Not Your Everyday News

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Canadian TV

Read an interesting article in 'The Washington Post' the other day (a
real newspaper, not like our local rag) about a new Canadian sitcom
that premiered on CBC this week. It's called 'Little Mosque on the
Prairie' (no, NOT Michael Landon in a headscarf!), created by a
Canadian Muslim woman named Zarqa Nawaz. Nawaz moved from
Toronto to Regina, Saskatchewan 10 years ago after getting married.
The background of the sitcom reflects the conflict and humor that
she herself experienced in a conservative small town after living in a
much larger city. The sitcom is set in the fictitious prairie town of
Mercy, where a small Muslim community is developing and becoming
increasingly active. Nawaz hopes her show will humanize Muslims.
She stated "this is not a political show, this is not about the Iraq war,
it's not about 9/11, first and foremost it's entertainment." She went
on to say that classic American sitcoms of the past such as 'All in the
Family' and 'The Jeffersons' dealt with bigotry and racism for the first
time on American TV; their success was based on the hilarious delivery
of those issues, not on preaching to viewers. Nawaz believes, rightfully
so to some extent, that since 9/11, the news has portrayed Muslims in
terms of conflict. She wants her show to focus on relationships and
families, emphatically exclaiming that "it's not about terrorism."
She did leave the door open, however, to introduce different issues as
the show goes on. Some in the media have questioned whether 'Little
Mosque on the Prairie' might insult Islamic fundamentalists. Nawaz
refutes such fears, saying that the assumptions that such Muslims
"are going to riot in the streets, freak out, and get upset is ridiculous.
It's just a comedy." Personally, I would like to see a couple of episodes
simply out of curiosity; perhaps if it is a hit on Canadian TV, one of the
cable channels will pick it up. It doesn't sound anywhere near as awful
and syrupy as 'Little House on the Prairie'!


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