Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Little Mosque Rocks The (Frozen) House

Little Mosque on the Prairie, the Canadian Islamocomedy I wrote about last week has premiered well, attracting 2.1 million viewers -- quite a tally in the Frozen North, where attracting a million viewers makes a runaway hit.

It is, in fact, the biggest hit the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has had in a decade.

The other C-SM will report in tomorrow's edition (available via Nexis):
When Alaa Elsayed speaks to churches and civic groups about Islam, he plays a word-association game.

"What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word 'Islamic'?" he asks. "How about 'Muslim'?" Sometimes, the Calgary imam says, one of the audience members will hesitantly say what many are thinking: "terrorist."

But now, Mr. Elsayed hopes a different word might pop into their minds: "funny."
He - along with millions of other Canadians - has been watching a new show called "Little Mosque on the Prairie," North America's first sitcom about Muslims.

Elsayed gave rave reviews to the premiere of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's show about a Muslim community in a small, midwestern town, and he's eagerly awaiting the second episode Wednesday.

"A lighthearted comedy that portrays the Muslim community in a manner that is evenhanded is definitely a welcome change from hearing about Muslims as terrorists, as jihadists," Elsayed says.

"This is a great tool for people to learn about Islam in a language they can understand, which is comedy. Also, it's a great indicator that Muslims are an integral part of this community - this is who we are, so accept our differences, not just tolerate them."
OK, I think this is just great, I really do. I'm all for understanding and people coming together; we certainly need more of it in Islamic/Everybody else relations.

I just have this fear that if we all start thinking they're all a great bunch of folks just like us but with Hajibs and Kufi-caps, we might just discover that some of them might just take advantage of the dropping of our collective guard.

But there's always this: 2.1 million watched Little Mosque; 33 million watched 24. We're staying watchful.

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