An Article of Faith
There's a Canadian sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie
, a show about a Muslim community living among their indigenous neighbours in a small Canadian prairie town.It's a populist, non-tub-thumping attempt to shift the tabloid misconception of Islam as the hysterical extremism of numerous newspaper headlines.
it's going to be remade by Fox TV for American audiences.
Ah, but could it be adapted here? How about a cinetron
(sitcom/soap opera) about a religious sect - let's call it Ahmadiyah
- which wishes to live in peace with neighbours, some of whom want to evict them because they look different and don't go to parties.
Founded exactly 100 years ago, it has been in Indonesia since 1929
, with few problems until recently.
Much like the adherents of every other "Mystical Belief
", which is what the Indonesian government labels every religion, they believe in one true God and follow the precepts of their Holy Book, in this case the Koran.
They basically differ from mainstream Muslims in Indonesia
in one respect. According to Ahmadis
, there are two types of prophet: first, prophet who preach the syariah (Islamic laws), such as Prophet Mohammed, the second are prophets who are not preaching the syariah. Mirza Gulam Ahmad, the founder of Ahmadiyah community is regarded as the prophet who did not bring the syariah.
They are also in thrall to the Sufis
, who include among their number that well-known tourist attraction, the Whirling Dervishes.
have a wide cast of characters and regularly feature mystical happenings. Is Ahmadiyah Adventures
Consider the cast of characters:
- Muhammadiyah - the leading national "modernist" social organization, involved in partisan politics.
- Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) - the largest "traditionalist" social organization, which advocates religious moderation and communal harmony.
A number of smaller Islamic organizations cover a broad range of Islamic doctrinal orientations.
Fox may well be interested in producing such a show, especially given the internationalist aspect
. Set in a community with some practicing of polygamy and others violence, with beautiful scenery, colourful costumes, court cases, demonstrations and media interest, I think this is a show that will run and run.