My comment on a discussion on ‘Aqoul of curmudeon with messianic delusions Tarek Fatah’s nasty and intellectually dishonest broadside [see below for HT] against "Little Mosque on the Prairie".
Fatah complains that his kind of Muslim (like what, Wafa Sultan?) isn’t adequately represented on the show and goes so far as to absurdly imply Islamist sympathies in its creator, who made the hard-hitting but balance documentary of gender discrimination in mosques "Me and the Mosque".
With all due respect, I think Fatah’s criticism is nonsense, if sadly predictable nonsense. It seems that his mission these days is to make sure that no good deed by Muslims goes unpunished and that nothing without his eccentric imprimatur gets validated as "progressive".
You observed "Indeed, the show’s portrayal of Muslims, who happen to be Western Muslims, is quite different from the reality I know." I’m sure a good number of less-practicing and/or communally involved Muslims would agree.
But I think it’s fair to ask whether this other demographic reality being invoked is likely to be encountered at or near a mosque, which is after all the setting of the show.Moreover, the show certainly does nod to progressives. In fact, Yassir (the liberal and pragmatic businessman) is clearly intended as a stand-in for that segment of the community. The women are not all hijabi, either. And then there’s the young, cleanshaven, liberal imam (admittedly pretty implausible for a variety of reasons at any mosque I’ve seen). The other side certainly is represented, if perhaps more implicitly. Some might feel this representation is inadequate, but then again it’s arguably a reasonably good reflection of a fairly liberal mosque.
How many of the people Tarek Fatah feels were blackballed regularly set foot in a mosque in the first place? Let’s be fair.
One of the these days (hopefully soon) I’ll post on this again, as I think a lot of people in the Blogosphere–and on both sides of the religious aisle–have misunderstood the show.