The Little Mosque on the Prairie
These days Canadians are enjoying the TV series of Little Mosque on the Prairie. This is a light hearted humourous situation comedy about a small Mosque in a small prairie town, sharing rented space in a Christian church. Little Mosque on the Prairie
It is a safe shallow treatment of issues for Muslims in a Christian-secular society. It is a first effort to depict Muslims in a TV program where they are just ordinary folks working out issues among themselves and within their small Prairie town. Of late, Muslims have only been depicted on TV as villains in American propaganda programs. They have replaced the Russians, the Italians, Asians, and hippies, previously reviled groups in recent years. While Little Mosque on the Prairie is not very informative of real and serious issues for Muslims in North American Society, it is at least endearing, offering some balance to the badly skewed view of Muslims in the Society.
Al Rashid Mosque
What interests me is that the first mosque in Canada was founded on the Prairies in Edmondon, Alberta. Muslims first came to Canada about 140 years ago. Many were refugees from the Ottoman Empire. Like so many immigrants they sought a new beginning on the farmlands of Western Canada. Muslims in Canada, Like Muslims in the United States now outnumber the Jews in our Society. They have yet to realized their full power and influence in our multicultural Society. I once wrote a Muslim woman e-mail friend, studying in Canada, that the day will come when a news reader on National TV in Canada will be a Muslim woman wear her hajib. The day this happens and no one comments the Muslims in North American will have created a place for themselves as a group. This day is not far off. We now see East and South Asian Candians on TV without comment as being unusual. I remembers when we only say men of European origin in such roles in the public eye.
In 1938, the Al Rashid Mosque was built on the innitiative of a Muslim woman's group. Muslims of Edmonton The city of Edmonton donated the land and Christians and Jews contributed to raising the money to help their Muslim neighbours built the above Mosque, now preserved in a park in Edmonton.