How to Improve Relations Between Muslim and Christian Americans? Make Them Watch Canadian Television


Thu, Sep 8th, 2011 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Catrin Nye of the BBC Newsnight notes that relationships between Blacks and Whites improved thanks to a show we are all familiar with: The Cosby Show. Why not then, she asks, have a Muslim Cosby Show to counter negative perceptions of the Muslim community some Americans may have?

But just across the border, in Canada, this "Muslim Cosby Show" already exists. Little Mosque on the Prairie, made in Toronto, is recording its sixth and final series.


Little Mosque on the Prairie is not all terrorist jokes, but there is a decent helping. Although its humour has been described as more like the gentle UK sit-com Vicar of Dibley than the black humour in film Four Lions, which followed a group of would-be suicide bombers.

This is a sitcom about Muslims and Christians trying to live in harmony in the fictional town of Mercy in Saskatchewan, Canada and it charts the arrival in town of a modern Canadian-born imam.

"Even the executives who made Little Mosque were worried when it went on air, about how 'the community' would react," says Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the programme.

"For sure, some very orthodox Muslims said this is wrong, that we shouldn't be doing this. But I felt overall the majority of the Muslim community felt it was innocuous... it was funny... they formed their opinions based on whether they liked the show or not."

Of course the show has not escaped controversy, but not always from the most obvious places.



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