Connect with us

Humor

‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’ Ends | The First Muslim Sitcom in Review

“What? She’s white, and Muslim?” exclaimed my friend as he watched Sarah Hamoudi pray during the series première of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Having grown up in a city made up largely of immigrant Muslims, I guess he had assumed that Islam was a religion reserved for people of colour. We chuckled through the terrorist jokes, Babar’s sermon about ‘Smashing the American Idol’ and the clashes between liberals and conservatives at Mercy Mosque. The first sitcom about Western Muslims had just aired and it was making a difference already.

I was in my final year of high school at that time and I clearly remember the buzz surrounding the show. Some expressed opposition to the name, which for them violated the sanctity of the classic, Little House on the Prairie. Most were excited to see a fresh, new and unique comedy about Canadian Muslims. An audience of 2.1 million people tuned in for the first episode; a record breaking and unheard of rating in Canada. The ratings declined over the years, but they were good enough to sustain it for six seasons.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

It was a proud moment for me to see a show about Muslims air on national television. Along with the regular post-episode discussions on House and The O.C., I could now joke with my friends about Ammar’s latest debacle or Babar’s classic rants. At a time when Muslim youth were increasingly insecure about their identities, a show like Little Mosque helped boost self-esteem and self-worth for many.

But Little Mosque never set out to accomplish any of the things I’ve mentioned. It wasn’t a show that was aimed at educating people about Islam or solving problems faced by Muslim youth. It was a sitcom that was meant to be funny; it just happened to be about a small Muslim community. It was Islam’s Cosby Show. In the post 9/11 times where any normative depiction of Muslims in media was deemed to be too controversial, the CBC made the bold move of creating a whole show about Muslims. Not only were the central characters Muslim, the show revolved around the mosque which played a key role in the community’s life. The CBC and Zarqa Nawaz, the show’s creator should be recognized by the Muslim community for this historic feat.

The criticism and the lack of support at times from the Muslim community were disheartening for me. Sure, if you don’t like the show, don’t watch it. I agree that it wasn’t a laugh-out loud comedy, and the writing was hokey and uncreative at times. But dismissing the show on grounds that the characters weren’t observant enough, or that Zarqa Nawaz had some secret liberal agenda, was disappointing. Are you seriously hoping for a sitcom where the women dare not speak to a non-Mahram? Where the community isolates itself from the kuffar? Where the Imam goes around warning people of the evils of Western civilization?

Little Mosque had its shortcomings when it came to accurately depicting the orthodox Muslim community. Yes, the Imam didn’t have a beard, had an awfully nonchalant attitude towards apostasy and might have shaken hands with the opposite sex in a few episodes. Zarqa Nawaz once explained that some slips happen because almost everyone on staff, from the director to cameraman, is non-Muslim. She alone couldn’t possibly monitor every minutiae of the filming. Some aspects of the story, such as the Ammar’s liberalism, are obviously intentional. You might not like it, but it’s just a sitcom at the end of the day.

These shortcomings are miniscule compared to the number of things Little Mosque got right. The sitcom was the most accurate depiction of Muslims to date and succeeded in bringing the mainstream Muslim community to the television screen, especially at a time when secular and ‘progressive’ Muslims get preferential treatment. It represented all the characters we find in our mosques; the uncles, the converts, the feminists and the rebellious teenagers. It captured the conflicts between the young and the old, the tension between the liberals and conservatives.

It showcased, with great sensitivity, the first Muslim courtship on television; a social phenomenon which is still under development amongst Western Muslims. Peer-pressure faced by Muslim youth at high schools was also brought to light, as was their conflicts with immigrant parents. I would argue it even addressed issues which the Muslim community faces; I think organizing an ‘Islamapalooza’ is a great idea and partial hockey boards offer a reasonable solution to the prayer barrier controversy. Because of Little Mosque, people now know that Muslim women take the hijab off at home or that it is possible to be Muslim without having to wear one.

Little Mosque on the Prairie’s idealistic worldview represents hope for our community in many ways— excluding its fiqhi failures of course. Our mosques today have closed doors and an unwelcoming atmosphere; not only to people of other faiths but to segments of the Muslim community as well. Women continue to be marginalized, and converts still grapple to find acceptance. I don’t see our Imam playing checkers with the Reverend down the street, nor do I see bona fide bonds of friendship like the one between Babar and Thorne.

Mercy Mosque’s setting was similar to the mosques of Muslim Spain, where the Christians and Muslims at times shared a common building for their place of worship. The series ended with the Muslims welcoming the Christians into their newly built mosque after their church was burned down. The new mosque was constructed in the image of Al-Rashid Mosque. This was Canada’s first mosque and was built by donations from Jews and Christians, as the Muslim population in 1938 was minuscule.

Like Al-Rashid Mosque, Little Mosque reminds us that the vision of a pluralistic community co-existing is neither new nor impossible. Its message was simple: Set aside your prejudice, give up your spiritual pride and be a good neighbor.

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Waleed Ahmed writes on current affairs and politics for MuslimMatters. He focuses on Muslim minorities, human rights and the Middle-Eastern conflict. Based out of Montreal, he's currently pursuing a Ph.D. at McGill University in fundamental physics. Waleed also has a keen interest in studying Arabic and French. He spends his spare time reading, playing basketball and praying for Jon Stewart to run in the next presidential election. contact: waleed dot ahmed at muslimmatters.org

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Proud Kafir

    May 1, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Funny how moslems always whine how we should be a pluralistic society in the WEST but if you look at any islamic country you will see when the islamics dominate there is not much pluralism…just ask any Christian, Buddhist or better yet lets not forget the JEWS :) Yeah pluralism is great as long as it lets moslems take your country over. Moslems hate that people are awake to their quest for world domination and the Caliphate….. I am so happy people are waking up and this show was ended. Moslems come in all colors as it is not a race so the comment about your friend acting like white women being moslem was just a bullshit way to act like people are stupid…they are not stupid and they are now taking a stand :) GOD BLESS THE NON MOSLEM WORLD!  :) 

  2. Avatar

    Shahzad

    May 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Assalamu ‘alaikum. In as much as I was uncomfortable with the show and would never openly recommend it, I had an eye-opening experience with a non-Muslim client of mine when we were chatting in his boardroom. The topic of Islam came up and said something like, “Oh yeah, I know all about hijab and praying 5 times a day stuff.” I said, cool, where did you learn that? He said, “On Little Mosque on the Prairie.” I just sort of laughed at myself.

    • Avatar

      TolerantTeacher

      June 30, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      You missed the beauty of this person’s statement altogether. Furthermore, you missed an opportunity to help this person to INVITE this person to your mosque (or any local one for that matter) to see first hand and to experience it for themselves. You had a chance to educate someone about your faith and you chuckled. How arrogant is that? Islam is not some private gentleman’s club where only the elite can be members. Maybe this person was trying to show you that they LEARNED something BECAUSE they actually took and interest in the show and watched it??? Like i said earlier, a non Muslim is more apt to watch this show in the privacy of their own home than walk into a mosque. FYI, I probably would have chuckled too but I also would have extended an invitation.

    • Avatar

      Rob Hoey

      July 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      yes, it is a laughing matter when you think of how tolerant Islam is of Jews and other infidels. it was taqiyya fiction supported by dhimmies

      • Avatar

        Badger Bagbane

        April 20, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        Rob, if Muslims are so intolerant of ‘Jews and other infidels’ as you put it. Can you explain to me why there are synagogues and churches scattered all over the middle east that are hundreds of year old? Or one better, did you know that a Muslim family has possession of the Church of the Nazerine? Saladin himself gave it to a Palestinian family and commanded that they take care of it.

  3. Avatar

    Special K

    May 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    ” . . . Set aside your prejudice, give up your spiritual pride and be a good neighbor . . ..”

    Good advice all around. Only when it’s heeded by all will a solution to rejection be found.

  4. Avatar

    Ahmed

    May 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Why does MM post these articles? Have you guys run out of some serious and more beneficial topics then this? It’s a sitcom with MAJOR slip ups (which the author disagrees).

    • Avatar

      anon

      May 1, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      We don’t have to be serious all the time. And this is beneficial…..you could pass this sitcom on to your non Muslim friends who may learn a more human side of Islam through comedy. Yes it has slip ups…..but it was NEVER meant to be a guide to Islam……it just shows one story. 

      • Avatar

        Malik

        May 2, 2012 at 5:34 AM

        It’s better than all the misrepresentation of  islam on the internet and media :)

  5. Avatar

    Ansari_mowghlis_uncle

    May 1, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I had NO IDEA this show existed!!! Im from london, are these episodes on Youtube?  I am intrigued!

    • Avatar

      WaleedAhmed

      May 2, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      You can easily watch it on Youtube or just buy the DVDs online

  6. Avatar

    maddermonk

    May 1, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    This was a horrible show where the clean-shaven, liberal, westernized Imaam was always winning against a bearded, old-world, conservative.

    The liberal agenda is not very subtle.

    If you want to recommend this show to non-Muslims because just want them to get some exposure to Muslims, i suggest being a better form of exposure yourself than expose them to such garbage.

  7. Muhammad Wajid Akhter

    Muhammad Wajid Akhter

    May 5, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Salaam Brother Waleed,

    I have to disagree with the main thrust of your article. Look, we all like getting the fun side of Islam out there and showing the tolerant image of our faith to non-Muslims. And we can laugh at ourselves. And we can also appreciate that there is a spectrum within the Muslim world – some more liberal than others.

    But my issue is not with the show, which after all claimed to be nothing more than a sitcom involving Muslims, but your view of it vis-a-vis more conservative Muslims disagreeing with the heavily liberal bias showcased here.

    “Set aside your prejudice and give up your spiritual pride”
    – Prejudice against what? Spiritual pride in what? Are you unaware of what you are intimating here? Essentially you are saying that we should just stop being so fussy about Islam and issues that may be against the Quran and Sunnah since it is merely a form of cultural and spiritual racism/ imperialism. Or at least that is what it sounds like. Can we not be good neighbours and play checkers with the reverend down the street without having a liassez-faire attitude towards gender interactions/ apostasy/ the sunnah?

    It was a sitcom, nothing more and I can’t say that I’m angry or upset at someone for making a sitcom with Muslim characters in it. But when someone comes along and says that anyone who criticises the show on purely Islamic grounds is prejudiced and somehow sitting on their high horse – well, that does touch a nerve.

    Essentially the first part of your article seems to say that in order to get Islam out in the mainstream, we must make/ accept compromises on aspects of our faith… and these compromises are worth it for the exposure we get. Well, it’s not.

    • Avatar

      WaleedAhmed

      May 6, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      walaykumasalm Muhammad, 

      Jazakallah for the comment. I appreciate you expressing your concerns. However, I feel you’ve drawn unreasonable extensions from the things I’ve said. When I am asking Muslims to give up their prejudices and pride, I by no means am saying that “that we should just stop being so fussy about Islam and issues that may be against the Quran and Sunnah”. 

      Being prejudiced and arrogant goes against the Quran and Sunnah. I am inviting Muslims to honour our tradition. The Prophet stood up out of respect for the funeral procession of the Jewish man…because he didn’t see them as sub human. He visited the Jewish boy when he was sick. He had Jewish in-laws  from his wife Safiyyah. The Quran allows marriage to People of the Book. That’s more than playing checkers. 

      Too many in our community are filled with this disease. Seeing the other as sub-human because of the their disbelief….this leads to isolationism and serves as a huge obstacle to our dawah too. 

      In addition, I am not saying that anyone criticizing the show on Islamic grounds is somehow arrogant. I am saying that being overly dismissive based on a few short comings is unintelligent, and for me its disheartening. In the article I acknowledge and recognize its short falls..but I also recognize the overall positive outcome and accomplishment of the show; many have failed to do so. I feel Zarqa Nawaz deserves to be recognized, not criticized, for her work. 

      Lastly, you’ve made the same error that others have when criticizing the show. ” in order to get Islam out in the mainstream, we must make/ accept compromises on aspects of our faith”.  The show was never an attempt to get Islam to the mainstream or to educate others about the faith. The goal was to make a sitcom and make people laugh; criticizing it as if it were some dawah initiative is not applicable. I am surprised, and glad, with the amount of work CBC put into researching/consulting with the Muslim community when making the show. They could have gone ahead and made what ever they wished, but they actually had a committee made up of the Muslim leaders and scholars that were consulted in the making. 

       

      • Avatar

        The Mad Monk

        May 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        “The show was never an attempt to get Islam to the mainstream or to educate others about the faith. The goal was to make a sitcom and make people laugh; criticizing it as if it were some dawah initiative is not applicable.”

        I’m surprised to see the level of your naiveté. If the purpose of the show was simply to be a sitcom and make people “laugh” than why was the clean-shaven, innocent, anti-sunnah, rational Imaam always wining against the crazy, old, conniving extreme old imaam?

        Yes Zarqa Nawaz should be given recognition, by the likes of Mona Tahawi, Ed Husain, and others who support the reinterpretation of Islaam for the modern palette and the dissolution of the sunnah.

        • Avatar

          burqa barbie

          May 13, 2012 at 10:28 PM

          أ. الغوفرة
          سلحفاة اميركية, الغوفر سنجاب

  8. Pingback: ‘Little Mosque on The Prairie’ In Review « BloomingPeaches – Sit. Think. Imagine

  9. Pingback: 'Little Mosque on the Prairie' in Review - Home - Cordoba House

  10. Avatar

    TolerantTeacher

    June 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    “Set aside your prejudice, give up your spiritual pride and be a good neighbor.”
    I could not say this better! I want everyone to know that this show has been an eye-opener to me. I spent time in the mosque in North Dallas, and my son attended school in both California (Al Madina) and in Texas, and as someone that was born in the United States and raised in the United States, this sitcom, despite all the plausible comments I read below about it being liberal, is and has been the MOST positive and digestible work of art that has come to public television about the Muslim community. No one show can satisfy everyone! For those of you that are “old school” and prefer a “bearded” Imaam to a non- bearded Imaam, and are easily offended by this, shame on you! To put this more bluntly, it is people like you that are stuck on stupid that make the younger generation and others who might lend an open mind and open heart to what the true message of Islam is about want to turn a blind eye and shut their ears! Furthermore, it was a comedy. It was not meant to be a documentary on Islam and for those of you that disagreed with how the Imaam settle disagreements or other issues in this sitcom, you should keep in mind that extremism in ANY religion is psychotic. This show actually made me want to be Muslim. It made me want to set aside whatever insecurities or concerns I had about being openly Muslim aside… And, just so that you know, the Christian (Anglican) church probably had more damning remarks to say about how they were represented than anything I read here… “Interfaith” relations is not a new concept (due your due diligence) and has left the world with magnificent examples of just how beautiful this world would be if only some of you people would worry less about non essential matters and more about those things that really matter. Being proud to be who you are and setting a good personal example is really the best way to represent your faith. Consider yourselves lucky that this first sitcom was not like the horrible sitcoms that misrepresent the African American culture. This sitcom did a good job of non type casting its people and shows that even white people can be Muslim. For me, the most beautiful experience in the world is going to EID and seeing people from all cultures – brown, blue, green eyed people, and every shade of skin color under the sun. This is not an experience I have had as a Christian. And, as a woman, I understand first hand what is is like to be covered and to hear the snide remarks of not the men, but the woman in a non enlightened community… This sitcom explained several traditions very well that many non Muslims would never understand… And, gave non Muslims access to this information in the privacy of their own homes. Think about that for a moment. It was a positive alternative to the frightening media reports. Laughter is good medicine. I love this sitcom. I am sorry to see it coming to an end. It will be sad if no other sitcom airs afterward. Even sadder if one does that lacks its intelligent humor.

  11. Avatar

    Hafiz

    September 9, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    I agree with the author. Thank you Waleed for writing a beautiful article. May Allah reward you.

  12. Avatar

    Christian Muslim-lover

    December 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    (Pardon for coming in so late to this forum, but I have just found the show and am still in the first season in catching up.) Allow me to preface these comments by stating that I am a 54 year old Christian, of the Southern Baptist denomination, and a licensed minister to families to boot. I am enjoying the show and I’m excited about the prospect of learning more about Muslims in daily life. Of course, I realize that the Muslims portrayed here are not entirely accurate, as is nothing portrayed on television, but I’m hoping for some insight!

    I do have some “insider” thoughts on this program, particularly the episode which depicted a high church minister – an arch-deacon I think, if you’ll allow me. As I said, I’ve been Christian for over half a century and have lived in close contact with similar beings throughout. And yes, I’ve run across a few Christians – and Christian ministers – who are represented by the Anglican arch-deacon and a few other “Christians” on the program.

    HOWEVER, these are NOT the majority in Christian churches. And yes, there are subtle-to-huge variances within the Christian ranks. But like I said, 50 years, lots of experience… I was disturbed with these characters’ whole attitudes, from condescension toward a fellow minister (the church pastor), to their near-alcoholism passion for wine and their greed (i.e. the arch-deacon touching the full collection plate with joy and insisting on a “take” of the offering).

    Please understand that the average Christian is much like I imagine the average Muslim to be: loving God, revering the faith, respecting the religion, but living in the world realistically. Yes, some “Christians” (note the quotes) as they call themselves are just fakers and takers. But I hope to see the show develop some decent real Christian characters who will represent more real-life examples of us.

    We, by the way, respect Islam (when we take time to learn about it) and the devotion and love of God as felt by true Muslims. Our faiths share so very, very much – history, the Talmud/Old Testament, Jewish roots and prophets, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, … Jesus/Isa even! Ignorance, in my humble opinion, is what harms both our families. I hope this program can serve to quench fires of ignorance and bigotry by helping both faiths see our similarities.

  13. Avatar

    waleed ahmed

    December 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    thanks minister, agree with your thoughts : )

  14. Avatar

    SK

    December 28, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks Waleed for this article. LMOTP was groundbreaking in its portrayal of Muslims as members of Canadian society.
    In my experience, I find it interesting that the people who are so against the show due to its “unIslamic” characteristics are often the very ones who have no problems watching other entertainment that violates Islamic rules even more flagrantly; these they deem acceptable because there’s no obvious link to Islam. Shameful.

  15. Avatar

    LM

    February 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I love this show, I have wondered what Muslims might think of it and am glad to have gotten some info about that here. I was raised Catholic, but am currently not practicing. What I love about the show most, besides Rayyan’s beautiful hijabs, is the development of the characters. I find Rayyan’s strength in her faith and practice of it inspiring. Amaar’s gentle ways of guiding everyone, without judging them, impressive. Through out the six seasons you get to see each character develop and grow. It gives me hope that I can develop over time like they did. It makes me feel more accepting of those around me and less judgmental. It gives me more appreciation for all the “characters” in my life and how each person brings something of value to the table. I wish I could go live in Mercy. I’m not sure how much of this is true to the Muslim faith, but the show has really made me curious to learn more. Next time I see my Muslim friend at work, I plan to ask him some questions. And greet him with “Assalamu’ alaikum.”

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      February 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Thanks for sharing those thoughts. Glad to see people can appreciate and relate to the show across the board. It’s great that you want to learn about Islam too, feel free to message me if you’ve got questions.

  16. Avatar

    Kokaowai

    March 1, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    I just started watching the show I love it funny and timeless. I never thought there would be a show that would be number one in my book replacing Northern Exposure. This show is a blessing sad to see off the air no more Baber what will I do.

  17. Avatar

    DoktorThomas™

    March 27, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    It was a humorous gap between distant cultures. For many myopics it maybe as close to any Mosque or Muslim they will ever come. Understanding through bad comedy is not necessarily a bad thing. But seeing more than bid Laden on the screen is a substantial step. It is likable.

  18. Avatar

    Beth Wellington

    May 15, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Thanks. I had not heard of this show, as it is Canadian and I am in US, but came across it in a list of single-camera comedies. It is now available to watch online free on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/little-mosque It’s on my list to watch now, based on your review…After I watch a few episodes, if I like it, I’ll post it to my blog and give you a h/t.

  19. Avatar

    ElvenInk

    February 26, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I agree that show is groundbreaking in its positive portrayal of Muslims, but I don’t think we should just accept and applaud it without a critical look. It DOES have some mistakes in its portrayal of Islam. I am also not a fan of the constant kissing and innuendo between Yasir and Sarah which makes it difficult to watch with kids!

    I think it’s all about audience. It’s great, as some posters above mentioned, for non-Muslims to understand Muslims and our way of life a little better and it might encourage some of them to do a bit more research. It’s also very enjoyable and a great discussion starter for adult Muslims (or mature kids/teens) who are able to enjoy it for what it is and understand that there are some mistakes in it here and there.

    So overall, I agree that it was a great show. I think it would be great if someone did thorough posting outlining some of the good/educational episodes that CAN be used for dawah, etc, (because there are a few of those) and also describing/explaining some of the errors in the show.

    Anyway, thanks for the great post and starting this much-needed discussion! Insha Allah in a few years’ time maybe we will have more and more shows dealing with the lives of Muslims in the west and their struggles!

  20. Pingback: When the Course Swerves… | Desks & Deities

  21. Avatar

    Rob Elliott

    June 18, 2015 at 12:33 AM

    Little Mosque when it came on was really my first introduction, I’m a Pagan (though raised Christian) which means I understand a little about what it is like to have issues with the Christian influenced culture. Little Mosque got me researching and learning a little. I’ve even started to learn enough of the Arab Alphabet that I can (with time) translate words and working slowly at speaking it. (though come on can someone make it a little simpler 28 characters 2-3 version of each, plus accents it is seriously intimidating)

    I’ve developed a great deal of respect for Islam and Arab people. Without Little Mosque I wouldn’t have it.. I just recently started watching it from the beginning has I haven’t seen it in a long time. I have much more understanding today than I did then, which actually makes the show much more entertaining actually.

    Even I see errors but trust me you’ve gotten further than my faith has in a portrayal.

    I found this article an interesting read. I was curious about the Muslim prospective and have read a few articles. So thank you for writing this. I wasn’t going to comment (3 years an all) but after reading the first… shameful comment, I thought I’d mention that for every idiot there is a person like me. Little Mosque was certainly a force for good, and most of the characters are likeable (I stopped watching with the second priest I wanted to punch that guy)

    Based on my interactions with Muslims over the last decade or so, I will say it is surprising how many play fast and loose with the rules. As such I think the portrayal of Yasir is actually really well done, he represents a segment of the Muslim Community (right or wrong)

    Hopefully I won’t offend anyone with this, it isn’t my intention. I like the show, and I’m indebted to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Culture

Trump And The Holy Gobble: A Tongue In Cheek Short Story

When Donald Trump tries to impress a secretary and is exposed to aloo gobi and black pepper, what follows could mean the end of the world.

Aloo Gobi

See the Story Index for Wael Abdelgawad’s other stories. This story is satire, i.e. humor. You’ve been warned!

That’s Why They Love Me

The EEOB

The EEOB

With Secret Service agents guarding his flanks, Donald Trump exited the White House and headed across the street to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which housed the majority of the White House staff offices.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

“Mr. President,” the Special Agent In Charge protested. “I wish you would eat in your private dining room, or at least in the Navy Mess. It’s safer than the EEOB break room, of all places.”

Trump gave the man a condescending smirk. “You don’t understand what it takes to be a great president. I have to let my workers know that I care about them, bigly. I’m the best at that. No one has ever been better than me at being good to their workers. That’s why they love me.”

The SAIC rolled his eyes. He knew the real reason for the president’s desire to hang out in the EEOB break room. One of the new EEOB secretaries, a petite Russian immigrant blonde named Natasha Petrova, was a former “actress” known to her fans as Natasha Lipps. It wouldn’t be long, the SAIC expected, before Ms. Lipps – err, Petrova – would be made a presidential advisor, which would naturally require personal briefings with the president.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, strode beside him. Trump was fed up with the man, who kept trying to talk to him about the need to cover up his affair with Stormy Daniels.

“Can’t we just get the Russians to eliminate her?” Trump demanded.

The Nuclear Football

“Well, heh heh,” Cohen stammered. “That’s not really-”

Trump waved him off. Maybe it was time to fire the dopey dummy, if he couldn’t get things done. As they entered the EEOB, Trump turned to his aide-de-camp, a tall and muscular man wearing a medal-festooned military uniform and a beret. The man carried the nuclear football, and was always at the president’s side.

“Give me the football.”

The nuclear football

The nuclear football

The aide hesitated. The football, a Halliburton Zero aircraft-aluminum briefcase with a protruding antennae, the whole thing further housed within a thick leather satchel, contained a device that the president could use to launch nuclear missiles from any location. It was quite heavy. Besides, the aide knew that Trump only wanted to show it off to Natasha Lipps – err, Ms. Petrova.

Trump snapped his fingers. “Give it, loser.”

The aide handed it over, watching with satisfaction as the president listed to one side, nearly falling over.

In the break room, Trump, out of breath from the exertion of carrying the football, beamed with satisfaction. He’d timed it perfectly. Lipps was making herself a coffee. He admired her figure, resisting the impulse to grab part of her anatomy.

A few other employees sat at the cafeteria-style tables, eating sandwiches and chatting. A brown-skinned young man stood beside a humming microwave oven. They were losers, all of them. They weren’t the president. He was! They didn’t have people all over the world reading their Tweets. He did! Something smelled good, though. He looked around, trying to identify the source of the delicious smell, when the staffers noticed his presence. They all jumped to their feet, and one man saluted. Mental note: promote that guy to presidential advisor.

Natasha Lipps gave him a wide smile. Trump leaned forward even more than he normally did, all his attention focused on the Russian woman.

“Look what I have,” he boasted, grunting as he hefted the case. “The nuclear football.”

“You are such a poverful man,” Lipps purred in her Russian accent.

Cherokee People

“Something smells good in here.” He gave her a wink. “Is that you?”

“I vish it vas, Mr. President. Is Ahmad over there.” She nodded to the brown-skinned man. “He alvays bring delicious food.”

Trump frowned at the man, who had just taken a meal out of the microwave. Ahmad? Wasn’t that a Muslim name? He turned to Cohen. “Do we still have any Muslims on staff? I thought we fired them all.”

“I don’t know, sir. The White House has thousands of staffers.”

“Arrest him. But bring me his lunch. It smells really good.”

“I don’t know if that’s strictly legal, sir, there are laws-”

Trump silenced him with a chopping motion. “Hey, you. Ahmad.”

The brown-skinned man froze. “Yes, Mr. President?”

“You’re not Muslim, are you?”

Ahmad’s eyes shifted left and right. “I’m from California.” Which was technically true.

Trump made a face. “Just as bad.”

“I believe he is Indian,” Petrova whispered.

Oh, that was fine then. Trump had been dealing with Indian-owned casinos in Atlantic City for decades. “Cherokee people,” he sang out loud, “Cherokee trii-iibe. Hey chief, what are you eating?”

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

“Aloo gobi, sir.”

Holy gobble? What the heck kind of a dumb name? Getting back to more important matters, he set the football on one of the tables, touched his thumb to the biometric scanner, and popped the case open.

Inside, a special laptop computer was custom-fit into the case. The upper panel came on automatically, displaying a map of the world, with all the major cities marked with glowing dots. The lower panel contained a keyboard and a large red button, along with two smaller buttons, one labelled YES and one NO.

Allergic to Pepper

Trump grinned at Natasha Lipps. “Guess what this does? I could destroy the planet from right here if I wanted to. Pretty hot, huh?”

“Is vonderful.”

“Mr. President, sir!” the aide-de-camp protested. “This is highly irregu-”

Trump sneezed into Natasha’s face. It was a wet, jet-propelled sneeze. Her smile flickered for an instant, then returned as bright as ever as she wiped his spittle away. Trump scanned the room. The dark-skinned Indian guy had a hand-held pepper mill and was grinding pepper onto the holy gobble.

“Stop that, you moron!” Trump snapped. “I’m allergic to pepper.”

The man gazed at him pleadingly, and gave the crank a slow-motion turn. “But I like a lot of pepper on my food, sir.”

Trump let out a tremendous sneeze, one that shook him all the way down to his spinal cord. This time he felt himself losing balance, and reached out a hand, which landed right on the nuclear football’s red button. A loud beeping noise sounded, and lights flashed on the screen, along with the glowing words:

CONFIRM MISSILE LAUNCH = YES
ABORT = NO

Trump prided himself on being a positive person. No one had ever been more positive than him in all the history of the world. He didn’t believe in the word NO. He pressed the button for YES.

Arrest That Man

Everyone stared in horror, except for Ahmad, who used the distraction to give the pepper grinder three fast turns. Then he sat, said a quick dua’ and rapidly began to eat his aloo gobi.

“Dear Heaven,” the aide-de-camp breathed. “The Russians will retaliate. We’ll all be destroyed.”

Trump smirked. “You think I would point missiles at Russia? They’re pointed at Mexico and China. Immigration problem solved, plus we win the trade war! Am I the smartest or what?”

The aide-de-camp studied the laptop screen. “One of the missiles is off target. It’s headed for California.”

Trump nodded smugly. “I always keep one aimed at San Francisco.” Grinning widely, he crooned, “Goodbye, Pelosi!”

The SAIC tapped his earpiece. “We’re getting word. The Chinese have launched a retaliatory strike. We’ll be hit in fifteen minutes. We need to get you to the bunker!”

Ahmad took out a portable prayer rug, set it down and began to pray. “Alhamdulillahi rabbil aalameen,” he intoned. One last salat before the end of the world. He would meet his end with dignity.

“I knew it!” Trump pointed. “Arrest that man. For being Muslim, and for eating holy gobble.”

Cohen sighed, and Natasha Lipps – err, Petrova – began to cry.

THE END

Reader comments and constructive criticism are important to me, so please comment!

See the Story Index for Wael Abdelgawad’s other stories on this website.

Avatar

Wael Abdelgawad’s novels – including Pieces of a Dream, The Repeaters and Zaid Karim Private Investigator – are available in ebook and print form on his author page at Amazon.com.

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Continue Reading

#Culture

5 Reasons The Muslim World Needs a Jon Stewart

There will be many who read the title of this article and think – of all the many, many things that the Muslim world does need – they’re pretty sure that a middle aged liberal Jewish comedian isn’t one of them.

And they would be wrong.

Dead wrong.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

excuse-me-what

Yes, the Muslim world needs another Umar ibn Abdul Aziz and Tariq ibn Ziyad. We would be blessed to have an Uthman Dan Fodio or Muhammad Ali Jauhar.

EmelBarbie

Who am I kidding? Even Hijabi Barbie is front page news for us

But I’m here to make the case that we could also do with our own version of Jon Stewart.

jon-stewart_beard

No. This doesn’t count…

Why?

Well, here are just 5 reasons:

1. Someone who tells it like it is

Politicians and leaders often like to hide behind semantics and carefully scripted soundbites. They speak like they’re afraid of what might happen if the masses understood what was actually going on.

Probably with good reason.

Then here comes Jon every weekday evening cutting through the garbage and explaining things in simple, direct (albeit American) English.

js quotes

A dose of raw, passionate, straight-talking truth? Suddenly, college students are interested in the debt crisis or police brutality.

The Muslim world could do with a few articulate souls who manage to move beyond preaching to the converted and instead, try and reach out to the disaffected, the uninterested and the disenfranchised.

Someone who could dumb it down without the dumb part.

2. Someone who is fair

It is well known that Stewart is towards the more liberal end of the spectrum. [Understatement alert]

You would expect him to constantly and mercilessly pick on Fox News and Dick Cheney.

Screen-Shot-2014-03-05-at-9.38.22-AM-1280x701

He does.

But this doesn’t stop him from pointing out the hypocrisy and ineptitude of those he supports. Watching the Jewish American Liberal Stewart rip apart Israel during the last Gaza war showed he was a man of some principle.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w62Q-_upPQc[/youtube]

The Muslim world could do with leaders who are willing to tell hard truths to their home crowds just as much as they were willing to rail against their natural enemies.

3. Someone who nurtures talent

Over the years, the Daily Show has attracted young and unknown aspiring comedians and turned them into confident stars. From Steve Carrel to Steven Colbert – Stewart hasn’t just surrounded himself with sycophants but with talent that pushed him to do better.

Again, the Muslim world could do with leadership that produced more leaders rather than ever more dependent followers. How amazing would it be if the Muslim world served as an incubator for good leaders, where people were valued and flourished and…

926604

Sorry…

4. Someone who pushes the intellectual boundaries

If the Daily Show was to pander to its demographic, they would have movie and rock stars on every evening to plug their latest asinine movie or album. Instead, you were as likely to see an interview with Taylor Swift as with the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

not taylor swift

Stewart often nailed the balancing act of being entertaining to his audience whilst also encouraging them to broaden their intellectual horizons.

The Muslim world could do with leaders who focused not just on individual spiritual inspiration, but also on societal temporal aspiration as well.

NASA_Muslim_large_7_12_10_xlarge

Translation: Where’s the Muslim equivalent of NASA?

5. Someone who tells it with a smile

Lets face it, for someone who has been on TV 4 nights a week for more than 15 years – Jon Stewart has surprisingly few gaffes to highlight. There were only a handful of anger-related meltdowns. There were definitely no unguarded moments where he “heroically” rails against an elected government, but stays silent about a coup and the mass murder of innocent people whose political viewpoint he disagrees with.

bassem-youssef-11-3-2013_4_0

No caption would do justice…

Whatever Jon did, he did with grace. He skewered you like a kebab and cut you up like a … kebab. However, he did so with a politeness that made it hard to dislike him.

The Muslim world could do with leaders that managed the art of making a point without making an enemy.

Conclusion 

Now some will read the above and wonder why someone who holds as many  opinions at odds with Islamic orthodoxy as Stewart should be cast in a favourable light by us. To them I say that I am not advocating taking our religion from him. In fact, the qualities described above are Islamic qualities that are rooted in our deepest traditions, yet somehow are best exemplified these days by non-Muslims like him.

js racism

You don’t have to accept his views or his politics to be a fan of the way the man simply excelled at what he did.

And what he did, was shine a searing light on the state of his nation so that maybe, somehow, some way, they might just realise that they could be so much better than they are now.

If that isn’t something that the Muslim world needs right now…then I don’t know what is.

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Continue Reading

#Life

MuslimKidsMatter | Muslim Teenager Posts

Muslim Teenager Posts

By Nura F.

Don’t you hate that awkward moment when you read a Teenager Post you can’t relate to because of how different your lifestyle is from that of many other teens? I’ve stopped that, with my new Teenager Posts for Muslims! The point behind my Muslim Teenager Posts is to provide the countless Muslim youth with appropriate posts to view on the Internet, seeing as there are not that many appropriate ones. Muslim Teenager Posts can also show non-Muslim teenagers what it is like to be a Muslim as a teenager. It is a perfectly harmless, entertaining, and small way to spread Islam, especially since so many of the children these days spend their free time on the Internet. I hope that my Muslim Teenager posts will change the way people think about Muslims and will be relatable for Muslim teens everywhere.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

mtp001 mtp002mtp004mtp005mtp006mtp009mtp010mtp011 mtp012mtp013mtp015mtp016mtp017mtp020About the Author:

Nura F is sixteen years old and is working to become an author for both children and teens. Her two favorite genres to write about are humor and adventure. Outside of her writing career, Nura loves to bake, read, and draw. She is also an avid blogger and keeps a number of blogs: one about her baking creations, one containing passionate rants, and one about reflections on ayahs in the Qur’an (which she really, really needs to update). Nura lives in Texas, USA, with her parents, sister, and two younger brothers.

(Attention, writers!  Muslim Kids Matter is a regular feature at Muslim Matters.  New articles for kids are posted every other Sunday.  You’re welcome to send in your entries to muslimkidsmatter@muslimmatters.org.)

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Continue Reading
.
.

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started

Trending

you're currently offline