Little Mosque On The Prairie

Public Access

Mercy's local public access TV station asks Amaar to host an Islamic-themed program [Islamic Horizons]. But when he brings Rayyan on as a guest, she steals the show. Meanwhile, Layla faces the wrath of her father after a hair dye job goes wrong. (CBC)

One promising episode at the beginning of the second season, and it's back to lying for the Little Mosque. In our 500 channel universe there is not, to my knowledge, a religious television program for Muslims of both sexes where a woman is allowed to pontificate on the meaning of Islamic scriptures and the obligations of a believer.

There are religious programs where modestly dress women ask an imam questions about the meaning of the Koran and the actions and sayings of the Prophet, but that is more or less the extent of female participation in televised religious education where Islam is concerned.

2:228 .... women have rights equal to what is incumbent upon them according to what is just, although men are one degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise

As an inferior by at least a degree, a female is not permitted to preach or lead the faithful in prayer in a mosque or any other venue when a male believer is available. Therefore, that the female character Rayyan is allowed to preach on television should be taken with a large grain of salt, road salt perhaps.

The imam has burnt his tongue drinking hot coffee and has difficulty speaking. Under these exceptional circumstances a female believer could probably have pinched hit for the imam if a male believer could not quickly be found and there is no male believer in the audience. This is not the case here. Standing next to the cameraman is Rayyan's father, Yasir Hamoudi.

The discussion on Islamic Horizons ends with a few words about the pilgrimage to Mecca. The pilgrimage is no longer a requirement for husbandless females or females who can not find a close male relative to accompany them on the pilgrimage. This is for their own protection.

It is next to impossible to segregate the sexes during the Hajj, therefore, women and girls must silently submit, less they be accused of arousing the males next to them, to the probing hands of men and boys whose religion does not allow them to get as close to the opposite sex as during the Hajj until they are married, and who seek to understand with their hands what their religion has denied their eyes until their wedding night.

Bernard Payeur, October 13, 2007