If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Remember Little House on the Prairie? Well, now there is Little Mosque on the Prairie, a Canadian sitcom about being Muslim in the West:

Sitcom’s Precarious Premise: Being Muslim Over Here
James Estrin/The New York Times

TORONTO - The handsome, clean-cut young man of evidently Pakistani or Indian origin is standing in an airport line, gesticulating emphatically as he says into his cellphone, “If Dad thinks that’s suicide, so be it,” adding after a pause, “This is Allah’s plan for me.”

As might be expected, a cop materializes almost instantly and drags the man off, telling him that his appointment in paradise will have to wait, even though the suicide he is referring to is of the career kind; he’s giving up the law to pursue a more spiritual occupation.

The scene unrolls early in the pilot of a new Canadian comedy series called “Little Mosque on the Prairie.”Yet that fictional moment is an all-too-possible occurrence, as witnessed when six imams were hauled off a US Airways plane in Minnesota in November after apparently spooking at least one fellow passenger by murmuring prayers that included the word Allah...

“Little Mosque on the Prairie” ventures into new and perhaps treacherous terrain: trying to explore the funny side of being a Muslim and adapting to life in post 9/11 North America...

During one recent episode being filmed at a neighborhood swimming pool, two Muslim characters who are normally veiled leave the changing room to discover that a man has replaced their usual female instructor. The horrified women lunge for bath towels to use as temporary hijabs, or veils, to cover their hair.Ultimately the solution is found when, as the script describes, “Fatima comes out dressed in the Haz-Mat Islamic swimsuit.” The costume designer unearthed a swimsuit on the Internet from Jordan that covers her from scalp to ankle and had it shipped to Canada.

The struggle over what constitutes modest dress is central to the show.
When a Muslim girl flounces into her immigrant father’s presence with her navel showing, he recoils in horror, saying,
“You look like a Protestant.”
She counters, “Dad, you mean a prostitute?”
He responds, “No, I meant a Protestant.”...

Amaar is abandoning a law career to become the new imam, or prayer leader, in the small town of Mercy. His predecessor as imam preaches sermons like, “First there was ‘American Idol,’ and now there is ‘Canadian Idol.’ All idols must be smashed.”Ms. Nawaz, [the shows creator] wanted the show to look at how a native-born imam, exceedingly rare at the moment, might deal with issues differently from the standard imported imams.

Another episode focuses on the anguished debate among strict Muslim
families about allowing their children to dress up and collect candy on
Halloween, a Christian affair built atop a pagan festival. Most North American Muslims eventually compromise because the day has been drained of religion. “Little Mosque on the Prairie” turns it into “Halal-oween,” halal being the Arabic word for anything religiously permissible.

In an earnest manner not atypical of Canadians, one goal of the show is to explain Muslim behavior, or at least make Muslims seem less peculiar, much as humor about Jews, Italians or gays helped those groups assimilate.“On the news all you ever hear are voices from the extreme end of the spectrum,” Ms. Darling said. “This gives voice to ordinary people who look just like other ordinary people.”With its small-town setting and affable cast of characters - even a talk
radio host who labels Muslims as terrorists comes across as rather lighthearted - the show unrolls a bit like “Mary Tyler Moore” or some other 1970s sitcom.

Great idea? Here are a couple more...

The Bin Laden Bunch
Here's the story of a man named Ali
Who was married with three strapping teenage lads
All of them had facial hair
Just like their mother
The oldest one was being prepared for jihad

Till the one day when Ali married Fatima
Another wife for him to secretly enjoy
What he did not know was that Fatima had children
Three daughters the same age as his three boys

When Fatima and her girls move in with Ali
Then they knew that it was much more than a hunch
That two wives, six kids and poor old Ali
Could all become the new Bin Laden Bunch

Jihad Days
Farid, a young handsome migrant from Pakistan, moves into the spare unit above the Cunningham's garage. Soon the whole town becomes smitten with this cool new stranger. Farid forms a close friendship with Richie, the Cunningham's son, and together the two get up to all sorts of adventures. Little does Richie know that Farid has come to the US undercover on a mission from a terrorist cell. Will his friendship with Richie and the Cunningham's change Farid's mind about his mission?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Iktimal gives back Young Australian of the Year Award

Well, all you whingers and whiners on Muslim Village, hope you are happy now.
Iktimal Hage Ali has had to give back her award for Young Australian of the Year and could face losing her job after being arrested on suspicion of links with drug dealers.

Even though she was not charged with anything, the poor girl may also lose her job.

I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist but I wouldn't be surprised if all those people who were so opposed to Iktimal getting the award because she does not wear hijab but does wear nail polish had something to do with this.

What a shame. What a real shame.

Monday, December 11, 2006


First of all, a big congratulations to Iktimal for being named NSW young Australian of the Year. Well done Iktimal.

Now a word for all those Muslims who condemned her for not wearing hijab and for taking a sip of champagne in celebration of her accomplishment on Muslim Village ...

We all know that the government and the media prefer to engage with women who "look Muslim"- ie wear the hijab. Those of us who don't wear it know very well that we are the invisible Muslims. Journalists will clamour over 10 non-hijabis just to talk to a hijabi, Government funding goes to Muslim women's groups and individuals who wear hijab or any form of the veil because it is seen to be politically correct - forget that some of these groups use their funding to enable women to stay in domestic violence situations.

If you do not wear hijab, you are somehow not considered to be "authentic" regardless of what you do or what you have to say.

At the same time, Muslim women who wear hijab are constantly lamenting the negative media portrayal that presents the hijab as evidence of gender based oppression in Islam and that equates Islam only with the spectre of the veiled woman peering helplessly from behind a black shroud.

We know this- all Australian Muslims know this. SO WHY DO WE DO IT TO OURSELVES?
Why are we taking on the attitudes of media and government that we are so ready to criticise and condemn? Why are we appropriating the very thing that we whinge about all the fucking time?

How dare anyone claim that Iktimal does not represent Muslims because she does not wear hijab? By that argument only hijabis are valid "authentic" Muslims and hence the hijab is the single most important symbol of Islam and what it means to be Muslim. Isn't that the same thing that we criticise in the media and government? Their obsession with the hijab as a symbol?


I'm done.


Here's the story:

A Melbourne grandmother, Christine Hawkins, decided that she would organise the "Great Australian Bikini March" to protest Sheikh Hilali's infamous 'cat meat' remarks and support Pru Goward's (Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner) call for Hilali, Keysar Trad and Sheikh Omran to be deported.

The march was planned for December 9th to coincide with the anniversary of the Cronulla riots but has since been 'postponed' to Australia Day on 26 January next year.

That's the story you will read in any of the media coverage. Here's what you might not...

Ms Hawkins approached two local councils in Melbourne for permission to stage the march. Both refused. Frustrated, she then turned to the media in the hope of exposing what she saw as an unfair decision by the councils.

She spoke to Richard Kerbaj- the journalist who broke the Hilali story. Kerbaj questioned her motives and what she hoped to achieve and then flat out refused to cover her story.

In the meantime, white supremist websites had begun publicising the event and rallying people to attend. At the same time left leaning websites criticised Ms Hawkins, her motives and her idea. Ms Hawkins however, remained steadfast in her committment to showing those horrible Muslim men just what Aussie women are made of (not cat meat I hope)!

Then the shit hit the fan. A journalist decided to do some digging and found out that Ms Hawkins is in fact part owner of the True Blue clothing company that was sponsoring the event. Ooopsy!

Suddenly, Ms Hawkins is not so steadfast anymore and began to withdraw the idea of the march- closing down the website and removing her photo and any reference to her in regards to the march. According to my source, poor Ms Hawkins said she felt "victimised, persecuted and misrepresented by both the left and right wing factions and the media". She even had to change her phone number!

Hmmm- the best laid plans of mice and men will often go astray.