Little Mosque on the Prairie: Not liberal enough for Tarek Fatah

Muslim opinion, as far as one can discern it from reading a few of the blogs, seems largely lukewarm as far as the CBC sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie is concerned. One of the reasons seems to be, among other things, it’s portrayal of the more religiously conservative characters on the show.

It was therefore somewhat amusing to read, via ‘Aqoul, that the ridiculous Tarek Fatah (of Say No to the Burqa fame) has charged the program with being racist and bigoted. But not for the reasons one might think. Fatah and Farzana “A Progressive Voice in Canadian Islam” Hassan wrote an opinion piece for the Toronto Sun which reads, in part:

To begin with, a completely false picture of the Muslim community has been forced into the homes of non-Muslim Canadians. CBC has validated the image painted by Islamist groups that Muslim lives revolve around mosques — nothing else. We don’t play hockey, none of us have 9-to-5 day jobs, love affairs, play poker or, dare we say, cheat on our taxes or our spouses.

After watching the fourth episode of Little Mosque, we question the motives of the writer, producers, and directors of the show for focusing singularly on the most conservative segments of the Muslim community. Although the characters are meant to reflect the diversity of Muslim society, a closer examination reveals the show is not about liberal or progressive Muslims competing with conservatives. Rather, the writer has created a false dichotomy of “conservative” Muslims vs. “ultra-conservative” Muslims; the former being disingenuously passed on as feminist and progressive. Muslims who do not pay homage to their Imams; the liberal, secular or progressive segments of the community, are conspicuous by their complete absence from the Little Mosque narrative.

Yes, that’s right. By not depicting Muslims as a bunch of progressive poker-playing, adulterous, 9-to-5′ers handy with hockey sticks, CBC has engaged in an orchestrated conspiracy to:

….exaggerate the incidence of racism and bigotry against Muslims in Canada to foster the culture of victim-hood and accentuate the chasm between Muslims and non-Muslims in Canada.

I might not find Little Mosque on the Prairie particularly funny but this stuff is hilarious.