Video: “Little Mosque on the Prairie”

posted at 4:40 pm on January 10, 2007 by Allahpundit

It debuted last night on Canadian television after tons of hype. Ratings: huge for indigenous programming.

Dan Riehl has clips. “Exceptionally unfunny!” raves the Toronto Sun.

Here’s how it opens:

Little Mosque on the Prairie is set in the fictitious prairie town of Mercy. In the opening scene, members of the Muslim community file into the local Anglican parish hall, which is renting out the space.

Inside, Baber (Manoj Sood), an imam, rails against the insidious nature of Western culture. Wine gums, rye bread and licorice are “traps designed to seduce Muslims to drink alcohol!”

Baber’s peculiar sermon continues as he cites Desperate Housewives: “Why should they be desperate when they’re only performing their natural womanly duties?”

This scene tells you two things about Little Mosque: 1. It’s willing to send up certain extremist elements that exist within Islam. 2. But only from the safe distance of over-the-top absurdity.

Ethnic comedy is hard to sustain. When you’ve got only one joke, it gets tired fast. Granted, with a gifted performer in the lead, it can be wildly successful.

Without one? Not so much.

Update: Why settle for fake Muslim comedy when you can get the real thing? It’s CAIR TV!


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I think its hasty to be critical of a program that would never be aired on American TV.

It only aired once. Let’s wait and see.

Labamigo on January 10, 2007 at 4:53 PM

I can’t wait until they get to the episode where those wacky Canadian Muslim kids want to behead the prime minister. And those truck bombs! They just slay me with those!

Maybe a good follow-on to this trend is a sort of Muslim version of the Sopranos where an Al Qaeda terrorist cell is struggling with modernity deep in the Great Satan’s belly in Detroit.

Tantor on January 10, 2007 at 5:00 PM

CAIR-TV should have a warning label stating that it may cause an emetic reaction in some people.

chsw

chsw on January 10, 2007 at 5:02 PM

“You look like a Protestant!”

LMAO! Classic!

Gregor on January 10, 2007 at 5:03 PM

Maybe a good follow-on to this trend is a sort of Muslim version of the Sopranos where an Al Qaeda terrorist cell is struggling with modernity deep in the Great Satan’s belly in Detroit.

Taqquiya Night at the Bada Bing!

Kid from Brooklyn on January 10, 2007 at 5:04 PM

Update: Why settle for fake Muslim comedy when you can get the real thing? It’s CAIR TV!

Hmmm, I always thought it was called Al-Jazeera.

Rick on January 10, 2007 at 5:07 PM

When you’ve got only one joke, it gets tired fast.

You used to say that about the “tenting the pants” joke, but that never got tired. Nor did the rest of the shtick. You got tired, but the shtick didn’t.

(See Bill Cosby.)

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 10, 2007 at 5:29 PM

So, “half-pint” is now “half-detonated”?

SouthernGent on January 10, 2007 at 7:29 PM

Little House on The Prairie leaves us all wondering, in these troubled times…

WHAT WOULD CHARLES DO?

seejanemom on January 10, 2007 at 7:52 PM

Good comedy – give it a chance – it might actually do some good to laugh a little.

Emmett J. on January 10, 2007 at 11:59 PM

If they portrayed them assassinating Bush or putting Blair on trial then hanging him, would it have been ok?

hadsil on January 11, 2007 at 12:58 AM

OK, I admit it. I laughed at those short clips from the show.

Does that make me a bad person?

flipflop on January 11, 2007 at 6:44 AM

if anyone is interested, fox&friends interviewed the creators of the show. just go here and zoom down to “above the fold.”

My opinion?

It’s true there is a radical element of islam that we all ought to be very concerned about, dadada, any sane person knows that. The radicalization of islam is no freaking joke.

That being said, it’s also true that there’s plenty of normal, hardworking, and decent muslims out there today in Canada, the United States, wherever, who are just like me and you, and who add a lot to our society. We all know many of them personally.

Now, this show I promise you will have a positive effect overall on the whole issue of our North American perspective of Islam. Why? Because the best way to overcome paranoia and racism is not through politically correct statements or policies, and socially instituted condemnations of majority attitudes. Of course, that’s what everyone uses. And yes, it makes the majority feel guilty and, well, you know how it goes.

So what is the best way to overcome racial, cultural, whatever barriers? Bloody freakin humour!

Don’t believe me? Look at Bill Cosby and the effect he’s had on white perception of blacks in the United States. If you can simultaneously laugh at yourself and your percieved rival, if you can own your downside, if you can come from it from a level-headed and humane point-of-view, then i’m allowed to do the same, and so those attitudes are easily overcome. Then you tear down walls and you open up the ability for me to see who you truly are and vis-versa. Then the whole issue of, whatever it may be, in this case racism, becomes ridiculous, and you now see the whole issue from a greater context, which is of course the whole point of a joke.

Yes this will hopefully be a very healing issue for our society in North America today.

p.hedstrom on January 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM

Hedstrom: “That being said, it’s also true that there’s plenty of normal, hardworking, and decent muslims out there today in Canada, the United States, wherever, who are just like me and you, and who add a lot to our society. We all know many of them personally.”

If Muslims in North America are just like you and me, why are 80% of the mosques radicalized by Wahhabi preachers? Do you attend a church where worshippers of other religions are called pigs and apes, where you are taught that you will rule people of other religions, where your religion must predominate?

Other religions have built hospitals and universities in America. Where are the Muslim hospitals and universities?

Hedstrom: “Now, this show I promise you will have a positive effect overall on the whole issue of our North American perspective of Islam. Why? Because the best way to overcome paranoia and racism is not through politically correct statements or policies, and socially instituted condemnations of majority attitudes. Of course, that’s what everyone uses. And yes, it makes the majority feel guilty and, well, you know how it goes.”

Do you mean that I hold a bad opinion of Muslims not because of Sep 11 and the other Muslim atrocities, but merely because of my own paranoia and racism? Does it occur to you that it is Islam which indoctrinates Muslims with paranoia, racism, and bigotry and that Sep 11 et al is the product of those Islamic traits?

Hedstrom: “So what is the best way to overcome racial, cultural, whatever barriers? Bloody freakin humour!”

So if the Muslims cut the throats of flight attendants and pilots, fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, smash people into dust, force other people to jump from a hundred stories, and pour burning jet fuel on passersby, the onus is on us to find a way to laugh it off? Maybe we can make their snuff videos into a game show, huh?

Hedstrom: “Don’t believe me? Look at Bill Cosby and the effect he’s had on white perception of blacks in the United States. If you can simultaneously laugh at yourself and your percieved rival, if you can own your downside, if you can come from it from a level-headed and humane point-of-view, then i’m allowed to do the same, and so those attitudes are easily overcome. Then you tear down walls and you open up the ability for me to see who you truly are and vis-versa. Then the whole issue of, whatever it may be, in this case racism, becomes ridiculous, and you now see the whole issue from a greater context, which is of course the whole point of a joke.”

Are you seriously calling blacks equivalent to terrorists? And you are calling us racist?

Here’s another approach: Have the Muslims stop killing people for their religion and people will have more respect for them.

Hedstrom: “Yes this will hopefully be a very healing issue for our society in North America today.”

Hedstrom, the answer is not for the victims and targets of murderous Muslim bigotry to acquire a better attitude about their tormentors, but rather for Islam to reform itself to work and play well with others, rather than kill non-Muslims. It’s that simple.

Tantor on January 11, 2007 at 6:36 PM

p.hedstrom, I can not disagree with you more. Humor is definitely appropriate at times, but not when dealing with a barbaric group of people. And I know I have to tread lightly on this board with this topic, so I’ll do my best. The normal, hard working decent muslims you refer to out there would do themselves and their culture a tremendous favor by speaking out way more loudly than they’ve done so far. We have a local ice cream store here in town that I patronized for many a year. It’s owned by a young muslim man. When discussing the extremists of his “persuasion” he said that the things they did were not representative of his beliefs or his customs, but since he could do nothing about it, he felt compelled to keep quiet. Well little Muslim dude, you lost a customer. I go out of my way to tell my friends and neighbors about his apathy and as a result, I hope his business suffers. His lack of concern, as well as those of his like minded “moderate muslims” (I personally don’t think they exist)show that these folks have not/can not/will not assimilate, therefore I have no use for them in my society. Trying to compare what Cosby did for Black/White relations to what this show could do for civilized society/Muslims is ludicrous. In my humble opinion of course :)

rayvet on January 11, 2007 at 7:09 PM

First of all, tanot, and to a lesser extent rayvet, you entirely took my comments out of context, in so many ways i’m not even going to bother responding to each point individually. But i’m once again going to sum up my essential points, because you’re both correct on several things but you both lack, in my view, reality testing or perceptual balance (you’re tilted).

Historically, tantor referenced wahhabism and the ideological roots of militant islam. It actually goes back to the founder of Islam himself, after all, he did set the standard in slaughter the Quaryzah (sp?) clan of jews, etc… and of course, it has been reinforced since then. If anyone wants two great essays on the historial roots of islam re wahhabism and qutyb, you can of course e-mail me at p.hedstrom@hotmail.com and i’d be happy to send them over.

If you look at the metaphysics of militant islam, it all becomes clear. What we see is the effects of a philisophic position that is very different from what simultaneously evolved in the West (what we call … logic!)

So please do not think I am denying, or apologizing for, or EXCUSING in any real way the threat posed by radical islam. In fact, I think all western governments should do MORE to combat it – I don’t think the patriot act was enough, and I don’t think we ever needed useless propaganda like (we invaded iraq for the sake of democracy.) NO! We invaded Iraq for survival, pure in simple, because it’s the MINDSET of the Middle East that needs to change. It wants me, you, all of us dead, or converted. Heathen are worthy as death, more deserving of it infact than dogs. So non-muslims, women, and especially americans are essentially less worthy of life than dogs. Fact.

What I am saying is, there is a strong element of islam in north america that is reason-based in thought and attitude, which appreciates the upside of western society (freedom under law) and would shed its blood on the american (etc) flag for it. I know this because I interact with these people. I don’t care if you don’t believe me, it’s a fact. And the last two people who responded to me do not recognize this. I am not saying it’s the majority, but it is a sizeable group that needs to be acknowledged ( GET IT? )

Why SHOULD you do this? Because I think the best thing we can do to ensure our own safety is to find and empower any moderate branch of islam we can (for example, in a family close to my own, the husband and wife are muslim and jewish). On the other hand, I encounter the other end of it too… All i’m saying is, keep and open mind.

And re humour, if you didn’t get my point, you never will. I’m not implying anyone is racist. Or if anyone is, then we all are to some extent. Everyone has inborn attitudes like that. The point is not to condemn them but recontextualize them and that is what humour does. Sometimes the only way to see that I am human and you are too is through humour, or anything else that makes me relate to you on an intimate level, that you are in fact myself – you have the same problems, the same stuggles in life that I have, whether you are causcasion, native american, or arabic. Of course, you don’t have to buy into anything i’m saying… But I stand by what I say.

p.hedstrom on January 14, 2007 at 1:59 PM

I’ll just give an EXAMPLE of what I mean and then i’ll shutup. Abbas in Palestine. He is an example of a Muslim with a moderate attitude. He’s not a lunatic, a megalomaniac, or a psychopath. He’s someone who obviously desires peace for his people ABOVE war. He way not AGREE with Israel, but he’s obviously a lot more interested in honest debate, compromise, and progress than Hammas.

What i’m saying is, these are the people we need to court, and make our allies. Why? Because their mindset is different. For example, the United States approach, lets say nations like Canada, UK, and South Korea, ENTIRELY different than it would Iran or North Korea. Why? Because, although those nations may not agree with it, the US can still approach them on the basis of rational discussion, and therefore make workable compromises.

Therefore, it is for these types of people that we ought to “look for similarities, rather than differences” and, although we may not agree with them on all things, yet at the same time find workable compromises to ensure our security and their own. I know I sound like a liberal freak here, always standing up for the little guy even when he doesn’t deserve it, but you can’t honestly tell me what i’m saying is totally invalid. You really think it’s all hypothetical bullshit? What is the alternative? Well, it’s to deport ALL muslims… No you really have 3 options. 1. They get rid of us, 2. We get rid of them, or 3. We seperate the wheat from the chaff.

p.hedstrom on January 14, 2007 at 2:30 PM