Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And I thought Sleeper Cell was bad...

...until I saw Britz.

This is a two part drama on Channel 4 focusing on a British Asian Muslim brother and sister. He works for M15, she is a trainee terrorist. "Which Side Are You On?" is the tag line. Err, neither actually, thanks for asking. Oh sorry, you didn't ask me did you? As I'm just a normal law-abiding Muslim and my life is not very dramatic.

Early in the programme we have the 'Radical Student Scene', where a guy in 'Muslim dress' says things about being able to attack civilians and is met with fervent applause.

When I watch something like that, someone twisting my religion, lying about what I hold to be sacred it hurts. It just upsets me so much. Worst of all, people will watch this and thinks it's true. When any Muslim says otherwise, people think we are lying, or not 'real Muslims'.

The programmes are meant to use drama to inform and 'provoke debate'.
In Britain this year we've had visits from Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir (May Allah swt preserve them both), two of the most knowledgeable and charismatic scholars visit us.
These are two men with a wealth of knowledge, particularly about Islam in the west. Did they get to appear on prime -time tv? No.

Other than that, it was just so cliched. Pakistan is shown as a technology-free slum, where "nothing changes". The male lead and his icy blonde fellow spy have an affair because as Muslims on tv must be terrorists, so must pretty actresses take their clothes off. The M15 part of the drama looked like Spooks. Zzzzz

In interviews, the actors have waffled on about "playing complex characters" and "transcending labels", but they haven't. They've just made Muslims look bad (The only good Muslim is a non-practicing one, e.t.c) and given the Islamophobes another reason to scowl at women in hijab and mutter about what we talk about in mosques.

In Islam, there is a lot of importance placed on having an income from halal (permitted means). This is because your money is what buys your food, clothes, the roof over your head. If the money is tainted, it taints everything you buy with it.

There a lot of Muslim names in the cast list of this show. They should be ashamed of how they make their money.


Zeynab said...

Salaam waleykum.
Excellent analysis! If you plan to do a more in-depth analysis on the female character, we'd love to feature it on MMW.

Ijtema said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah
I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.
This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on IJTEMA, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere.
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May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.

Sumera said...

The drama left me feeling uneasy for some reason. Probably due to the cliched roles, the usual rant about Muslims being like A or B and of course how we're all at "it" in some way or another!

Manal said...

Salam outlines,:)

They don't care! As long as they are making money. That is what people, in general, nowadays, really give a hoot about. Now whether the money they are making is clean, non-tainted etc., definitely NO ONE CARES and that is the sad truth...

Isn't it known that towards the end of times, people, including the one's who call themselves Muslims and they are faaaaaaaaaaar from it, move farther and farther away from God and what is really important in life??? It's a materilistic world that is for sure.:(

Safiya said...

Salaam Alaikum,

Zeynab and Ijtema - JAK!

Sumera - But the director has spoken to Muslims - so it must be true?!

Manal - You cheerful soul ;)
Even if things will get worse, we can only try to make them better, insha Allah. Kisses to Sinan and Sayf x