CBS anchor Katie Couric recently went on record deploring the “bigotry” and “seething hatred” that Muslims are supposed to be facing in the U.S., and proposing a “Muslim version of the Cosby Show” as a remedy to this lamentable situation. Of course, Ms. Couric’s reading of America’s ostensible anti-Muslim attitude is total nonsense of the sort associated with the political delirium of the “progressivist” class. The American people on the whole are probably among the most tolerant to be found anywhere in the world, with the glaring exception of the scandal-mongering left that has falsely donned the egalitarian mantle.
Apart from the sheer absurdity of Ms. Couric’s suggestion, there is also a dramatis personae problem. Who would such a TV show include among its characters, wonders Abigail Esman in a FrontPage Magazine article: wannabe Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, or Farooque Ahmed who planned to bomb Washington’s Metrorail stations, or Nadal Malik Hassan who slaughtered his fellow soldiers at Ford Hood? But why stop there? How about Dallas resident Yasser Abdel Said who did away with his two teenage daughters for dating unapproved boys? Or Zein Issa in St. Louis who killed his daughter for dating an African-American? Or Chaudhry Rashid in Jonesboro, Georgia, who strangled his daughter for trying to leave an arranged marriage? Or Mohammed Shojaeifard of Roslyn, New York, who shot his estranged wife, mother-in-law and young daughter? To name just a few.
Indeed, several of the 9/11 nineteen trained and operated in the U.S. Perhaps some of their thespian impersonators might make a cameo appearance on the hypothetical al-Cosby show, trading jokes with the rest of the cast. The comic material would be inexhaustible: honor killings, wife beating, polygamy, martyrdoms, dhimmitude, jizzya, blowing up churches, incinerating buildings, Jew-bashing, slavery, lawfare, paramilitary recruiting—the laughs just keep on coming. That should put America at ease and salve Ms. Couric’s tender soul.
Here in the Great White North, we have already mounted a Muslim-friendly sit-com, courtesy of the left-leaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, called Little Mosque on the Prairie. It is filled with babbling pseudo-Muslims who have little in common with their real-world compatriots. The women on the show are Westernized females in silky chadors lording it over their men like not-so desperate housewives. The clean-shaven, jeans-clad, latte-quaffing, yuppie imam exists nowhere in Islam. The sort of problems which the little community must resolve—whether the fast of Ramadan ends with cucumber sandwiches or goat stew—are offensively disingenuous efforts to minimize the threat of a slickly encroaching Islamic ethos. The stated intention of Little Mosque’s creator, Zarqa Nawaz, is to put the “fun back into fundamentalism” and to give people “a sense that Muslims have so many similarities to non-Muslims…It’s the same issues, you know, a father and his rebellious teenage daughter…just because you’re Muslim your standards may be a little bit different, but they’re still the same issues.”
One begs to differ, if one must beg at all. Pace Ms. Nawaz, standards tend to be a lot different. Muslim daughters have good reason to fear their fathers and brothers who often regard rebelliousness as a capital offence. The three daughters of Muslim-Canadian business man Muhammad Shafia, who were found drowned in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal near Kingston, Ontario, might attest to the truth that programs like Little Mosque labor to dissemble. So might 16-year old Aqsa Parvez, murdered by her father for refusing to wear the hijab, or 20-year-old Khatera Sadiqi gunned down by her brother, along with her fiancé, for the crime of asserting her independence.
Little Mosque on the Prairie is an averting fiction, a fantasy which has no reality outside the heads of multiculti CBC executives and a politically indifferent audience. True, all sit-coms are averting fantasies and are meant to be reassuringly non-controversial. But in cases like this one, the subject is already heavily politicized and bears the clear implications of social disquietude, if not outright menace. There are far too many troubling, real-life characters “out there”—convinced jihadists, second-generation extremists, terror mentors, fundamentalist preceptors, inflammatory imams, philosophical enablers and practicing killers—to allow for a calming immunity to the actual.