Anonymous, 24 May 2019
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

“Little Mosque on the Prairie” and Modern Convivencia: An Intervention into Canadian Muslim Identities

“Little Mosque on the Prairie” and Modern Convivencia: An Intervention into Canadian Muslim Identities

Little Mosque on the Prairie, a television comedy series featuring Muslim characters and a Muslim minority community on the Canadian prairies, was a novel and groundbreaking undertaking when it was launched in 2007. Appearing in the context of a growing Canadian Muslim population, and of ambivalent attitudes towards Muslims among Canadians in general, the series is here analyzed as a cultural intervention into the contested field of Canadian Muslim identities. First, however, the scene is set by evoking Lessing’s interfaith parable of the three rings, and by searching through past Muslim-Christian-Jewish coexistence in al Andalus, or Muslim Spain, for categories of religio-cultural interaction. Second, the Canadian context of increasing religious diversity and ambivalent attitudes vis-à-vis Muslims is explored. Selected episodes form the first two seasons of Little Mosque on the Prairie are then analyzed to reveal its dynamic intervention in the Canadian cultural imaginary by confounding simple “Muslim versus Canadian” binaries, normalizing visible Canadian Muslim identities, de-homogenizing and circumscribing Canadian Muslim-ness, and longing for a utopic interfaith convivencia. In the end, it is argued that Little Mosque on the Prairie attempts to show how Canadian Muslims can be authentic, not despite, but because of having to interact with a wider non-Muslim context.

anthology
120-146
ISBN 978-94-007-7247-2
eng