Politics & Policy

That’s Just Not Funny

Little Mosque on the Prairie.

At a time when the U.S. mainstream media contorts itself to portray all Muslims as friendly, and those of us who are wary of the spin as fanatic nut jobs, along comes the politically correct, leftwing Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to contribute its propaganda machine to the Religion of Peace cause.

CBC-TV last week premiered an eight-part series called, believe it or not, Little Mosque on the Prairie. That sound you hear is Michael Landon, well, you know. As a TV-listings writer might put it, “A Muslim family tries to cope in a post 9/11 world in rural Saskatchewan, and hilarity ensues.”

An example of the yuks: A Muslim father, in traditional garb, admonishes his Canadian-born daughter for wearing a sexy tank top. “You look like a Protestant,” he says. “Don’t you mean a prostitute?” she counters. “No,” he says, “a Protestant.”

Please, stop, before my sides start to ache.

Given it’s the CBC, it’s hard to say which is more predictable, the lack of humor or the Christian-bashing. In Little Mosque on the Prairie, Christians and other non-Muslims are stereotyped as extremist morons. And anyone who expresses reservations about Islam is portrayed as evil, ignorant, and bigoted — especially police.

In a scene at an airport, a Muslim talking on his cell phone in the check-in line is overheard using the words “suicide” and “This is Allah’s plan for me.” Although actually spoken in an innocent context (he’s saying he doesn’t believe he’s committing career suicide by giving up his law career to become an imam) it’s perfectly reasonable that a bystander overhearing only those words would be fearful. In this show, however, such a person and the authorities are seen as fools. Meanwhile, all Muslims are salt-of-the-earth folks.

They don’t, however — at least so far — condemn 9/11, renounce global Muslim violence, call for understanding of Christians and Jews or decry the less-enlightened writings in the Koran. Perhaps they heard about the Oklahoma man who was booted out of his mosque for calling on his fellows to repudiate extremism, and feared a similar repercussion.

At least when such pap as Little Mosque on the Prairie is aired on U.S. television, it usually isn’t paid for out of our pockets. CBC programming, like Canadian “health care,” is funded by tax money. Ironic, since this is a show that might make more Canadians sick.

The show, written and produced by British-born Zarqa Nawaz, who says she wants to put fun in fundamentalism, is the latest twisted example of how 9/11 might be the best thing ever to happen to Islam from a public-relations standpoint. Prior to the attacks we seldom, if ever, heard talk about how we must be tolerant of Islam, but now it’s a major media message. It took the murder of 3,000 innocent civilians for us to be constantly told that Islam is a religion of peace. In fact, as in a bizarro world, the more Muslims who kill people in the name of religion, the more politically incorrect it has become to point out that some Muslims, do, in fact, kill people in the name of religion.

Doug Gamble, a former writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, is a freelance speechwriter for politicians and corporate executives.

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