Friday, January 19, 2007

"Reality" TV, mosques "undercover" and "on the prairie"

I don't watch much TV, and with good reason. I'm sure you've all heard about the meltdown on Britain's "Big Brother" between a bollywood starlet and a pair of her house mates. "Reality" TV has been around for several years, an excuse to cut production costs and put together publicity hungry dregs with type A personalities and no lives. A modified version of corrosive TV voyeurism, if you will. The fact that this spat is considered major news showcases just how much contempt the media has for its audience, intellectually and morally. Who cares about people dying in Iraq?
Then comes the "Undercover Mosque," a particularly shoddy piece of propaganda if I ever saw one. Its the sort of cut and paste job put together by the usual suspects(including a self declared Islamophobe and the fake Sufi council of Britain) straight out of MEMRI's(the israeli propaganda site known for its phony cut and paste "translations" of select articles in the Arab press) play book. The "documentary" is being cited by the zionazi faction and its armageddonist followers as proof that Muslims hate non-Muslims, that we want to eat your kids, kick sand in your face at the beach and board the deathstar to subjugate the galaxy etc. Straight out of the "Protocols of the elders of Wahab." Since this group of criminals isn't known for free speech consistency or any desire to speak the truth, I've decided add some balance and clarity to the debate. Yasir Qadhi takes this tripe apart :

Since we are the subject of intolerant preachers, I go underground myself quite often watching the hatred which drips of the tongue of every armageddonist nutjob on TBN, a channel seen by millions around the world. Heres our good friend Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of a foreign head of state. He would repeat this demand later, without any condemnations from the same people who cry bloody murder any time an imam opens his mouth. Keep in mind, that Pat and his cohorts do this in one form or another every single day, without any reproach. Extremist preachers? Sure. Call you spell "hypocrisy"?

Finally, we come to a Canada's latest sitcom, "Little mosque on the prairie." If you ever wondered why some people refer to TV as the "idiot box," this is why. Some Muslim blogs have been naively promoting this wreck as its North America's first major sitcom about Muslims. The creators operate on the fallacy that non-Muslims think that Muslims have no fun or humor in their lives, hence lets make a comedy show with Muslims. Inferiority complex anyone? Some may consider this endeavour well intentioned, yet it is woefully misguided and stupid. From angry militants to goofy incompetents, it essentially exchanges one set of stereotypes for another, while maintaining some. The plots are lame, the acting is forced, the jokes painfully unfunny and frankly Muslims just don't behave in this manner, in or out of a mosque. The second episode(with the obligatory tabla music) in particular was disrespectful to Muslim woman, beating the pro-regressive dead horse that is the non-issue of the barrier in masajid. Muslim spouses don't make out in public, they don't grab each others behind, or talk during Jummah prayers. Muslim fathers(with excessively bad attempts to sound like accented FOBs) don't go through their daughters laundry, panicking at the first sign of menstruation. Awful, isn't it? Zarqa Nawaz may be a Muslim, but she sure as hell can't write for or as one on the best day of her life. You want comedy? try this, I bet you'll get more laughs out of this then the entire season of "little mosque" combined :


Anis Malik said...

I totally agree with your assessment of the ridiculous series running on CBC...

It turns out that it seems that she doesn't even know Surah 'Asr... in the first episode, that FOB imam character mixed up Surah 'Asr and Surah Balad...

This looser named Zarqa Nawaz couldn't get into med school, so she decided to try her luck in media/journalism. And it turns out that she sucks just as bad in showbiz too...

maybe she should just admit it that she plainly sucks...

I am praying that the series flops and her career gets toasted...

Amad said...

I couldn't agree more with all your comments here. I wasn't too politically correct in my reaction to this from the very beginning.

By the way, I find myself constantly using "pro-regressives" ... props for this excellent invention! Musings of a Muslim Mind

SwordsWoman said...

Salaams Dr M and all

Another fine bit of verbal jousting that, as americanos say "kicks a$$" to get us all kick started for the new year.

That failure as a female, muslim, wife, medic et al Zarqa Nawaz tried to justify the drivel she has written which is pathetic at best needs a major reality check...perhaps if her husband got renditioned she could right "Little Gulag in Jordan/Syria/Uzbekistan". Has she no sense that she is playing into the hands of the Islamophobes or is she another sell out?

Channel 4's Dispatches of "Under Cover Mosques" was islamophobic propaganda of the lowest order riddled with soundbites that became the programmes mantra, indoctrinating the masses that Islam is your enemy and the rest.

Yet more and more join Islam as followers every day...

Danya said...

When I saw the first episode I thought it was all right. After the second episode, I was revolted.

The acting is terrible and cheesy, kinda reminds me of the Disney sitcoms, and I thought it was a poor representation of how Muslim women felt about the barrier (most women actually like it, it's the unequal accomodations that they find troubling).

The Undercover Mosque bit was a classic example of cherrypicking.

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

I can't comment on the other programs you mentioned in your post.
I don't understand the need to attack the little mosque on the prairie.
We tire our self with the consipracy theory, but do nothing about promoting what is right.
I think if anything, the series can take the pressure off some Muslms in the west. It does address some issues in a gentle manner.
Some people find things to be offended about. The series is simply about the life of Muslims in a non Muslim country, they way we are percieved, stigmatized, debates that goes on.
Yes there are bits and pieces that are not true, but the bigger picture is more or less true. Why are we so good at pin poiting negatives and not see positives. A constructive feed back to the producer will take you to places, harsh criticism will keep you where you are and will tempt many to close their ears and avoid you.

The father who was going through his daughters stuff is clearly a single parent, no mom in the picture and yes, they do the laundry and clean up after their kids, if anything that is a plus to have on T.V.
The guy who makes out with his Canadian woman is another true story, I know three like that, they are Muslims,practicing but still smooch in public. Wrong, but happens.
I saw a woman who spoke her mind, Imam who listened to both sides and practiced moderation, I saw a father who is struggling to bring up his daughter in the west, I saw how they delt with the steotyping and many other positive things.

I suggest you actually watch the series before criticizing it like that.

You have never commented in my blog, my conspiracy theory states that you wanted to draw my attention to this post. Well done.

DrMaxtor said...

H,L,&H, I DID watch both episodes, and they were atrocious. Don't have to be conspiracy theorists to call a spade, a spade. Considering the numbder of times you've left comments on this blog, you shouldn't be surprised I left one on yours.

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Thank you for leaving a comment. I don't leave comments on other peoples blog to get some back and considering the fact that I started commenting on your blog for such along time, I find it interesting that you leave your first comment last night, nice coincidence.

Anyways. I am not going to bother with this arguement. You have your views, I have mine. Take this advice or leave it. Give people the benefit of doubt. Not everybody is out there to get you and if they are rather than making a fool of your self with making assumptions, see how things unfold and try to give feedback.

Typical Eastern mentality, quick to judge.

DrMaxtor said...

L,H,&L, the only one making a fool out of themself is you. I don't need to leave comments on anyones blog to get traffic. I commented on your post regarding the behavior of your co-workers. Totally unrelated to the subject at hand, hence your charge is baseless.
You're just upset I panned the show you like. Its garbage, and I stand by every single word I said. I've never liked low brow "entertainment" and if that makes me an "easterner" then so be it. Try reading the post in its entirity before making ridiculous assumptions that I havent watched the show.

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

No need for making such statments Dr.M.
No where in my comment did I say that you commented to make traffic. If anything as I previously stated I wish ed more people knew about your blog. Please get out of your box and read exactly what I am saying and the points I am making rather than perseverating on one point.

Anyways, this is a childish conversation.
I am not upset that you don't like a program that I enjoy, please spare the isnult, we are not 5years old. I am just surprised that a person like you (who I thought were mature) would pass quick judgment and make nasty comments and have a negative out look on what might be an innocent attempt to make things better for people who get harrassed here. Regardless if it is right or wrong.

I guess your glasses are tainted with negativity.

don't bother commenting back, I am not sure you will ever see the other s point of view since you are stuck on yours.

Good luck with that attitude DOCTOR.

A muslim is about manners. work on it.

DrMaxtor said...

You DID imply that I left comments on your blog with an ulterior motive of "drawing your attention," so please dont backtrack and rephrase it because everybody can read it here.
Next comes this nonsense about "quick judegement." We've all seen 2 episodes and I dont need to repeat what I(and many others) find demeaning, disrespectful and juvenille. Its called having taste and looking at things through the lens of discretion.
Ironic that you bring up maturity and "Muslim manners" in defence of a show which itself is devoid of both. Not to mention your jibes about "easterners" and their "mentality." Sounds pretty immature and judgemental to me.
Got consistency? Its a good thing. Try it sometime.

Safia speaks said...

The series are a sitcom, not reality. Of course they have to stereotype people. A concerned mother going thru the luggage of her daughter is simply not funny.

Agreed, the series have very little to do with islam, and there are so many errors (surah, prayer, behaviour) because the sitcom is for people with no knowledge of islam.

Still, it had some funny moments. I´d compare Little Mosque to some of those Syrian TV sitcoms they always broadcast during ramadan. Light entertainment - it´s not Fawlty Towers of Fresh Prince.

But one shouldn´t expect any serious coverage of how "real" Muslims "really" are. There is no humor in worship, so in order to make people laugh there must be exaggeration and stereotypes, even if the stereotypes are Uncle Toms.

Canadian Muslimah said...

"don't bother commenting back, I am not sure you will ever see the other s point of view since you are stuck on yours." - Hot Lemon& Honey

This made me laugh. I thought for a moment that you had mistaken this for your own blog! :)

I agree dr. Maxtor wholeheartedly in his review of the show. I'm a Canadian Muslim, and I'm used to this type of show, it actually reminds me of another typically Canadian show -- "Corner Gas".

The show is tasteless and where is the funny? If anyone likes this show...then it really is only a matter of taste and tact.

We're free to like whatever we want.

Neo said...

salaam aleikum,

dr. maxtor, as usual right on target.

It always strikes me as ironic that these "spiritual" crack snorting sufis have a hard time absorbing any kind of criticism or feel any sense of accountability for their actions done in the name of and on behalf of Muslims/Islam. It is as if all forms of treason, degrading behavior, and grovelling should be passed off as "dawah" in "the name of Islam".

Why am I saying this? Because these same uncle toms and whitewashed crackers are the very same ones that scream "extremists don't represent us" or "down with the wahabis" when a Muslim is slandered in the media for things he is alleged to have said and done.

Where is the accountability???

A double standard all in the name of getting accepted.

salaam aleikum,

Amad said...

Dr. M, I'd like your take on this article I posted yesterday... I like your frank, straight-to-the-point style... sometimes crude, but usually on target.

Here it is, and somewhat relevant to many of the topics here, Wahhabi Myth: Debunking the Bogeyman

Also, see this: Abu Lulu: The Shrine of the Umar's (RD) Murderer

DrMaxtor said...

Canuckster, thats something aint it? "Don't bother commenting back" did make me laugh considering this is my blog. The premise being that I HAVE to like and support a show because its made by a Muslim, no matter how bad and unoriginal it is.
Neo, my feeling is that some Muslims are under the extremely false impression that acceptance relies on lowering self-esteem amd watering themselves down.
Amad, I am aware of both links, but feel that shia-sunni arguments will lead to nowhere. We have my differences with the shia, but shouldnt fall into the sectarian trap of those who hate us all anyway.

bARABie said...

Hi Dr, very nice blog you have.
In regards to the show "little mosque on the priarie", i have only seen one episode posted on and within the first seconds the jewish influence hit me like a brick.
You see the music for the opening credits is by ofra haza, now dead thankfully, a jewish singer from israhell.
What you say is also true like not talking during sermons and so on.
One has to ask why a majority christian country is making a series about muslims?
why not little church/synagogue on the priarie, the likelihood of the producers of such a show would understand the subject better is much higher.