"Make me a Muslim" reviewed

The people from the British channel 4 have created a new "Makeover" show, but with A TWIST: It's an Islamic Makeover show, called "Make me a Muslim" . Through the help of 4 experts (3 Imams and a female British convert) , 6 contestants get to experience life as muslims for 3 weeks, in the almost exclusively white and non-muslim town of Harrogate, in Yorkshire. The group includes a single-mom glamor Model, an atheist and white Taxi Driver who likes beer and porn, the girlfriend of a lapsed muslim who lives with him without marriage but wishes to be accepted into his family, and a gay guy who likes to party too much. The idea behind the show is that through islamic teachings, they will fix the lives of those morally-compromised individuals. You know, kind of like the way the 5 gay guys from "Queer eye for the straight guy" would come in to the life of boring heterosexual males and make everything "fabulous", without the fabulousness, or, like, the humor. But I digress, it's sometimes very very funny, although for very unintentional reasons (The Promo for the show is here, the first episode, on 5 parts, here).

Take the gay guy for example: The Imams decide to fix his gayness. How would they do that? Well, they told him at first that his problem is that he hangs out with too many females, so what he needs to do is to hang out with guys and do masculine things, and that will just push the gay out of him. Needless to say that this plan didn't work at all, although it did make the gay guy happy to be surrounded "by all of this testosterone". While he is playing his manly sports with muslim men (does cricket count as a manly sport? I guess it doesn't have a lot of physical contact with other men, so.yeah..anyway), the Imam decides that in order to further cure the gay guy, he would have to find him a wife. So he takes his picture, walks around the town and asks every female he sees (quite seriously I might add) if she would like to marry the guy in the pic, to which the females laughed hysterically and told the Imam to sod off. Later on, they decide to take him shopping to buy manly clothes, because, as one of the Imams put it, "if you dress like a female, you will act like a female". Clothes shopping as a cure to male homosexuality. Hmm..Well, at least give them credit for trying something new here. I am not sure that anyone before thought clothes shopping was the way to turn gay men straight.

Ignoring the comic relief offered by the gay guy, you have the other contestants whose interactions with the "Muslim 4" might not be as funny, but they are equally as disturbing. Take Karla for example, who is doing this because she would like to be accepted by the parents of her "bad muslim" boyfriend Ash. They have been dating for 2 years and they won't even meet her, so the girl, in her desperation, tries to enroll herself in this religious experiment, hoping that if his parents saw her trying they would meet her half way. They don't, and her boyfriend considers that a normal thing. Ok, so here is your chance young Imams to set things right, and maybe help bridge the culture gap between the christian british woman and the immigrant desi parents of her boyfriend, but do they offer to mediate between the parents, or condemn how xenophobic and judgmental they are being? Hell no. The Imam just gives her the "I know it's difficult speech", but offers no help nor insight to make it better. Even his compassion to her seems a bit out of courtesy, and his solace very superficial and hollow.

Oh, and then comes the home inspection, and this was just fantastic, because it starts with the Imam telling the audience that there is a misconception that "Islam is about taking things away from its practitioners, which isn't true", and then he and the members of the Muslim 4 proceed to do just that. They go from home to home of the people enrolled in the show, and start taking away and forbidding everything they deemed un-islamic. Porn? Check. Magazine showing scantly clad bikini wearing women? Check. Pork? Check. Alcohol? Check. Shared bedroom? Check. Skimpy outfits? Check. Men's magazines? Check. Touching? Check. Glamor Modeling? Check. Pink clothes for men? Check. Friendship with women? Check Checkity Check. And when one of the women asks why not the skimpy outfit, the Imam actually has the audacity to suggest that wearing it "would invite rape". Sure, the british chick immediately bites his head off, but that's another story. The damage was done.

The thing is, this show showed the Imams proposing that Islam may be the solution to Britian's moral decay, but didn't explain how or even show it in the course of the show. The Imams had no arguments, they couldn't fend off the criticisms leveled against them. They couldn't adequately argue one convincing point to any of those people why doing things the islamic way would make their lives any better. Hell, they were constantly beaten by the contestants, and instead of admitting defeat they would just say " This is how we do it in Islam. Just try doing it our way and you will see why it's better" and then smile empty smiles at their frustrated and not-at-all-convinced students. If this is an evangelical effort, then it is the worst I've ever seen, and I actually watched CBN at one point in my life, people. The Imams appear judgmental, uncompromising and without logic, while every step of the way claiming that "this is the way of Islam", which leads the viewer to the conclusion that Islam is without logic. How this is promoting Islam in the UK, I have no idea.

In conclsuion, make me a muslim is a joke, and so are the Imams in it who think they are advancing the word of allah through this show and promoting Islam. The show, which claims to be a serious effort, borders on comical at its shallowness. It showed Islam to be judgmental, dogmatic and intolerant. That there was no spiritual aspects to it all (hell, they spent about 10X  more time lecturing the contestants on their sinful ways then how to pray and the purpose of prayer), and that it's so based on dictation it's almost soulless. I looked forward to some convincing arguments, to some dialogue, to someone given the chance to be on TV who will say that we are not all crazy people with crazy rules, but all I got was 3 bearded men and a woman who appeared smug and superior and who kept acting like" if u r too stupid to be convinced by us, just do as we say anyway, because it's what's best for you". I don't know about the average viewer, but if I had nothing to do with Islam and that was my introduction to it, I sure as hell wouldn't turn Muslim, let alone have a good perception of the religion itself at all. This show is a failure and a disgrace, and deserves to be mocked, as it will be. Let's just hope there wouldn't be a second season.

0 comment on "Make me a Muslim" reviewed

  1. mikek
    December 22, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Yeah, it was a terrible show, but it doesn’t make Islam look as bad as certain other activities. Everybody has already been introduced to one kind of Islam and this terrible show was a step in the right direction. I watched part of it and didn’t think “Wow, I wouldn’t mind pissing on that guys corpse. What a crazy fundie.” I did think it was a bit annoying that somebody would move from the ME to the West and assume that people there wanted anything to do with the religion and culture though. If people wanted Islamic culture they would move to a muslim country. Why do muslims move to the west and expect people to be interested in or embrace their religion/culture?

    Compared to the last two “Islam” things I read about or watched (man blows himself up in mosque, man drives car-bomb into school bus) annoying religious people bugging a bunch of Brits about Islam and their “superior” culture is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t really hurt that much becauses everybody has already been exposed to the nastiest side of Islam. So if progress continues:

    1. First Islam, insane religious fanatics want to kill all the non-believers.
    2. Second Islam, obnoxious relgious people want everyone to adopt their culture even though about 90% of the people they are bugging couldn’t name one thing that made it “superior” or desirable as a whole.
    3. ?Third Islam, We really like our religion and culture and Islam is great for us. We don’t think it has anything to do with you though and we are going to leave you alone. We will also offer reciprocity towards other cultures. We expect people to abide by our culture in our countries and we will no longer show up in yours if we are unwilling to behave within the customs of your culture?

    Reply
    • TheRiLi
      May 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Islam is not 3 but more than 73 :/

      1. 72 of them in the hell

      2. only 1 of then in the heaven

      so : beware about who is the Muslim who talking to you :/ many of them are not Muslims and himself think that he is not really Muslim :/ but he just say : I am a Muslim like his fathers and grandfathers do, without any knowledge about what Islam is :/

      Reply
  2. Adrian from DK
    December 23, 2007 at 12:50 am

    Teddybears namebadge – check :-)

    Reply
  3. san123
    December 23, 2007 at 1:12 am

    What I find interesting is that the “muslim teachers” seem to have an exact picture of how a good muslim should behave – and think that it’s the only possilble way to be a good Muslim. as you said: this is wrong, this is prohibited, that is how it should be. The female muslim teacher even said how the women should wear the veil correctly – as if there was just one “true, islamic” way of wearing it. But from my experience I think that a lot of Muslims who would argue differently – some would say that you don’t have to wear a veil at all according to Islam and some wouldn’t insist on that strict veiling as this woman does. The teachers have a clear own interpretation of Islam in their head, and they think it’s the only way of being a good Muslim. I see a big problem in this way of thinking – it shows intolerance to all the other muslims who interpret Islam differently

    Reply
  4. Lawrie
    December 23, 2007 at 3:33 am

    I couldn’t stand watching this show for more than five minutes. I tried, but I found it too abhorrent, not because it was Islam but because it was about one group of people forcing their way of life onto another group of people. The idea that “Britain has a problem and MY religion/ideology has all the answers” just disgusts me. I doubt my reaction would be any different if it had been a Catholic priest or an Orthodox Jew or whatever.

    (Also, as a religious person I feel that making a show like this is a trivialization of man’s relationship with God. That, and I hate reality TV.)

    Each of the people have interesting reasons for doing this, but I think they would get much better answers to their questions if they did research on their own. The guy who wants to learn more about Islam can go to the library or perhaps join an online forum to talk to Muslims around the world (or read blogs like this! :) The woman with a Muslim boyfriend, yes, I’d definitely recommend finding an imam–one who is flexible enough to try to negotiate between her and the family. As for the woman and the gay man looking for answers in life, this type of show seems the very worst answer for them. Religion really can help you figure out your place in life, but I would find that kind of mental journey to be very personal, and I can’t imagine sharing such private feelings with the public.

    If this show had been about the spiritual foundation of Islam, the beliefs, etc.–a show with convincing arguments, dialogue, stuff showing that “we’re not all crazy people” (to paraphrase my favorite sandmonkey) I’d love it. But as it is…it’s just disgusting!

    Reply
  5. Carmen
    December 23, 2007 at 4:55 am

    I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit…

    Reply
  6. Carmen
    December 23, 2007 at 5:07 am

    I just watched some of the episodes. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Reply
  7. Brian the sailor
    December 23, 2007 at 9:29 am

    That’s just weird.
    Here’s my solution that I use with Muslim friends. If they’re with their friends and family I ask if they know a place to buy some good seafood. Then when you catch out of the corner of your eye that none of his friends or family is watching, you give that raise of a eyebrow and a glance towards the door. He’ll say, “I know of a good place, let me show you how to get there.”
    Four hours later he comes home smelling of gin, his wife is pissed, and I’m making my escape.

    That’s what I call Muslim-American relations.

    And, no…I am not gay.

    Reply
  8. Aardvark EF-111B
    December 23, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I add my words to Camen above, it took me a while to believe what i hear and see…..

    In single word “Stunned” ………..by the worst interpretation.

    and i don’t know to whom should i direct my criticizm,
    To the Imams who had the audacity to believe they can prove ANYthing this way??
    To the sample
    To the idiot who picked the imams
    To the idiot who picked (remote from average muslim) sample
    To the reckless act of idiocy of making such (approach) from the beginning

    in single words (FUCK BBC and all British Media similars) they are the fucken worst of the worst

    irrational as Islam may seem to many (considerable majority), it is a fact, Islam is just not made for each and every one…..and it is neither Islam nor anyone mistake.

    Reply
  9. John Cunningham
    December 23, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Those “teachers” sure are full of themselves and their imagined self-importance.

    Reply
  10. BuJ
    December 23, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Hi there.. this is brilliant! You saved me blogging about it!

    As a muslim living in britain i have almost completely let go of the idea of explaining islam or talking about it to anyone here.. for two reasons.. mainly i am not qualified to do so and secondly for my own security

    even those who call themselves imams etc should think twice before pretending to be spokesmen for islam.. coz they are not. especially that imam that was posted to “help” the gay guy.

    however it didn’t stop me and my (white, non-muslim british) colleagues at work laughing our asses off at the show.. it’s perfect comedy in these times.. especially when the gay guy is told that Allah created man and woman to be together etc, and homosexuality is not allowed.. after all when Allah made the earth he made:

    @ADAM AND EVE, not ADAM AND STEVE@

    !!!!!!!

    Reply
  11. Adam B.
    December 23, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I think they should make a show with the monkey as presenter…!

    “Hey there!

    Welcome to our new show, ‘The Modern Muslim’. I’d like to show you all that muslims can live their lives in many different ways, and not only the Bin Laden way!

    And just to demonstrate, we have invited 5 conservative muslim families to participate.

    Our goal? To show them, and you, that they can live without arranged marriages, burkas and honor killings and still be good muslims! To show that maybe eating pork, drinking alcohol and befriending people of the opposite sex might not bring them eternal damnation after all!

    So tune in next week, when we’ll show muslims and non-muslims alike that Islam doesn’t have to mean abiding by a conservative, multiphobic and reactionary lifestyle!”

    Go monkey! Let’s see you on the TV promoting a modern Islam!!! Maybe then they’ll forget about crap like this…!

    Reply
  12. charlie 316
    December 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Hey Aardvark – sorry to be picky, but Channel 4 has got nothing to do with the BBC, apart from the fact that they are UK based channels – different owners and different ethos. Not that the BBC is perfect ( they long ago forgot about Reithian ethics and standards), but this is one media crime that you can’t blame them for. Wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of a good rant now would we?

    Reply
  13. Aardvark EF-111B
    December 23, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Welcome charlie 316
    speaking about (Stereotypes), i am not interested in (accusing), they all sucks in general

    Reply
  14. Sameer
    December 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Interesting review of ‘Make Me A Muslim’. I quite enjoyed the show because it was an innovative offering from channel four. However, Islam relies more on belief as opposed to actions. You pray five times a day because you believe in Allah and the Q’uran, you fast and abstain from alcohol for the same reason. Now even if you don’t drink alcohol or do other haram things. if you don’t believe in God – you’re not a Muslim. The point is that what makes you a believer is your belief in God, the actions follow from that. This show was making people do the actions but without any belief, which is totally pointless because your building without a foundation. However, it was only a TV show and sometimes we expect too much from a few hours of entertainment/documentary.

    Reply
  15. Sue
    December 23, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Here are the episodes as you can get them on youtube.

    Episode 1 Part 1 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNB6mAF1tO4

    Episode 1 Part 2 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWPTsa8a4M

    Episode 1 Part 3 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA_6K_mGjKI

    Episode 1 Part 4 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O_hYIosNUY

    Episode 1 Part 5 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unc9dGdK8tE

    Episode 2 Part 1 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdkJICH-i7A

    Episode 2 Part 2 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2buCb41iRxY

    Episode 2 Part 3 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzKHeSQFBnQ

    Episode 2 Part 4 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qiz8Zd9w7Dw

    Episode 2 Part 5 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM2qUWaHtVE

    Episode 3 Part 1 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot2rPGhZInc

    Episode 3 Part 2 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zk6_7r150o

    Episode 3 Part 3 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pT4n1Gjh2I

    Episode 3 Part 4 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAUDciYOxiQ

    Episode 3 Part 5 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGHHpCATJXc

    Reply
  16. ron
    December 24, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Yeah, British men are either gay or pathetic, British women have jungle fever. This is typical British T.V. in the 21st century. Turn the boobtubes off people!!!!!

    Reply
  17. Muhamhead
    December 24, 2007 at 1:58 am

    During this makeover are the men taught the teachings of Muhammad? Like wife beating, beheading of enemies, child bride rape, theft with 20% of the stolen profits going to (back then) Muhammad? Are they taught to lie to non-muslims and breaking treaties after 10 years? Are they taught how to commit to jihad to expand islam by the sword? Are they taught if they die killing non-muslims they get virgins and “young boys fine as pearls”? Are they taught it is OK to steal during Ramadan? That killing non-muslims is OK?

    This show is a typical whitewash of the death cult of Muhammad. What a bugger pathetic sham.

    Oh almost forgot, all praise the pagan moon goddess allah.

    Reply
  18. anonymous
    December 24, 2007 at 3:52 am

    There sure are some weird people that comment on ur blog! U attract more than ur share of freaks. I thought Egyptian Chronicles had some weirdos. U got her beat by a mile.

    It’s a stupid “reality” show like all stupid reality shows. It appeals to a certain market and segment of the population. Like Survivor, Amazing Race, Bachelor, Simple Life with the useless Paris Hilton, Ozzie Osbourne etc. The list goes on.

    This one just uses a religious premise. So perhaps that is either or more less offensive, depending on ur perspective.

    All “Reality” shows require that u check ur brain and whatever intelligence u have b4 turning on the tv. It’s cheap, mindless, mind-numbing entertainment.

    Solution: Switch the channel or turn off the tv altogether!

    Reply
  19. Navcity
    December 24, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I so wish I was here to watch that. Those imams are such a load of muppets. One of them leads the friday prayer at my local mosque…I hate when people get on their high horse.

    Nice blog

    Peace.

    Nav

    Reply
  20. Toady
    December 24, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    This is TV. TV shows like ratings. So they are going to pick the most outrageous imams and contestants. Normal average people are just boring. Let’s keep this in mind.

    Reply
  21. Anna
    December 24, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Merry Christmas:)

    Reply
  22. JT
    December 24, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Nothing about this show surprises me, because we all know imams like those are not a phenomenon; they’re quite common actually.

    Reply
  23. John Cunningham
    December 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    anonymass, “cheap, mindless, numbing”, so why are you watching? You’re so above it all. See you do a lot of texting in your spare time.

    Reply
  24. ratedrsuperstar
    December 25, 2007 at 1:33 am

    sandy:
    i have to wonder what would happen if the show’s theme was reversed? maybe taking a muslim and turning them into a buddhist or christian or hindu?. Instead of bad reviews there would be fatwas and bombings…Religious tolerance my @#$%^

    Reply
  25. anonymous
    December 25, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    JC

    Never seen the show…Just another reality show…not interested…

    And the texting isn’t so mind-numbing…

    Reply
  26. John Cunningham
    December 26, 2007 at 4:44 am

    Anonymous, I can certainly understand that about the reality shows. Thank God the commercials are enough to show me just enough to turn me away.

    Texting, one of the unused features on my cell phone. Sometimes I feel like a tin can and string person in a future world.

    Reply
  27. diptychal
    December 26, 2007 at 10:26 am

    The way they kick off the show proves that the entire thing is one big sham – with the taxi driver and the other lady getting their knickers in a bunch over sharia law. It shows they’re all coming in with preconceived notions and are just in it for their 15 minutes. And the Imam’s reaction was absurd – he clearly had no idea how to handle the situation.

    As a whole, I really don’t think the show has anything to do with religion. It’s just another attempt to capitalise on the world’s sudden vested interest in Islam. And at the end of the day – this is reality tv so to expect anything more than these shallow and irritating people would be pretty naive…

    Reply
  28. Cafe Alpha
    December 26, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    What an odd post. SM seems to be assuming that there IS a way to make Islam sound logic be in any way helpful to people etc. Those imams ARE showing Islam’s best face in my opinion. Absolutely fucking useless.

    Reply
  29. anonymous
    December 27, 2007 at 5:53 am

    Cafe Alpha,

    For all of his complaints about Islamists and even various aspects of Islam, haven’t out figured it out already?

    SANDMONKEY IS STILL AN EGYPTIAN MUSLIM.

    Get with the program people. He may be liberal is his views and his practices. But he is who is he is!

    Reply
  30. Shimaa Gamal
    December 29, 2007 at 10:45 am

    I don’t know why Muslims are always trying to defend themselves, or trying to impress the others. I don’t think this show is of any use for the Islamic cause. It is just another way to keep the T.V. viewers busy just like any other reality show.
    Islam isn’t the solution for every single problem. Because there is nothing on this earth that can fix everyone. The rule of thumb is what’s good for me isn’t necessarily good for the others. Islam isn’t the magic wand that will fix the British moral problems or even the Egyptian moral problems; given that most of the Egyptian population is Muslims.
    Islam is a religion and a constitution for those who chose to be Muslims. Muslims agree to do what they are ordered to do to form the Islamic community. Obeying such commandments is part of the faith, as faith in general is about believing the intangibles.
    I don’t think such a show will make Muslims look good or make the Islam a more appealing religion and it won’t make it look any worse.
    Those imams tried to make Islam look as a solution and this is wrong. You can’t fix a gay by putting him among more men, and you can’t fix a gay by finding him a wife. You can’t just say that certain types of outfits promote rape. As this is the silliest thing anyone can say.
    Islam is a deep religion; it was never about how a person looks, or what a person eats. It is deeper, but some Muslims fail to believe that being a good Muslim means enjoying your life. Being a good Muslim is to live, to love, to work, and to succeed. And above all to tolerate and understand and always believe that there are certain things that our minds fail to understand, not because we are stupid but because certain things are bigger than our perception and this is where faith, any faith, kicks in.

    Reply
  31. Lynn
    December 29, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    ‘And just to demonstrate, we have invited 5 conservative muslim families to participate’

    Adam B, How long do you really think these families would be on before the death threats started? How long do you think it would be before the television studio was blown up for giving the wrong impression of Islam?

    Reply
  32. Harry
    December 30, 2007 at 11:01 am

    ‘FUCK BBC and all British Media similars’

    Oh yes, it’s all their fault. Retard.

    Reply
  33. Tantor
    January 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Sandmonkey: “It showed Islam to be judgmental, dogmatic and intolerant.”

    It sounds like a pretty accurate rendering of Islam.

    Muslims commonly call Jews and Christians pigs and apes. That sounds judgemental to me.

    The Koran is held by Muslims to be the authoritative and indisputable truth, which makes Islamic dogmatic to its core.

    Egypt is between 90 to 94% Muslim. You can’t maintain such a high percentage for one religion without being intolerant of other religions. I might also point out that Islam is currently engaged in a worldwide war against non-Muslims, having committed ten thousand terror attacks since the 9-11 atrocity, in which Muslims have killed 60,000 people and wounded 90,000. Murdering and maiming people who don’t worship your religion is intolerant. Such intolerance is a feature of Islam.

    Sandmonkey: “I don’t know about the average viewer, but if I had nothing to do with Islam and that was my introduction to it, I sure as hell wouldn’t turn Muslim, let alone have a good perception of the religion itself at all.”

    For most Americans, Sep 11 was their introduction to Islam. The curriculum for instruction in Islam was expanded to include train bombings, disco bombings, snuff videos, and beheadings. This has earned Islam a deservedly bad name. Intolerant imams, like those on this TV series, confirm all the bad impressions we have received for the last six years.

    The arrogance of such imams is comical in its stupidity. They represent a violent and intolerant religion from a failed culture and somehow think they’re better than everyone? Having a Muslim imam instruct you in achieving a better life is kinda like hiring an incompetent mechanic to fix your car who can’t get his own dented beater to start.

    The first thing Muslims can do to impress us with their religion and moral values is to stop killing people for their religion.

    The second thing they can do is to give up their obnoxious supremacy. Islam is never gonna rule the world. Islam can’t even keep it together in the lands it does rule. A past-oriented Islam can never conquer a future-oriented West. The seventh century is never gonna trump the 21st century.

    Third, learn how to live and let live. Isolating yourselves from outside ideas and refusing to cooperate with non-Muslims has left you bringing up the rear of the parade of civilizations. Closed cultures can not compete with open cultures. Take a look around you in Muslim countries. Virtually everything that has significantly improved your life was invented and made somewhere else.

    Fourth, stop destroying and start building. Stop building terror cells and bombs and start building universities and hospitals. All the other religions have created hospitals and universities here in America. Where are the Islamic hospitals and universities? Danny Thomas, a Lebanese Christian, built St. Judes to care for children with cancer. Where is the Muslim equivalent?

    Fifth, take a public stand against Islamic terror. Muslims are quick to march for Hezbollah, which loves death, or to rage through the streets of the world, burning and killing, over Danish cartoons. However, Muslims make no public repudiation of terror. There are no mass Muslim marches against Al Qaeda. There is no public Muslim outrage when a train is bombed or beheading video released or the Laughing Bali Bomber chuckles about all the infidels he blew into bloody chunks. The only public response from the Musim world is to lie and deny. The inevitable conclusion is that Muslims are OK with terror.

    I keep hearing about these Mythical Moderate Muslims but they seem to be as hard to find as Sasquatch. Lots of people claim to have seen one but nobody can produce one. When some Muslim goes public claiming to be a moderate condemning terror, it usually turns out that he’s talking about the Israelis or the Americans and hoping that Western audiences will mistake his taqqiyya for opposition to Muslim terror.

    The fundamental error of this show “Make Me A Muslim” and the Muslim world at large is the false assumption that it is the West that needs fixing when it is the Muslim world and religion which is broken.

    Reply
  34. Shimaa Gamal
    January 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Hello Tantor
    I hope you don’t mind, I might be one of the unseen moderate Muslims, so if you can bear with me I would like to clear some things about Islam
    First: Muslims never call Christians and Jews pigs and apes, at least not the majority of Muslims that I belong to, there was a specific incident about a story in Quran where God ordered some of the Jews who lived by the sea not to fish in the Sabth, and as they only found Fishes in Sabth they broke the rule, so God punished those who broke the rule by turning them into apes and pigs.
    So, as you might notice, Christians and Jews aren’t called pigs and apes in Islam. On the contrary, they are equal to Muslims as Muslims believe in Christianity and in Judaism. We worship the same God Christians and Jews worship.

    Second: You have described Islam as an intolerant religion and you gave the Egyptian case as evidence.
    You wrote “Egypt is between 90 to 94% Muslim. You can’t maintain such a high percentage for one religion without being intolerant of other religions”
    Unfortunately, being and Egyptian I can guarantee you that as Egyptians we all suffer regardless our religion. We all live the same life and we all face the same challenges. The percentage you gave proof that though the majority of Egyptians are Muslims, there are Christians who are willing and happily enjoying Egypt as home. And I don’t think they are doing this because they are forced to live in such an intolerant environment, they are doing this out of the fact that it is their country the same way it is the country of another Muslim Egyptian. The percentage proves tolerance not the opposite.

    Third: you wrote “I might also point out that Islam is currently engaged in a worldwide war against non-Muslims, having committed ten thousand terror attacks since the 9-11 atrocity, in which Muslims have killed 60,000 people and wounded 90,000. Murdering and maiming people who don’t worship your religion is intolerant. Such intolerance is a feature of Islam.”
    I agree with you that some terror attacks had the figure prints of what’s called the Jihadi’s but I would like to point out that these Jihadi’s aren’t engaged in a worldewide war against non-Muslims. They are engaged in a worldwide war with a ghost, they have killed people in what we can call Islamic states more than they killed non-Muslims. I just got the feeling that non-Muslims are counting their loss without even noticing that there are more Muslims who have been lost in that war, something that I can’t understand regardless how hard I try.

    Fourth: you wrote “The first thing Muslims can do to impress us with their religion and moral values is to stop killing people for their religion.”
    I beg to disagree; I don’t think Muslims need to impress anyone with their religion. As we, Muslims, believe in the freedom of choice and the freedom of belief and sure the freedom of speech. So the last thing we are supposed to do is to impress. Not to mention that I think that someone who believes in the freedom of choice, belief and speech will kill anyone because of religion, race or even kill anyone at all.

    Fifth: I agree with you, A past-oriented Islam can never conquer a future-oriented West. The seventh century is never gonna trump the 21st century. Closed cultures can not compete with open cultures.

    I am so sorry for being long; I just hope I have showed that the moderate Muslim exists. Muslims are just people, who have the good and the bad. I am against terror twice as much as any western can be, once because I am against violence and against judging people based on race, gender or religion and twice because terrorism gives me a bad name. I am Muslim and I am proud. I didn’t harm anyone around me, I am free to live the same way I am letting everyone else live. So, imagine being called ignorant, intolerant and a barbarian just because of your religion.

    Reply
  35. Shimaa Gamal
    January 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    brooklynjon
    Unfortunately I am not in denial; I didn’t deny that there are Muslims who give Islam a bad name. Extremist exists in every aspect of life. I just wonder why of all Muslims, only the extremist got the attention of everyone.
    Why, someone who has access to an internet connection who put on a page filled of hatred on the world wide web get the attention more than those who live and let live and happen to be Muslims.
    I just don’t know why my word isn’t taken and the words in all these sites are taking as valid.
    I am not in denial; I believe that western people are being misled by media. I believe that some chose not to see the other face of Islam, the face that’s not showing in the news. For each western citizen killed in a Jihadi Muslim attack there is 10 other Muslims killed by the same hands.
    They are just attention seekers, who couldn’t be known for being good so they decided to do it the other way. I believe they got what they needed.

    Reply
  36. brooklynjon
    January 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Shimaa,

    Actually, I believe that if you put together a very large number of Muslims who oppose, say, crashing jet planes into tall buildings full of civilians, and you take that group of nonviolent Muslims, and you lead a march onto the Saudi embassy, or CAIR headquarters, or just congregate in a park, and publicly voice your opposition, I believe you would get tons of press coverage.

    I believe that the reason such a protest hasn’t make it to the front page of a major newspaper is not that the papers won’t cover it. I believe that the reason it hasn’t been covered is that it hasn’t happened. To get a bunch of Muslims together to chant slogans and carry signs, one does not have to blow up some non-Muslims (no, that doesn’t get much protest), rather one has to draw a stick figure or hold up a teddy bear and call it Mohammed.

    And, for that matter, when my moderate Muslim friends (and I do have many) heard about the cartoon protests, replete with flaming embassies and murdered priests, they shook their heads in horror not at the mob, but at the cartoons. That’s when I realized that being a moderate Muslim does not necessarily mean the same thing as being a moderate Jew or a moderate Christian.

    The bottom line is that I really don’t care which Moslem believes what, so long as they leave me alone. And imams calling Jews the Son of Apes and Pigs from the pulpit sounds a whole lot like preparation for wholesale slaughter. And the mobs responding with cries of Death to Israel and Death to America sound like slaughterers.

    I know that the Muslim extremists threaten Muslims too, but that doesn’t confront me. What confronts me is that they threaten me and my kids, and all the moderate Muslims seem to want to do about it is whine that someone looked at them funny at the shopping mall the other day.

    Reply
  37. Shimaa Gamal
    January 9, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Brooklynjon
    I can’t deny you do have point here. The majority if Muslims are Arabs or citizens of third world countries, a thing that may explain the tendency of Muslims of being passive. I agree there were no such marches to oppose Islamic Extremist’s terror. I can’t deny that most of the dictatorships ruling most of the Muslim world is one of the reasons most Muslims prefer being passive. High rates of ignorance are another reason. For instance I believe that the whole teddy bear incidence was a cover up made by the Sudanese government to divert the ignorant population. I live in the Arab world and I know that people doesn’t have the luxury of thinking. They struggle to maintain their basic needs. And when such people can’t support these basic needs, here comes the role of a dictator government. The government will try to create whatever diversion necessary. Religion had always been the magic spell to control masses of ignorant. So, it was a very old trick used on masses of poor ignorant population. Religion is always used as a diversion.
    As for the cartoons, I am a Muslim and my only comment was “We deserve it”. I talked to masses of angry Muslims defending those who drew the cartoons, because first I believe in free speech, and I also believe in mutual respect. So, I said that whoever drew these cartoons drew our prophet Mohammed based on the Islam he knew. Whoever drew these cartoons have seen women covered in masses of clothes and is mistreated in every aspect. He has seen men growing strange beards, people yelling instead of talking and violence taking over every aspect in life. It was expected to draw our prophet that way. I can’t blame him/them for those drawings. Instead I blamed those Muslims who gave Islam the bad name. I blamed those who decided to boycott Danish products.
    Bottom line, people react differently when it comes to religion. Sometimes when God is in, common sense is out. It needs pages to analyze that, but it is how people react.
    You do have a point. I can’t argue that. I can’t argue that some Muslims are the way you described. I can’t deny that some people give Islam a bad name.
    But in where I come from, it is how the people do things, regardless if they are Muslims, Christians, Jews or even Atheist. They always go the high way, when it comes to religion everyone thinks it is a conspiracy against God and that’s why they act irrational, tough God doesn’t need their help to defy a conspiracy if there ever was one.
    All what I hope for is a chance that non Muslims think of things apart from Islam. I just hope for tolerance. It was never a question of faith. It is always politics, ignorance and a heritage of suppress.

    Reply
  38. Z-Lo
    January 10, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Shimaa, Your posts are beautiful.

    Reply
  39. brooklynjon
    January 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Shimaa,

    You sound like a reasonable person, which is to your credit, especially if you are from a place where violence and intimidation are acceptible forms of publis discourse.

    Reply
  40. shakil
    January 16, 2008 at 12:55 am

    lemme ask you people who sit here to disgrace islam, something..
    one simple question..
    usually when ppl “diss” other people for their religion or whatever.. they wud have to know what their talkin about and to do that they wud need to know something from the topic… in this case its religion.

    How much do YOU know about islam??..

    not from what you see on TV.. or on the media itself..
    but just how FAR did you go looking “into” the religion rather then dissing it from the outside without knowin shit at all??

    if you dont know wat it is…
    i suggest you look it up before you say anything else..
    coz wether you diss us now or not.. we know that at the end of the day..
    YOU will be the one to face god for YOUR own deeds..
    and so will I.. but i am pretty confident on my behalf..

    HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU??

    Reply
  41. shakil
    January 16, 2008 at 2:01 am

    OK i just had a look at that show… and yes i will admit its really FUKED UP… but i think its FUKED UP on two reasons…
    FIRSTLY because when they started this show… if you analyse the speakers words he is VERY negative in his words.. and he sounds doubtful that n e of this is going to work at all… and i think they put this show on using these people who have no idea about the western culture to try and provoke something that they have only probably heard about on the news.. just to make islam look bad against the western culture.. almost saying western culture is better than islam without words..

    secondly because those guys on the show have absolutely no idea on how to talk to a western person…
    in western countries people need reason… and they need to listen to reason… if they are given reason… but its not as simple as god didnt create “adam and steve” people in the west like to know every detail… and YES i believe islam does have every detail.. but its the way u communicate it to the others is how their gonna take it… u cant have a monkey talk to a donkey… u need a donkey for a donkey and a monkey for a monkey (and no i aint referin to n e 1 wen i say that for those questionable western cultured people and every 1 else as well) BUT what i am saying is they shud have got a BRITISH man who has grown up in that country who is also a muslim and a strong believer of the religion to come forward to people livin in britain.. not some indians or what ever natio they were.. they were deffinately NOT brought up in Britain… i can tell in their accent… offcourse this show is fuked up…

    BUT NO ISLAM IS NOT FUKED UP … FIND OUT WHAT IT IS BEFORE U DISS IT..
    ITS NOT ABOUT BOMBS, ITS NOT ABOUT RAPE… IF YOU WANT DETAIL THEN STOP FUKING ARGUING AND LISTEN TO EVERY DETAIL AND THEN SPEAK… COZ WEN THE DETAILS ARE FINISHED YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING TO SAY!!!!

    Reply
  42. ito
    January 25, 2008 at 12:00 am

    So what you are saying is that westerners need a different approach? One that can “hide” and “sweeten” the obvious things that make your religion “appear” to be misunderstood? “Thank You For Smoking!” is a good movie for anyone who wants to learn a few things about persuasion ( :

    Thanks for this show SM, I would have missed out on this one solution. At least now we have an option to live all peacefully.

    I get carried away. Interesting posts SM.

    Reply
  43. Shakil
    January 31, 2008 at 3:38 am

    i don’t know who your talkin to ..coz i aint SM.. but i will answer to that…
    no i dont think westerners need a different approach.. if you read my comments PROPERLY u will see i am saying the muslims on the tv show need a different approach to the westerners.. NOT to “hide” and or ” sweeten the religion it will appear to you as it is.. ONLY if you listen… and i am saying that the muslims on the show can not just walk into some1′s life and tell them what to do.. no 1 likes to be controlled.. in this world.. especially if it changes the way they live… even if it was my neighbhour complaining about my loud music… i wouldnt want to listen to them.. but if the neighbhour was a good friend of mine.. then i wud think twice that.. yeh this is my friend maybe i shud turn it down.. in the same way i am saying that the muslims on the show just stepped into these peoples lives and expected them to change… and if you relate this to my example you will understand that it is the same sort of scenario… man knocks on my door and tells me that i cant live the way i am… offcourse you will be angry… but if you could get to know the person before you start rambling about how to change their lives.. maybe they wud b a lil more convinced… in conclusion my religion has nothing to hide and or doesnt need to sweeten n e 1s mind.. we believe that YOU need ISLAM.. ISLAM doesnt NEED YOU!!… and YES my religioin is misunerstood… clearly in my eyes and every muslims eyes who have been through this sort of discrimination… as “muslims are terrorists”.. and so on..
    islam believes that there is a way that this life should be lived… there is a strict certain way that everyone on this earth should follow.. and we are not saying ONLY muslims.. we are saying EVERY single human being on the face of this earth SHOULD live in this way… i repeat.. SHOULD.. it doesnt mean YOU have to.. IF you choose not to it is your badluck..we believe you will be punished in the day of judgement where god stands before us.. if you were a muslim you would be punished to the extent of an execution.. but if you are not born muslim then it is a muslims duty to tell you and convince you… not be-head you when it isnt even your fault that you werent born into a muslim family… and YES this is a mistake many muslims are making as we can see in the media today.. but that doesnt mean you have to point the blame to all muslims… i mean i’m sure christianity believes that there is a way you should live… why cant a muslim believe the same?… YES we are strict.. but we are ONLY strict because our religion is so true.. that if you try to speak to an imam on your own and i repeat “SPEAK” not argue.. not yell at… but just SPEAK to DISCUSS… your every question will be answered and if they dont know the answer they wud find out for you… ALL you have to do… is MAKE YOUR FIRST MOVE!! and the rest will be easier… you may not enjoy a lot of the rules of being muslim but every rule in islam has a reason.. and not even the reason was designed for your liking… it was designed to tell you what is utterly the truth.. islam is designed by god in such a way that you can relate everything in your life to islams teachings and find that things occur in exactly the same way islam had described for them to happen… but all you have to do is make YOUR approach.. well i think i’ve said enough thanx for your comment ITO i hope i have educated you a bit… if not please ask me as many questions as you want… and i will give you and answer to the best of my ability… please ITO dont doubt something you dont know about.. just give it a chance.. who knows you may change your mind… and dw i get carried away too…

    Reply
  44. Shakil
    February 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

    here’s my e-mail add.. for n e 1 that wants to ask n e questions about islam..
    i will do ma best to answer people… please dont hesitate… shak_the_man2000@hotmail.com

    Reply
  45. Moosa Khan
    April 4, 2008 at 5:50 am

    I disagree with the kind of statements made by “Mikek” the first person to comment on this article.

    If people have placed bombs and killed other innocent people then its an individual who has done it. No religion teaches to practice violence. As far as the conversion is concerned, Islam never forced anyone to be converted.

    If you say that the Imam were not wise enough to reply the questions of the public I say its their fault that they have not read and understood the religion. No religion can change the sex of a human. If yes, then I ask you a simple question no matter what religion you follow, can your religion change a gay guy to straight?

    Islam, is a religion which should be first understood and then practiced. Like e.g., during the time of Prophet Mohammed, he told every one that during the lunar eclipse keep the things covers like food, water and any eatables… if not covered then through it because its not healthy. Later in the recent years it has been discovered that, the bacteria spreads fast when its dark.

    Islam says, to offer 5 times prayers a day, but did anyone know why?

    Let me explain the morning prayer called Fajr is the middle time of night and sunrise where the Muslims wakeup and walk to the mosque to offer their prayers to the Almighty. This is the time when the earth is filled with fresh oxygen which cannot be generated even in any laboratory. Likewise there are several reasons of other prayers time. I can explain, if you need to know more about it.

    Why Muslims dont eat pork?
    Everyone knows that this is a dirty animal, no matter how clean you try to keep it, it will live in dirt. This animal doesnot die easily which most of us know about it. It has to be killed brutally. Apart this the pork contains toxics and has bacteria which is fatal to human beings, maybe the scientists/doctors can explain it deeply, if any.

    I dont have much time to write on this. If you seek to know more about the practice of Islam do write to me I will answer your questions or if i dont have an answer I will discuss it with the Imams here and reply you.

    Thanks,
    Moosa Khan
    moosakhan@gmail.com

    Reply
  46. Necmeddin Güney
    April 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

    THANK YOU SAMEER:

    “The point is that what makes you a believer is your belief in God, the actions follow from that. This show was making people do the actions but without any belief, which is totally pointless because your building without a foundation.”
    I completely agree with you…

    Reply

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