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Little Mosque on the Prairie comes to Canadian TV

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 8th 2006 2:39PM
Little Mosque on the PrairieHow's this for the premise to a sitcom - a young Muslim man abandons his burgeoning law career to become the new imam (Muslim prayer leader) of a small Canadian town called Mercy? When we meet said imam, he's in line at the airport talking on his cell. "If Dad thinks that's suicide, so be it. This is Allah's plan for me." Cue security.

And so begins Little Mosque on the Prairie, CBC's newest sitcom. Premiering in January and being pitched to US networks this month, the series has been forced to confront two big questions since its inception: 1. Can the post-9/11 world take humor about Muslims living in North America? 2. Will Muslims riot over the depiction of said funny Muslims?

Fortunately, most of the show's humor derives from the experiences of one of its creators - Zarqa Nawaz (pictured), a Canadian Muslim of Pakistani origin who herself made the move from Toronto to Regina, Saskatchewan ten years ago. Nothing provides better comic fodder than the truth, and many of the messes the characters find themselves in stem from her own experiences in the Muslim community. Experiences like what a veiled woman wears to the pool when she finds out her swimming instructor is a man; should Muslim children be allowed to celebrate Halloween; the tension that manifests itself between conservative and liberal Muslims when a partition is erected in the Mosque separating men and women. According to the New York Times, the show plays out in an amiable way evocative of a 1970s sitcom like Mary Tyler Moore. There are far worse things to aspire to. If the show's funny and plays past the eight episodes ordered up north, than I hope American audiences will get a chance to see it somewhere besides YouTube.

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I think the show is really good, and promises to get better.

Here is a site for fans to discuss the show:


February 01 2007 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's a site where readers and viewers are sharing their experiences from their local communities:


The idea is to build a community from around the Globe where readers can share their stories in relation to the episode's content.

Go ahead and share your Little Experiences ...

February 01 2007 at 3:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jody miller

Check out these Little Mosque on the Prairie Clips I found on youtube:



January 02 2007 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yours truly

Before you go talking about the vision in your head you're trying to put in everyone else's, have you even been to a mosque before? Of course the media against Islam are going to try to settle that Imams preach hatred in your smallish brain. Why not look at islam in a non-diplomatic view? I'm sure then you'll be able to see the lie in which the media have introduced you. Not all muslims are for violence. In fact practically 99% of us are against it. Why not look at the great people who have made a difference in the muslim world? Tariq Ramadan, who studied in the University of Oxford, Tareq Suwaidan, who studied at Al-Azhar, Kat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam. You want to go even deeper? Let's talk about the muslims who changed the WORLD, namely, Ibn-ul-Jabr, who created algebra, without which you can't hope to know mathematics as you know it today, Al-Khawarizmi, who was the first one to use the zero in mathematical equations, Ibn-Ishaq, Al-Kindi, Ibn-Sina(AVICEN), the Banu Musa brothers, and many more.

December 25 2006 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

oh ya and another thing, how come you guys aren't complaining about the makers of Beauty and the Geek? isnt that the same thing?...the took te title of the disney movie and changed one word. nobody says anything to the makers of Beauty and the geek, but when muslims come in? no! you cant do that! why dont YOU guys think real hard and stop critisizing muslims for what they didn't do? grab a book written by a true muslim and start reading about what islams all about...the media's got it all wrong.

December 20 2006 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

theyre making the show for people like you^^^^^^^^^who think muslims are gun-wielding terrorists...the media sure did a good job putting that image in your heads..anyway, im interested in the show and so are all my friends

December 19 2006 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George and Anne

I think you people are CRAZY like a Fox. While certain Muslems are cutting off heads, toes, hands feet and other body parts because Christianity is their preferred faith, people like you write commedies trying your hardest to put lazy minds back to sleep.
The old hand is quicker than the eye gimmick...hey?
Hee...Hee... Hmm, it's amazing that you people can't come up with ideas of your own...gotta steal the show that speaks about how THIS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA became what it is today. YOU'RE still using the system to take for your gain...use another's cause to win your own???? An old trick. Islam is no where near the category of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE...those folks were God fearing, honest, hard working, compassionate people looking for ways to better life. Course there were crooks waiting in the wings to steal what others worked hard for. Sounds alot like what's going on today...... Why not think real hard and come up with some appealing ideas of your own. Maybe imams would get better response from the public if they quit preaching hate.
Take care and I'll be praying for you that your creativity will click in and you'll just go to town...You go girl...!
Good Luck!!!
Your friends.

December 17 2006 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think people would watch it as long as it's funny. it doesn't matter weather it's about christians, muslims, jewes, hindu or any other religion. I hope US networks pick up the show so i can watch it.

December 17 2006 at 12:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We should never have to resort to comedy to validate or prove to others that Muslims are normal people. The prophet Muhammad did not use humour or create a sitcom of his life to prove to the quraish that Islam was the right religion or to prove we came in peace. Let's also hope this is not a milder version of Satanic Verses by Suleman Rushdie (hence sugar-coating the real intention by using the term Little mosque..) My only point here is yes this is exciting for people, but no religion should be discussed through the use of humour (whether it is Islam, Christianity or Judaism) It is simply oxymoronic. I'm sure we are all familiar with this term as well: never mix business with pleasure. The intelligent ones who read my comments will understand what I mean.

December 16 2006 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm super excited about this.. and in a post 9/11 world this seems a perfect way to give knowledge in a light way.. Yes, we do exist, and we are NORMAL.. and not all Muslims are middle eastern.. i'm caucasion..
anyway.. it already sounds better than the new show set to come out later this month, Sleeper Cell, which seems to be set on 'scary' .. but i dunno..
cool can't wait!!!!!

Allah Hafiz

December 15 2006 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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