'Small town Canada with a Little Muslim Twist': Forming a Mental Image of Islam
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In Canada, questions surrounding the relationship between identity formation among minorities and media are particularly fraught because of multicultural policy. The Little Mosque on the Prairie is a Canadian sitcom on CBC Television, created by Zarqa Nawaz. The show is full of interactions between the Muslims and the non-Muslim residents of the town of Mercy. The show reveals a variety of Islamic views and misunderstandings concerning the religious community. Using comedy as a unique way to break down barriers and to foster a platform for dialogue and cross-cultural understanding, The Little Mosque takes issue with mainstream media approaches to polarized frameworks of culture (Christian v. Muslim, Islam v. the West). Nawaz herself, however, states that the show's primary agenda is to be funny, not to be a political platform. This paper provides a critical review of the sitcom as a tool in shaping media representations of minorities in Canada.
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