Obsession of the Week: “Little Mosque on the Prairie”

 

This series is a gem because it combines political and religious issues stereotypes in a humorous way. It’s unfortunate that our country, founded on religious freedom, didn’t produce this show first. Canadian CBC airs the hit sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” now in its fourth season (episodes are currently available on Google Videos and YouTube). I recently read an article about the series and the delays in bringing to the United States and decided to check the series out for myself.

The series revolves around a tiny Muslim community living in a small Canadian prairie town. While the humor of the sitcom can be mild, the way the series deals with religious stereotypes is incredibly real and amusing. The show doesn’t shy away from finding humor in stereotypes which have become far too taboo in the politically correct climate in this country. It works for this series because the show’s seven Muslim characters offer a wide range of believers of the faith that include a sexist traditionalist and a white Canadian convert.

The show doesn’t shy away from dealing with non-Muslim stereotypes either.  The cast includes a local radio Rush Limbaugh-type who attacks the Mosque with stereotypical rhetoric and a local resident who always seems to hear something that could be construed as “terrorist chatter”. The show also succeeds in turning the religious stereotypes on its head as some of the Muslim characters make comments about those in the Christian faith in a similarly stereotypical way that Christians make about Muslims.

At the heart of the show is the relationship between the Islamic Imam and an Anglican Reverend who rents out part of his church to Muslims for their new mosque.  Both the show’s premise and ideology promote peace and understanding of a religion most Canadians and Americans don’t really understand.

To stereotype an entire religion as if the entire masses of the faithful is represented by a few extremists is morally wrong whether it be Christians generalizing about Muslims, Muslims generalizing about Christians, or even one race against another. This show uses humor to show its audience that no matter the stereotype, it’s better to get to know a people as individuals so you can better understand their perspective.

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