imam for being a jerk about it. She was never really interested in the fireman. She was using him as a way of getting back at a group of people. Also, she may have been dissuaded by her mother who seemed more interested in having a shirtless fireman around then having her daughter happy.
2. Yassir didn't like him due to the fire inspection. He wasn't protecting his daughter he was taking his anger out on the fireman through her.

I thought it was funny, but it was definitely an episode that wasn't aimed at the usual crowd. It was a lowering of the bar to engage the 18-25 crowds.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 12 March 2007 06:42 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papal Bull:
I thought it was funny, but it was definitely an episode that wasn't aimed at the usual crowd. It was a lowering of the bar to engage the 18-25 crowds.

At the risk of alienating us old hippies.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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