Episode 6 – The Archdeacon Cometh

Synopsis: The Muslim community steps in to help when Mercy Anglican Church faces financial ruin. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Video courtesty of mydien

Note: The Mother-In-Law Episode has been pushed to next week.

What did you think of this episode? How does it compare to the previous episodes?

Are there any other topics from the episode that you want to discuss? Ask a Question.

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37 Comments

Filed under Episode 6

37 responses to “Episode 6 – The Archdeacon Cometh

  1. Tom

    I enjoyed this episode. I was laughing throughout. Other than the fact that the Muslims were pretending to be Anglicans, this episode should go over well.

    I particularly enjoyed the scene where the Archdeacon was giving his sermon and the Reverand was guilty of all the faults that he was pointing out.

  2. farah

    What are the main differences between Anglicans and Catholics?

  3. sumaiyya

    where are the rest of the parts???

  4. Kassad

    This episode was the “season finale” any idea why it was broadcasted now?

  5. Anno

    Funny episode although as an Anglican originally, it wasn’t accurate (there’s no such thing as an archdeacon; it would be a bishop..).

    I’ve been lurking reading opinions as I’m interested in Muslim reactions to the show.

    For the person who asked the main difference between an Anglican and Roman Catholic is 2 points

    1) Roman Catholics believe that when the Pope speaks on matters of doctrine, he is infallible. Anglican recognize that although the bishop of Rome (aka the pope) is historically the head of the Christian church, don’t believe in papal infallibility.

    2) Roman Catholic believe in transubstanation; when the bread & wine are blessed, they literally become the body & blood of Christ. Anglicans believe that although God is present “real presence”, the elements don’t physically change. Since Roman Catholics believe the wine changes; only the priest consumes it on behalf of the congretation (they don’t want anyone spilling Christ’s blood at the altar); Anglicans consume both the bread & wine (bread & then wine).

    In practice, Anglican services vary a lot; ‘high’ Anglicans are very Roman Catholic-like (bells, incense); “low” Anglicans are more like other Protestant churches with lots of Bible reading. This variation is probably because the Anglican church was created for political, not doctrinal reasons (King Henry VIII of England wanted a diviorce since his wife didn’t produce any male heirs.)

  6. Mona

    I really enjoyed this episode. I went to Catholic school for fourteen years – I know it’s not the same as Anglicanism – and I learned a lot about Christianity there. At my youth classes at the mosque, I would hear other kids in public schools talk about Christianity, and it always surprised me how little they knew about it. I guess it just goes to show you that not only do non-Muslims have a lot to learn about Muslims, but Muslims have a lot to learn about other religions as well. Interfaith understanding, I believe, is really the key to realizing our similarities and minimizing our differences.

    I can’t wait to see next week’s episode! Will that be the season finale? And any clue when the next season will be? It’d be nice to see some more episodes soon…

  7. Scott

    To clarify one topic: Catholics do not believe that every single doctrine or interpretation given by a Pope is an infallible (being without the possibility of error). In fact, it is quite rare that statements are declared to be infallible.

  8. Anno

    Scott,

    I was under the impression that when the Pope makes a doctrinal pronouncement while sitting on the chair of St. Peter (not an ordinary statement), it was considered to be infallible. Is this not the case?

  9. Anno

    Does anyone else think the originally scheduled episode was changed because the “Mother-in-law” episode needed re-editing. (Having read that Zarqa Nawaz said that there were mistakes in some of the earlier episodes)

  10. “that’s when baby jesus sees his shadow, right?”

    PRICELESS

  11. Sara

    If the Archdeacon was doing that sort of talk in a mosque, the media would brand him a terrorist.

  12. Norman

    What was priceless was Colin Mochrie’s appearance? It surprising stunned me.

    I found this episode’s main story to be funny but the debate between Rayyan’s modern therapy versus Fatima’s traditional therapy was still a big conflict. It really depends.

    The jokes on how Anglican services are done and Yassir’s misconceptions of it made the episode what it is.

    I want to quote my favorite lines from this episode.

    “This seat smells so is this why the call this a pew?”

    “(Sarah explains about the Communion about the blood and body of Christ)
    Fatima: Why?
    Sarah: So we can eat them.
    Fatima: I would engage in cannibalism.”

  13. James

    “This seat smells so is this why the call this a pew?”

    I had to watch the episode twice ! It is so funny the second time around. By far, the best episode yet.

  14. I too laughed out loud, but yeah not accurate entirely about Anglicans. Interestingly the ‘arch deacon’ sounded more like Roaring Hanna, a famous or rather infamous minister in Northern Ireland who was not repeat not an Anglican.
    The bit with the hats was funny too, and the fact the ‘arch deacon’ realized that the people in that church weren’t Anglicans was funny too. We haven’t seen much of the Anglican congregants except in the bingo hall scene during the episode with the convert.
    Fatima had me in stitches.
    So did Sarah. I think now I know the deal with Sarah, she’s fairly irreligious, she wasn’t much of a Christian, so she’s not much of a Muslim! 🙂
    The bit where the azan loudspeaker kicks in at precisely the moment no one else but Babur wanted it to kick in was brilliant!
    As was the reaming poor Rev. McGhee took, again not entirely authentic, but good for a laugh.
    I liked the end too! Maybe now the imam can do something about Jasir! 🙂

  15. Oh sorry for the double post, What Sarah said! 🙂 kudos! 🙂 entirely true 🙂

  16. What was priceless was Colin Mochrie’s appearance? It surprising stunned me.

    I happened to be reading through imdb last night about the various actors on the show. Debra McGrath, who plays “Mayor Popowicz” on the show, is the real-life wife of Colin Mochrie. In my mind, the real surprise is that the two didn’t have a scene together in the episode; perhaps in the future, insha’allah.

  17. rstd

    I have yet to see this episode… but I feel like making a little remark.
    Any Muslim with his wits about him would avoid any snide comment with Jesus (peace be upon him) in it for two reasons– 1. Jesus (peace be upon him) is the beloved messenger of God for Muslims. 2. It is forbidden in Islam to insult someone else’s religion or holy figures.

    I will watch the show then comment some more. 🙂

  18. rstd

    Well, I’m back. Praise be to God. Yasir is learning. He got his just desserts. It’s time he stopped using religion (both the church and the mosque) for his own personal (financial) gain. Now he’s going to pull his own weight!
    We don’t benefit from anything, including religion, until we put our backs into it, our money where our mouths are. Faith is about service, after all.
    This show is brilliant!

  19. Haile

    This episode was definitely the best yet, it was reminiscent of an episode of a UK comedy that finished a few years ago called Father Ted. (Kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Ted

    In this episode the local bishop is coming to visit and Father Ted having lost a football match against another priest and as a forfeit has to kick Bishop Brennan in the backside.

    One of the great things about Father Ted was that many priests and devout catholics I knew at the time loved it, the characters were extreme representations of stereo typical catholic behaviour, and thats what made it great. But then over this side of the Atlantic we do have a more irreverent sense of humour.

    Little Mosque is a great comedy, it seems to have taken something from Northern Exposure in its gentle humour and setting, but to be honest it is pretty tame compared to other comedy with religious aspects.

    That said I hope it gets over to the UK as it would be a success.

  20. sumaiya

    this was by far the best episode, funny and smart. I’ve really enjoyed watching the show, just one thing really annoys me: the references to sarah and yasir’s sex life… as someone mentioned before, the difference in Islam is haya (modesty), issues that are intimate between a husband/wife are just that: intimate.
    and theres one other slightly irritating thing: the imam, of all people, should have a beard. he’s quoting the quran & bukhari…did he convieniantly miss the hadith on men and beards?

    but overall, i think its pretty good, and inshallah, will get better as zarqa gets more time to edit.

  21. Danya

    Wow, I didn’t laugh a single time. I did crack a smile here and there, but I did not laugh. I thought the Muslims pretending to be Anglican was cute though.

    It’s all right I guess. I love Fatima and Baber though.

  22. Aalia Canadian

    Asalaam alaikum:) Ya know I was really happy for a show about Muslims in a Canadian set and even my parents were excited (and they arent Muslims, my dad is some sort of a redneck with a French background, while my mamma has come to accept my new religion and is even interested in it) but after the first episode, I was disappointed. My parents didnt think it was very funny and of course my husband and other Muslim friends thought it was a mockery, especially when one of the characters made a stupid reference to our beloved Prophet (SAWS). Wallahi I had an open mind. But after I did some background research and saw Zarqa Nawaz’s documentary “Me and my Mosque” I lost respect for her and her show. When I heard she was one of the only Muslim producers I gave her the benefit of the doubt (remember Surah al-Asr being mis-read, the Imam’s weird kinda flirty behaviour with Rayyan and many other examples) but I realized this is only an excuse. Islam doesnt like mockery, thats why we dont allow our kids to dress up in silly costumes and ask strangers for candy. BTW I am a revert to Islam and I used to LOVE trick-or-treating but imagined taking my kids one day but now the thought creeps me out LoL. I dunno…another thing is that the non-Muslims are taking this show the wrong way. I have lived in 2 small towns full of “anti-anything/anyone who is different” people and my closest friend Kayla is one of the few who accepted me, a Canadian girl from a white family, as a convert to Islam. Sad to say but if you say anything about Islam or Muslims in these places, the reaction is not pleasant. The point is that Kayla’s parents enjoy Little Mosque On The Prairie and watch it every week for one reason: They think the demeaning/mocking depiction of Islamic practises is HILARIOUS. They are not the only ones who think this way. Uffff. SubhanAllah. It’s a unfortunate how our religion went from a subject of fear and terror to the non-Muslims to just something to laugh at (and not in a good way). From the way Sarah the convert’s bet to pray (and not even in a proper way) to the new episode of Muslims posing as Christians is SAD. We dont need to please the non-Muslim population by making stupid episodes of Muslims doing this or that. We are MUSLIMS LoL–it’s bad enough the Western/anti-Islamic media makes us look like crazy “jihadis”, now we have one of our own (Zarqa Nawaz) making silly comedies. Sorry for the long post LoOoOoL hope I didnt make anyone fall asleep…Salaam alaikum:)

  23. John

    Aalia, I am sorry to hear that some people you know are taking the show as a mockery of Islam. My own experience is different.

    I am a non-Muslim living in a largely Muslim neighbourhood, and most of my friends (including Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Wiccans) watch the show, and we talk about it. I’ve read most of the comments in this list, and I mainly want to note that there is a huge difference between pointing out the foibles of individuals, and mocking their religion.

    For example, in the episode where Sarah has trouble praying, it’s very clear that the problem was her own weakness of character and poor faith, and not the prayer ritual itself. Obviously her daughter prayed properly with no trouble. (I assume Sarah only converted so she could marry Yassir). I particularly noticed how respectfully prayer was treated in the other episodes, especially the swimming episode. The humour I see in the show is never about Islam itself; it is always about human weakness and striving. Yassir’s venality, Babar’s racism, etc are their own flaws, not flaws is Islam.

    This particular episode makes much more fun of Anglicanism than the show ever has about Islam, but my Christian friends found it more funny than offensive.

    I know from firsthand experience that there is huge diversity in our Muslim communities. Some of my Muslim neightbours are devout; some smoke and drink; some don’t do hallowe’en, and others take their kids around in costume. (And some kids just sneak out and go without their parent’s knowing it — you can tell, because they have neither escort nor costume) In one local halal food store white people like me don’t get served, or only served rudely. But most of my neighbours are thoughtful and considerate. One neighbour came by my garage sale wearing a full chador where the entire headdress was sewn together from Calvin Klein designer scarves, covered in CK logos. Fashionable and modest, too? I can’t say.

    I guess I’m just saying that I see lots of room for humour in all of our communities. And I really think it is helpful for people who know nothing about Islam to see Muslims portrayed as fallible individuals like themselves, and not as some annonymous bloc or as some impossible ideal of spiritual perfection.

    Peace, john

  24. M

    Salam to Everyone,

    John,

    That was a nice comment you posted above.
    Made my day:)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us. And your opinions.

    Salam to All –

  25. Aalia Canadian

    Thanks John for your reply:)Maybe its the people I talk to but it seems everyone is having a negative image of the show. I wish someone would make a show about Islam but make it more about Shar’iah and how Muslims who want to go to Jannah and do everything they can in this life to make that happen Insha’Allah. Just wishful thinking lol but that would be really cool. Salaam alaikum all:)

  26. Nutty

    I have to say it was nice to see the shoe on the other foot this time. I bet that my reaction to the gross exaggerations and way off base jokes about Christianity (and Anglicanism specifically) is very much the same that muslims feel when they watch this show normally. There are so many things I could point out here, but I don’t need to since this is satire after all.

    And to Anno, there are subtle differences between Catholicism and Anglicanism (and other protistant sects) but not the ones that you pointed out.

    I myself am a Catholic, I can tell you that though the Pope is a holy leader he is not God or worshiped. He does not speak with gods voice but the clergy do try and help us interoperate the word.

    As for the wine, I know I drink the wine each sunday in my catholic church so where you got the idea about that is basically from some old myths.

    what separates Catholics and other sects today are small little differences, but what caused the separation in history was much bigger then.

    I would have to go into great length to explain it all and I don’t think people really care all that much. If they do they can do a little research and find out.

    Oh, and when Sara called the wine grape juice I almost fell off my chair, not with laughter but horror. I would hope none of the muslims participated in communion, or that she was trying to dupe them into drinking wine… then again I am prolly reading too much into this *S*

  27. Nathan

    Reverend McGee isn’t a real Christian as he seems to compromise his faith at every opportunity. With “leadership” like this no wonder Christianity has shown a decline over the years..

    Here is an interesting article about the decline of the Anglicans in Great Britain and the rise of Islam.

    http://www.crosswalk.com/news/11530801/

  28. Nathan

    The Anglican church is experiencing a schism over the very issue of homosexuality.

    http://www.anglicanjournal.com/world/anglican-communion/017/article/archbishop-hutchison-discouraged-by-primates-communique/

    Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said that he had been “profoundly discouraged” by the communiqué issued by Anglican leaders warning the U.S. church of consequences if it did not abandon its liberal stance on sexuality, and had found it “tempting” not to sign it.

    The demand by world leaders of Anglican churches that the U.S. church agree by Sept. 30 to bar blessings of same-sex couples and the ordination of gay bishops has serious implications for Canada’s Anglicans, said the head of the Canadian church.

    He said the tension between the U.S. church and much of the world communion is farther advanced than for Canada, since a number of U.S. dioceses allow same-sex blessings and the church has ordained one openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Only one Canadian diocese, in the Vancouver area, permits parishes to perform same-sex blessings, and there are no openly gay bishops in Canada.

    “We Canadians are still in the middle of our conversation. We will have completed it by the end of June at our general synod,” Hutchison said.

    He said the deadline the primates gave the U.S. church could provide a “template” for how international church leaders might react to a Canadian decision.
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e562007f-cc3c-470c-82d1-a1e483bc1de7&k=22399

  29. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07056/764843-85.stm

    Nigeria’s Anglican Primate, the Rev. Peter Akinola, a member of the conservative network, has endorsed a pending bill that would criminalize homosexuality and allow for penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

  30. Bill

    Many Protestant traditions have rejected or eschewed the use of alcoholic wine in their celebrations, and instead offer red grape juice.

    Most Methodist churches use grape juice for “the Cup.”

    Some Lutheran congregations that use wine make grape juice available for those who are abstaining from alcohol.

    In the Reformed churches the Eucharist is variously administered. ” The wine served might be true alcoholic red wine or grape juice, usually served not from a chalice, but from individual cups.

    For the Baptists they look to the New Testament and they see that the elements of the Lord’s Supper as described by the three accounts in Matthew, Mark and Luke are unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine (grape juice).

    Point is although traditionally wine has been used for Communion many different churches have used grape juice and there is some indication that grape juice might have been what Jesus used.

  31. Bruce

    Rev McGee had to get the Muslims of Mercy to play along with this deception because fewer and fewer citizens of that area were coming to his church. He was part of a dying way of life.

    And the Archdeacon had just closed down another church due to a lack of parishioners.

    So, why has Christianity seen such a decline in the West in general and Canada in particular?

    One of the criticisms that the show made against Christianity in general and the Anglicans in particular is that they are too focused on money. While I am sure that you can find specific cases of that, I don’t know if that is true in general.

    Of course money is necessary for a church to survive but I don’t think an Anglican Archdeacon would keep a church going just because it is bringing in money if he felt that it was not serving or worst going against the spiritual aims of the church.

    But then again, there is a lot of strange things going on with the Anglicans lately. I am specifically referring to the Anglicans of the West and not that of places like Africa. The seem to have yielded to secular pressures on lots of issues of faith. And I believe that is why you have seen a decline in members.

  32. binmugahid

    Well, I like this one too. Except for the Muslims posing as Christians, that thing over there, not likely in the real world with mosque going Muslims. But hey, it’s a Sitcom and they need to think of something funny. They will run out of legroom with topics soon though, and I’m curious to see how they navigate the more difficult topics with comedy.

    So far, I’m browsing about in the blog to see snippets of the show here and there, but so far, I’m impressed.

    It can be said that I don’t know much about the life of Muslims in the west, as I have never been there. But it would seem that at least in Canada, they are not having a terribly tough time. They have air time, they have audiences muslim and non-muslim alike.

    We’ll see how the show evolves later on, one final note though. I really don’t think that chemistry between a Muslim male and a Muslim female is not possible or taboo to discuss. It happens all the time and that’s how we get married. It just does not have any foundation here, the show has not established why they flirt with each other, of why they started liking each other, or any commonalities between them. So I say, leave the flirting out or present it in the proper way with it’s proper context.

  33. This show is hilarious and important.

    John, your comments were perfect. The character flaws of Yasir, and the flakiness of Sarah are so important to putting a human face on the Muslim community. The mockery of Baber’s extremism is also very important the progress he is making in adaptation is subtle but notable. The fact that the show goes out of its way to address some of the more frightening (to westerners) symbols like the hijab is also a plus for the Muslim commumity.

    I think one of the most important things this show can do is show non-Muslim westerners that Muslims do have a sense of humor and the ability to make fun of themselves. The ability to make fun of oneself and not take yourself, or your beliefs too seriously is very important in our society and something western Muslims must accept before full integration can be possible. By doing that, this show is revolutionary and monumentally important. I hope it comes to America soon (in its original form, not a watered down American remake that will definitely lose all the charm and completely miss the point of this original).

    Through humility, this show brings humanity to the Islamic community instead of the fiery speeches and effigy buring protests shown every night on CNN. Ultimately its up to the Islamic communities to follow this example while moderating its views as it adapts to life in western society.

  34. Jeff

    At one time the Anglican Church was an important part of Canadian life.

    But now it seems to be in the decline. As this episode relates the old members are dying off and there doesn’t seem to be many people coming up to replace them. The younger generations seems to be falling away from the church.

    Why are the Anglicans in such a decline in Canada? Is it because, leaders like McGee have seemed to have lost their faith and are just going through the motions?

  35. James

    To answer you question about the Pope being infallible on issues of doctrine, that infallibility applies to teachings of the Pope only when he is speaking ex cathedra, that is, on behalf of the whole church and in ways that are consistent with its councils, and with the collective wisdom of its cardinals and bishops as the truth has been revealed to them over time.

    Further, infallibility applies only when the Pope is speaking about matters of faith or morals. For example, when the Vatican press office issues a statement of the Pope concerning a hotly contested, political issue, such statements are not regarded as being infallible, or even authoritative for all Christians.

    The last time a Pope spoke ex cathedra was in in 1950 when Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics.

  36. There’s a great line in this episode between Yasir and Sarah regarding the Old & New Testaments. I’m trying to track it down for a writing project I’m working on.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks.

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