Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This Has Been a LMOTP Moment Brought to You by My Annoyance

So I'm watching Little Mosque on the Prairie.

This show is definitely presenting a very conservative version of Islam as the only version of Islam. Rayyan's parents have found a possible husband for her. But of course they have to let her get to know him first. However, she cannot go on dates with him without a chaperone! She is a grown woman and a doctor at that. Yet she cannot be alone with her suitor, even in a public space!

No doubt many Muslims believe this but MANY Muslims do not. Personally, I think men and women can be in each others company without humping each other. I know. I've done it. As surprising as it may sound there have many times when I have been alone with a man and NOT had sex with him. I know!! Shocking!! And there are even more times when I have been with a man alone and not even wanted to have sex with him!! Oh, and ditto for making out. Or touching. Or anything of the sort.

The idea that a couple needs a chaperone is a very conservative and traditional one. I wish LMOTP would STOP telling us what a good Muslim is like. UGH!!!!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.....

11 comments:

Jehanzeb said...

What I don't understand is how can a Muslim guy and girl get to fully know one another when there's a third person present?

But there *are* Muslims who prefer to have a chaperon and I respect those decisions. To say it is compulsory for all Muslims is another issue. And you articulated on that quite well :)

Farheen said...

I agree that there are Muslims who prefer to have a chaperone and that's cool if that's what they want. But the show presents this as the ONLY Islamic way about it. What they are telling their audience, a lot of whom are not Muslims, is that proper Muslims do thing this way. They ALWAYS say "Muslims do this and Muslims do that." Instead they should demonstrate that this is the way certain characters interpret it and this is the way they feel comfortable. Not that this IS Islam. Now non-Muslims are getting all these silly ideas about ALL Muslims. Even more so than they did before. In December they had one episode where they said Muslims are not allowed to celebrate - it's unIslamic. And last month they had an episode in which they said Muslims could not displays pictures of the human form - it's unIslamic. They are constantly presenting a very conservative version of Islam as the ONLY version of Islam and screwing us all over. :(

Jehanzeb said...

Wow.. see, I never saw the show so this all new to me. I've noticed this before though in other films and television programs where Islam is presented as very stringent and inflexible religion. That's not reality at all. The reality is that Muslims have so many diverse interpretations of Islam, just like Christians and Jews have their various interpretations of Christianity and Judaism.

That show sounds shady. Did a Muslim create/write it?

Farheen said...

Yes, it is a Muslim creation. It was created my Zarqa Nawaz. Which unfortunate because the doc Me and the Mosque was hers. But I guess for her there is even just one way to being a strong Muslim woman.

Zeynab said...

LOL! "Men and women can be alone together without humping each other."
Love that phrase. It should be embroidered on a pillow.

Nabila said...

My question to ALL you guys is, why don't you look at the positive side--the BIG picture? Yes, I understand that many muslims have a modern perspective on things, and possibly Zarka's take on things could be disapproved by some. However, what she is doing is applausable and quite necessary for the knowledge of general public. Why don't you guys praise the show for the approved islamic ideas its presenting, and not for the hazy areas? C'mon guys, its muslims like us who make the non-muslims confused with our own debates. Please do not get offended, and reflect upon what I have said in order to refrain from any future highlights of the negative aspects of the show. Thank you. Jazakallah Khair.

Farheen said...

Salaam Nabila,

Thanks for writing.:)

I agree that it is wonderful that we finally have Muslims on TV who are normal people. And funny to boot. Or at least trying to be. It is presenting a very different picture to non-Muslim audiences than the ones they are used to seeing in the news. And I think that is great and ultimately beneficial.

But the problem also lies in this same fact. Because non-Muslims are seeing this and assuming that Muslims are actually like those people on the show, and that Islam is actually what they are showing on the show, I worry that non-Muslims will be getting a very specific version of Islam. And that other Muslims will be made to feel like they are not good Muslims because they don't believe what the show is showing.

I don't think non-Muslims have any reason to get confused. What they do have to realize though is that we Muslims, like all other groups, are extremely hetergeneous. We have a variety of viewpoints. There really is no need for us to all act as one large group. The unfortunate part is though, that most non-Muslims here see us all as one homogeneous group. It's kind of like the joke that White people can't tell brown people apart. We all look the same to them :)

Anyhow, now I think it's high time we have more Muslims on TV in positive roles and presented in a variety of ways. We have to make ourselves "normal."

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? There are plenty of times where Rayyan and JJ are alone in public?

Farheen said...

Anonymous:

In the episode after which they introduce JJ they make a HUGE deal about the chaperone.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0w1ytfz69WA&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ao2hFV9mJ0w&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2kbhZyIIcBY&feature=related

Anonymous said...

That one episode was about a chaperone but there have been other times where they're alone in public. Rayyan has been alone with the imam more times than I can remember since the beginning of the show.
It's funny that you see the show as portraying a very conservative type of Islam because when I watch it I see the opposite. They're obviously pushing a very liberal Islam on their audience..... heck, the IMAM shakes hands with EVERY woman who comes on the show except Rayyan LOL
As far as men and women being alone together or not... admitedly, it is possible for them to do so on occasion without succumbing to temptation BUT the prophet sal allahu alayhi wa salaam DID say when an unrelated man and woman are alone together shaytaan is the third. So the temptation is there and Islam teaches us to avoid all possible avenues to fornication so unrelated men and women shouldn't test their boundaries by spending time alone together just to prove they have strong will power.

Muslimah said...

I don't consider myself conservative but when it comes down to the facts (Quran, sunnah, hadith) there should be a chaperone. I completely agree with this anonymous commenter who posted above me. When a man and a woman are together, shaytan is the third person. whoever said just because theyre alone with a guy doesnt mean they want to have sex with them...maybe that's not what's in your mind, but how do you know what's in the other person's mind? You don't know. And shaytan can easily whisper in you or his ears and make you do things that seem innocent at first but leads to haram. Chaperones are supposed to protect us from shaytan and ourselves.
And honestly, this show and your opinion of its so called "conservative" and "traditional" ways is the least of our worries. There is a show coming out soon (forget the name) that has a character who is supposed to be a Muslim homosexual. So go bicker about that...