Little Mosque on the Prairie
Review by Mike Ghouse, January 13, 2007
This is one of the funniest sitcoms made on Muslims, and it must be acknowledged as TV production at its best while building bridges between the communities. In its premier episode, the sitcom has dealt with crucial elements, busting myths about Islam and Muslims, while creating in a humorous way, a desire to know more about the culture and religion.
The average Canadian or American would laugh boisterously, as much as any Muslim, at the ignorance of the characters of talk show hosts, Mayor, the repairman and the average Joe. The director has done a fabulous job in stereo typing people, be it Muslims or the conservative people of the Town of Mercy. The director has tactfully shown the idiotic and intelligent versions on both sides of the divide.
The talk show host is portrayed as the typical neo-con talk show host on the air waves. No matter what the Imam (Muslim Clergy) says, the host is eager to interpret it wrongly even before the Imam completes his sentence. In another scene, the police officer calls the Mosque to verify that the Imam in custody was indeed the new Imam for the Mosque. He gets a recorded message for a roofing company stating “we blow the competition away”. The officer freaks out when he hears the word “blow” and mistakes the Imam as a guy who would blow up buildings.
The most hilarious scenes are: The imam giving the sermon and referring to smashing of the American and Canadian Idols and the response it generates is real. He meant to urge people to attend the Mosque instead of watching the show. The panic on the face of the contractor when he watches Muslims saying Allahu Akbar and kneeling down in prayer is classic. The cell phone episode is a real eye opener. The Imam was talking with his Dad, and dad was telling him that it would be suicidal to leave the law practice and go preaching, and when he responds “Dad it won’t be suicidal” the people in line at the Airport panic, and get frightened even more when the police interrogates him and identify him as an Imam heading to a Mosque.
There is a mighty big lesson for the Muslims to learn – learn the Western nuances and be sensitive to the language usage. A dear friend of mine went to Australia for the first time and when he entered the pub, obviously for the first time, he thought he heard an Aussie “ did you come here to die?” when in actuality he was asked “did you come here today?
When the Old Imam excitedly shares the idea about finding a room in the building to do the funeral chores, he speaks in his own style of English that is used in his motherland and says to the new Imam. “Oh, yes, we found a place to wash the dead bodies”. The frightened look on the face of the contractor is worth retaining in memory.
The average Muslim is frustrated living a normal daily life like every one else. Every word he or she utters becomes a secret code language to the frightened ones.
When we talk about integration, we forget the education part of it. People living in the same neighborhood does not mean much if they live in their own enclaves and in their own Islands. People have to live social life together, dine together, attend funerals and weddings together and do other things to bring about true integration.
Every word is funny – please pay attention to it.
EPISODE 1 - IN 4 PARTS
This is the best thing that has ever happened to Muslims and Islam. Just like all people, Muslims have been crying out loud not be misrepresented. Finally, this show has done it; it is like our prayers coming true.
At least the world can see what they hear on the talk show radios, and what they see on the television is not necessarily the truth. This is the finest Sitcom on Muslims. Please remember, it is a comedy. I request my co-religionist to relax and enjoy the sit com. Please don't find faults with it - such as Muslims looking at the intruder while praying. In reality, it does not happen - but in the sitcom they show it. Just laugh it off.
The Little Mosque on the Prairie - a sitcom produced by CBC Canada, and written by Ms. Zarqa Nawaz, a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim.
Mike Ghouse is a Muslim thinker, speaker and a writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith issues. He has appeared on the local affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and FOX. He founded the World Muslim Congress on the belief that if we can learn to accept and respect the God-given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, conflicts will fade and solutions emerge. His articles can be found at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com , http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/, www.FoundationforPluralism.com,
and http://mikeghouse.blogspot.com/ Mike can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com.
© Copyright 2007 by Mike Ghouse
Within a few weeks all of it will be on a fresh completely new website. If you are a Jew, Christian, Hindu or person of any faith, I urge you to watch the following:
An apology from Muslims
A Muslim Organization committed to create a better world
Dialogue, we must do
Download the brochure
Please forward this link to your friends: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/search/label/SitComs
WORLD MUSLIM CONGRESS
GOOD FOR MUSLIMS & GOOD FOR THE WORLD
WORLD MUSLIM CONGRESS
GOOD FOR MUSLIMS & GOOD FOR THE WORLD
We are driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.
Our mission is to work for a World of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed toward justice and equity to attain sustainable peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in truth. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace.
Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.
Our short term goal is to understand different faiths and let the values of Islam be understood as well. So we may know one another.
- We will make an effort, one person at a time to reach out and be a part of interfaith groups.
- We will develop an easy to comprehend ISLAM 101 power point presentation and make it available to one and all.
- We will develop a list of FAQ that will address most questions.
- We will activate an online presence to demystify some of the myths about Muslims and Islam.
- We will conduct annual surveys to measure and improve on the RESPECT INDEX – Muslims honoring and respecting other faiths and vice versa.
We have a monumental task to repair the World, and we will do our part in working towards a World of co-existence, one person at a time. We are committed, and now help us God. Amen.
Islam is a deed based non-judgmental religion, and consistently encourages individuals to do good. It emphasizes about individual responsibility towards the peace and security of society at large.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) described a good deed as an act which benefits others, such as planting a tree that serves generations of wayfarers with fruit and the shade. The world is a better place today because of a good legacy bequeathed to humanity by people of all faiths that came before us. We owe it to coming generations to leave the world a little better than we found it, to usher an era of justice and peace.
WITH PREJUDICE TOWARDS NONE
Almost all Muslims are cognizant and repeat the verse “God is the master of the Day of Judgment, and he alone we worship”. A fully observant Muslim recites this verse at least 50 times a day and refrains from judging others, as he or she believes God only can make that call.
Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164: I ask whether I should seek any god besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set an example of good citizenship early on in his life. The people of Makkah, non-Muslims at that time, called him Al-Amin; the truthful and the trustworthy because of his unwavering commitment to honesty in word and deed. The goal of the World Muslim Congress is to instill the humane values of Islam and to aspire to be Al-Amin to all.
A JUST SOCIETY
Islam emerged to bring peace, tranquility and equilibrium to the multitudes of tribes at conflict with each other in the 6th century AD. In a period of 23 years, thru suffering, persecution and sacrifice a just society evolved. Diversity was it’s basis, respecting each tradition and bringing them together and appreciating the creator was the foundation stone of Islam.
Justice, liberty and freedom are the core values enshrined in Islam.
Islam is indeed a pluralistic faith and imbues a sense of humility and ideals of equality of humankind. These values are embedded in its rituals practices. All people harvest their own deeds.
Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4: It was God who created you; yet some of you refuse to believe, while others have faith. He is aware of all your actions. He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth.
He fashioned each one of you--and each one of you is beautiful. To God you will all return. He knows all that the heavens and the earth contain. He knows all that you hide and all that you reveal. He knows your deepest thoughts.
The Madinah pact, prescribes the rights of its Citizens and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the signatory to it as the head of the City State. It was an all inclusive agreement between the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, Quraish, Muslims and other tribes for a peaceful co-existence. An example was set for a pluralistic society in documenting the rights of individuals. Perhaps it was the first historical document that included diverse people. The Word Ummah was used in the document to mean all residents of the City.
God could have made us all sinless angels; instead he chose to make us humans, giving guidance on one hand, temptations on the other – then giving room to make mistakes, and room for correction. Islam has not claimed monopoly to heaven; it is assured to those who do good deeds. Good deeds are defined by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as how your treat others. He told his daughter that it would be her deeds that would earn her a place in the Kingdom of God and not her relation with the Prophet. There is no free lunch.
Qur'an, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:7-15: Each person will be given a book. Those who are given their books in their right hands (understanding the book correctly) will be judged leniently; and they will return to their people joyfully. But those who are given their books in their left hands (misunderstanding) will call their own destruction on themselves, and burn in the fire of hell. There are the people who have never cared for their neighbors; they thought they would never return to God. Their Lord watches all that people do.
For Millions of years, the physical dimension of the Universe has existed in a perfect balance as it did not have the ego to compete with each other nor had the freedom to mess with it. They do, what God intended them to do. It is the human dimension that needed religion, and every religion is meant to bring peace to individuals and balance to the world around them through free choice.
God willing, the Muslim community will be drawing the blue prints and developing a 14 year plan to find their space in the world of communities, as contributors and active participants in the peaceful co-existence for the people of the World. The Book “Muslim Vision 2020” is on the horizon.
The human desire to monopolize World resources is the root cause of all evil. The pockets of anarchy and problems of the world are born out of fear and insecurities of evil men. Religion is not the source of wars or conflict. In fact, Religion is the best Gift humans have received from God, without which the World would be chaotic.
Praise the Lord. We are pleased to announce the formation of The World Muslim Congress, A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting co-existence and contributing towards a just world. (Formed: 5/25/2006)
Our silence has done more damage to us, our faith and our World. Silent no more, God willing, we will resolutely take back our faith for our good and the good of mankind.
The world has indeed become a global community. Everyone is a neighbor to everyone else; we aspire to nurture the concept of good neighborliness in the world. Our advisory board will be represented by individuals from every faith. It is time for us to be equal citizens of one world, our home. This is a major paradigm shift in how the religious organizations would be conducting their business in the coming years.
Our upcoming website: http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ will present a range of values in Islam. It is a shame that some of the translations of Qur’an contain phrases that are not in Qur’an. A dozen translations will be presented verse by verse, with the source. So you may know the truth!
Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3: Believers, why do you say what you do not execute? It is most offensive in the sight of Allah when you say what you do not practice!
Speak up, silent no more ®
Mike Ghouse, President,
World Muslim Congress
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206,
Dallas, Texas 75234