Season 2 – Episode 14 – Welcome To Mercy

Synopsis:  Sarah looks to replace the ” Welcome to Mercy ” sign with one written in multiple languages but this proves to be more difficult than she anticipates.

Mayor Popowicz goes on vacation, leaving Sarah as acting mayor. Her administration is thrown into crisis when the “Welcome to Mercy” sign at town limits is destroyed in a tractor accident. With Sarah running the town, Yasir finds himself relegated to “first lady” status. And Reverend Magee takes up hobby painting, putting Amaar in the awkward position of pretending to like his paintings.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Videos courtesy of mydien

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

Are there any other topics from the episode that you want to discuss?

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106 Comments

Filed under Season 2 - Episode 14

106 responses to “Season 2 – Episode 14 – Welcome To Mercy

  1. Mercy is in English Speaking Canada and therefore should have all its signs in English, especially government/community signs such as “Welcome to Mercy”.

    In trying to be all Multi-Cultural, what is being lost in the process is the culture of Canada. Multculturism is one of the leading reasons for the “Death of the West” that is happening right before our eyes.

  2. Steve

    By the way, my comments aren’t only about Canada but the West in general since we see this unfortunate “multicultural” thing throughout Western Countries such as the UK and America.

  3. Max

    Steve raises some good points.

    When a society becomes “Multicultural” it gradually stops focusing on its own culture and therefore the common culture becomes weakened. And without the bonds that a common culture produces within a society, that society fractures.

    There was a Harvard study done on this and it shows that as particular communities become more diverse the amount of trust people have in one another goes down.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c4ac4a74-570f-11db-9110-0000779e2340.html

    The study shows trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history”, but the findings also held for rural South Dakota, where “diversity means inviting Swedes to a Norwegians’ picnic”.

    The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.”

    Now a certain level of mistrust is a good thing. In a free society people should always mistrust public officials. But when it comes to mistrusting your neighbours that is where it causes problems in society.

    Sure a certain degree of diversity is healthy but when it becomes a society’s focus as it has become in Canada, the UK and to a great extent America, it becomes unhealthy. After all if people are so focused on the culture of where they came from they don’t really focus on the common Canadian Culture (or whatever Western Culture we are talking about) .

  4. Max

    Just to stress the point, I am not saying that a certain degree of mistrust isn’t good. For it is. You should be on the watch against people in your neighbourhood who might be sexual predators and such. You should mistrust government officials.

    But what I am talking about is the general bonds that unite a society. Without a common culture that bond is weakened and a society does fracture and become less united as a people. It becomes all about your subgroup and not about being Canadian (or whatever Western country we are talking about).

  5. Max

    By the way, the owner of this board used to put up topics on each episode but I see this is not happening as frequently.

    One of the topics of this episode of course is Multiculturalism and how it hurts the development of a common culture. Another issue probably of less importance but still interesting would be the issue of the “white lie”.

    As you know a “white lie” is a lie that you tell someone because you think it is better for them to hear a lie than the truth. It is most commonly done in the case where you believe that telling the truth would unnecessarily hurt the person’s feelings.

    Well of course the “white lie” in this case would be Amaar pretending to like Reverend Magee’s paintings. Now he is doing so because he knows that saying he doesn’t like them would hurt Magee’s feelings. Also perhaps because he wants to encourage him and hopes that his paintings will become better with more practice.

    But the question is does Islam allow for the “white lie”?

  6. Luke

    Sarah looks to replace the ” Welcome to Mercy ” sign with one written in multiple languages but my question is when you do this which languages do you include and which do you exclude?

    It is hard to get an exact figure but by one estimate there is 6,500 languages in the world. I doubt a “Welcome to Mercy Sign” would fit in 6,500 languages.

    Even if you take a lower estimate of the number of languages of the world being 2,500 such a sign would be impossibly large. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets the Guinness World Record for most translated document and that was around 300 languages. Again, impossible for a “Welcome to Mercy” sign to contain all of them.

    So, point is some languages would have to be left out. Which ones? Wouldn’t it be better to have a “Welcome to Mercy” sign in the common language that unites the people of Mercy (which I assume from watching the show would be English).

  7. Farah

    Yes, Islam allows “white lying”, when a husband lies about his wife being beautiful when she’s not, it’s okay. Little lies to avoid hurting someone’s feelings are not forbidden in Islam.

  8. Nahida

    I thought the sign was cool. =/

  9. Adara

    Since Christmas trees were adopted from pagan tradition by Christians and then elevated almost to art in Germany, should Americans reject Christmas trees?
    I don’t think that over-theorising about “the harm diverse culture is causing” is going to get us anywhere, let alone anywhere better. Besides, it’s too late to turn back now (thank God).

  10. Steve

    Christmas trees were ADAPTED not ADOPTED from Pagan tradition. There is a difference between those words just like there is a difference between Melting Pot and Multiculturalism.

    Wow, just saw the episode and I have to say Wow. I don’t know if it was the intent of the writer of the show or perhaps it was subconscious but this show was best indictment of multiculturalism I have ever seen.

    All the little ethnic interest groups called to get their language on the sign. And don’t forget braille or do you hate blind people! And Klingon which some linguist geek really did make into a language, I loved that they included that (if anyone know what unicode is, Klingon is a language that they have unicode for).

    But what did they forget? …. ENGLISH OF COURSE!.

    Exactly what I have been saying, when you are so focused upon being all multicultural you forget about your own culture. You become little divisive groups making sure that you get on the sign and you forget about the general society you are living in.

    Multiculturalism breeds divisiveness and weakens the social fabric. The Melting Pot however enriches society.

    By the way, except for McGee’s first painting , I liked his art work. I have sure seen worse in museums.

  11. Steve

    But what did they forget? …. ENGLISH OF COURSE!

    I don’t know if the writer intended it or if it just came through subconsciously, but doesn’t that say it all about Multiculturalism.

    But what did they forget? …. ENGLISH OF COURSE!

    Pretty good for a typically liberal show.

  12. Nahida

    I liked McGee’s paintings too, especially the first one. Although, it reminded me of bacteria. . . for some awkward reason. I can see why the little kid thought it was scary.

    I think what most people aim for is to be mutlicultural without becoming a melting pot, because then you feel as though you’re lost in identity even though you can specify which languages or practices or traditions are from which culture. However, some people may actually feel comfortable in such an environment. I forgot who said it, but not all wanderers are lost. Was that Robert Frost? Anyway, I think it depends on the individual person whether or not they forget their own culture. I have a friend who’s Italian and Spanish and lives here in America, and she seems to balance it all perfectly. But that may also be because she lives in an environment which allows a strong upholding of all three cultures. I think mistrust is also individual, because I have no problem trusting people from different backgrounds. It’s not just the cultures that are different–it’s the people who are in them. And balance is hard to keep. So a weakening of one thing and a strengthing of another might even be considered a natural course. It happens more quickly or more slowly in a turn of events, but it has the tendency to happen. Just take a look at history. =)

    Of course, there are exceptions to everything. Like slavery. A lot of the farmers in the South believed that slavery was also a natural course and had been around before for hundreds of years and had died off in the places it used to be to start in new places, and would therefore die off naturally in the United States. But this was an issue where something HAD to be done. It all really depends on the individual people who make up a society–or else how would we get different cultures in the first place? It wouldn’t have mattered that we all moved to different parts of the world–everything and everyone would have just grown out to be the same. And defintion of the words “natural course” is undefined as well.

    Peace.

  13. Nahida

    I mean especially the SECOND painting.****

    Not the pumpkin/house…

  14. Max

    I found it very telling that the sign that the youth of Mercy all pitched in and built was in English.

  15. Lesia

    I loved it! And the Klingon made it just perfect!

    Why does everyone want to over analyze this show? OK so I get what what everyone is saying about “multicultural” but couldn’t have just as well been an insight to the character of Sarah? She’s a pleaser. She wanted to make everyone happy and in doing so forgot herself by forgetting to put English on the sign.

    The whole “role reversal” with Yasir was a hoot as well! Yet there again Sarah in order to please everyone else forgot just what Yasir could bring to the community. I don’t believe that she was devaluing him just overlooking her other-half. This is a well written and acted couple.

  16. Adara

    “Christmas trees were ADAPTED not ADOPTED from Pagan tradition. There is a difference between those words just like there is a difference between Melting Pot and Multiculturalism.”

    It seems that you’re just another type-happy troll that likes to point out perceived faults in others while completely oblivious to your own issues. If I wanted to disregard your feelings, disrespect you, and make myself look like a jerk in the name of righteous correcting of others, I would go through your posts and talk about the bounty of linguistic and sociological fallacies to be found in your comments.
    However, I like to live and let live.

    Anyway, I’d appreciate if you would show some restraint. I chose the word “adopted” for a reason; sometimes people use words in unusual ways because it better fits their intended meaning.

  17. Steve

    I am sorry you took offense Adara. I understood why you choose the word “adopted” now please understand why I choose the word “adapted”.

    Adopted means took totally without changes. Adapted means you take something and change it a bit for your own use. So, yeah, Christians got the idea for the Christmas trees from the Pagans but Christians adapted the use of the tree to their own religous meanings.

    It’s kind of like the difference between Melting Pot and Multiculturalism. Melting pot means someone comes over to a society and adds some of their own culture to the existing culture. They adapt their culture to the existing one making all of us the stronger for it.

    But Multiculturism means you just keep your traditions as they were and just stay in your little group.

    Only in America could you buy a Pizza from a Chinese owner. Now is the Pizza exactly like the one you would get in Italy? No of course not. We have adapted the pizza changing it a bit to our own liking.

    Melting Pot is far less divisive. It means that everyone is sharing where they are from and at the same time developing the culture they are now in.

    Melting pot is about moving forward. Multiculturism is about staying where you were. Even though you move hundreds of miles from your home you still want to act like you just moved across the street.

  18. Steve

    “She wanted to make everyone happy and in doing so forgot herself by forgetting to put English on the sign. ”

    But surely you see the larger significance in that don’t you? Here she is getting phone call after phone call from all these divisive ethnic interest groups (and a handicap, oops I mean handicapable interest group, and some Trekkie interest group) telling her that she better not forget them.

    But when it came to English, there was no interest group to defend English. If such an interest group existed I am sure everyone would call it “racist”. Everyone can have a interest group to fight for them except the Anglo. One of the “rules” of multiculturism.

    So, in the end, who is left out of “multiculturalism”? Well Sarah of course. Well at least to the extent she represents Canadian culture, as the Muslim side of her is represented by the use of Arabic on the sign.

    Again, it has been said by others on this topic and it is worth repeating. When a society is so focused on other cultures which of course is what “multiculturism” demands ones own culture suffers. And in the end people are left bewildered wondering “what does that sign say”.

    I don’t know if the writer wanted it to be this way, but it was a very profound episode indeed.

  19. Steve

    “couldn’t have just as well been an insight to the character of Sarah? She’s a pleaser.”

    I see it an insight into Sarah, Canadian society, and really all of Western society. We have become “pleasers” and in doing so forgotten ourselves.

    This episode works on so many levels. Just like McGee’s paintings (except the pumpkin house one).

  20. Kevin

    “So a weakening of one thing and a strengthing of another might even be considered a natural course. It happens more quickly or more slowly in a turn of events, but it has the tendency to happen. Just take a look at history. =)”

    But isn’t the question what is being weakened and what is being strengthen? In the past for the immigrant it was the connection with the “old country” that was being weakened but now it seems exactly the opposite. Now it seems like in holding tightly to the “old country” which modern technology enables and what a “pleaser” society encourages the immigrant is weakening the culture of the society they live in and maintaining and even somewhat ironically strengthening their connection to the “old country”.

    For a society that has lots of immigrants from other parts of the world coming into it there needs to be an intergration process that “multiculturalism” prevents. They need to blend their old culture and mix it into the new one. They don’t need to be accommodated at every turn making it easy to live a cultural lifestyle pretty close to the one they left.

    And especially when it comes to languages. The symbolism of the question “what does that sign say” speaks to multiculturalism in general because it doesn’t present a cultural representation understandable to most of those actually living in that society. Multiculturism stuns the expression of a society own culture, and in doing so weakens the bonds connecting the people within the society.

  21. Steve

    Tacos and Pizza are American foods.

    Now how can I say that you ask since everyone knows that tacos come from Mexico and Pizza comes from Italy.

    Yeah, that is true, immigrants brought these foods with them when they immigrated, but over time within this country the foods changed a bit.

    Ask Mexicans if a “true taco” is what you can get at Taco Bell, and they will shake there heads. No, they would say (in Spanish) not really the same. Same goes with the Pizza. You think in Italy what they call a Pizza is anything like what you get at Pizza Hut?

    That is what is meant when something is adapted. And that is what happened to the Christmas tree.

    America’s success with immigration came because we could intergrate the ways of the old country with the ways of our country to make something not quite what existed in the old country but something new. We developed an “American Taco” and an “American Pizza” and in that way our culture expanded and we became all richer for the contribution of immigrant. We could all join together as Americans (NO HYPHENS) and share a piece of pizza together United, and not Divided in this new common culture!

  22. Steve

    By the way, this isn’t really a knock on the immigrant for the most part.

    When Yassir had the kids build the new sign he didn’t have them build it in Lebanese, now did he?

    Of course not.

    It was the White Anglo-Canadian woman who had the idea of putting up foreign languages on a sign welcoming people to a Canadian town outside of Quebec.

    Yassir was practical. It was the sign for Mercy, Canada so of course, you would have the sign made in the language that the people in Mercy, Canada all spoke. Now if he was making the sign for a Lebanon town, then yeah, it would be in Lebanese, but the common language of the people in Mercy, Canada is English so of course the sign should be in English. No Brainer.

    No Brianer for someone who didn’t grow up in a “pleaser” society. Point is lots of the immigrants themselves haven’t fallen into the trap of “multiculturism”.

  23. Max

    What I want to know is why did the show have that white farmer guy always knock down the sign with Fred watching?

    Were the writers blaming the sorry state of Western society on the “common man”. Somehow its the fault of the farmer, the construction worker, the blue color working man of Canada and not the lawyer, politician, the CEO, the elite for the state Canada is in but of course he doesn’t admit to how its all his fault but instead leaves it to others to try to repair all his damage?

    Well, I guess if the writer didn’t find some way to attack the white male it just wouldn’t be the CBC we have all grown to know and expect. After all a smart white rural male would indeed be too much to ask from this show.

  24. Max

    I guess maybe the white male because he hasn’t been so attentive is somewhat to blame. After all, Fred didn’t find out how the mayor was using town funds for her “fact finding trip” to the Caribbean. And who knows if that farmer ever votes (though perhaps he technically lives outside Mercy city limits so he couldn’t vote).

  25. Max

    I have a question.

    Isn’t it misleading to have someone like Amaar be Iman? I mean if you walk into any Mosque in Canada you aren’t going to find anyone remotely like Amaar being the Iman.

    Perhaps Islam would seem less intimidating if indeed the Imans were all young and beardless but that isn’t the reality. They all wear long beards and some white cap thing on their head. They all have accents (something Amaar doesn’t have).

    So, having the Canadian people accept Amaar as a harmless religious leader doesn’t mean that they are going to see Imans in general as harmless because of course they don’t behave anything like Amaar.

  26. Nahida

    Max, they don’t all have beards. They certainly don’t all have accents. I don’t know how many Imams you’ve seen who aren’t on tv. But I’ve seen quite a few in life and Amaar is pretty accurate. Amaars are rare, but there are starting to be more of them.

  27. Nahida

    The “cap thing” (it’s called a kufi by the way) isn’t even all that religious. It was just adopted from Africa. It’s worn by African Muslims and Christians alike. When it came into North America, Muslim men began to use it because the companions of our Prophet had a habit of covering their heads, because they happen to be Arabs.

  28. Nahida

    It’s important to keep a common language so that we can all understand each other. But I believe that “understanding each other” has more depth than speaking the same language. The way a language is structured can reflect the very structure of the social mind in a society. And knowing other languages is like being familiar with different art forms. It can open doors to incredible prespectives and creative new ideas that will help in keeping a warm and loving entanglement of wonder, understanding, and appreciation in the various ideas of the world.

  29. Nahida

    The bare idea of pizza was thought up by the Greeks. Italian street vendors sold them later to the people of Italy. For Queen Margherita (of Spain) a special pizza was made, with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Since then it was known as the Margherita pizza.

    The Arabs actually introduced pasta to Sicily–they got it from the Chinese–during the 19th Century, when they had populated Southern Italy. The Italians took it and made spaghetti.

    Food has been going through hundreds of changes before versions of it ever reached the United States.

  30. Steve

    I was just giving an example of how something gets “adapted” instead of adopted out right.

    I think it is cool that I live in a country where say for example a person of Chinese ancestry could own a pizza joint. That is TRUE DIVERSITY.

    But that is not what is offered by Multiculturalism. In multiculturalism that person of Chinese ancestry must only stick to Chinese customs so would have to have a Chinese restaurant. And multiculturalism is all about the group not about the individual. People are not free to behave outside their ethnic group. All political/social power comes from the relative power that ethnic group has compared to others.

    In essence multiculturalism breeds divisiveness. And again it inhibits the development of a society’s own culture because of course multiculturalism places other cultures above one’s own.

    In the end you get a culture that doesn’t reflect the people actually living in that society. In the end what you get is a society where everyone is asking “what does that sign say”(and I mean that in a larger more symbolic sense as well).

  31. Luke

    The community welcome sign. A chance to build something to represent the spirit, the character of one’s community.

    In Mercy the sign came to reveal the character of the community (and all of Canada) far too well. A bunch of people too busy focusing on emphasizing differences to focus upon something that binds the community as a whole (in this case symbolized by the English language).

    Yeah, I found it interesting that they set up the characters who they have developed to represent “the white male” as the cause of the problem. My only guess is that they writers, after making such an astonishing confession on their true feeling regarding multiculturalism felt the psychological need to reassure themselves that they truly are the Culture Marxists they are. “See we still can attack and demonize the white male with the best of them.”

  32. Steve

    “In Mercy the sign came to reveal the character of the community (and all of Canada) far too well. A bunch of people too busy focusing on emphasizing differences to focus upon something that binds the community as a whole (in this case symbolized by the English language).”

    It’s not only Canada but something similar is going on in the United States and from what I hear the UK as well.

    Multiculturalism is a destructive force in all these societies. It is really sad what it has all come to.

  33. Steve

    “Yeah, I found it interesting that they set up the characters who they have developed to represent “the white male” as the cause of the problem.”

    Actually when you look at all the Male/Female relationships/interchanges on this show (Amaar/Rayyan, Yassir/Sarah, Fred/Fatima, even Baber/Layla) the female is always the stronger of the two characters.

    So, the show isn’t only anti-white male. It is anti male in general.

  34. Nahida

    There have been plenty of times where Rayyan messed up and Amaar corrected her, like when she took the chocolate bar or wished the bird flu on her mother.

  35. Steve

    But Rayyan was right given the circumstances to take the chocolate bar and as for wishing the bird flu on her mother well…

    No comment.

  36. Nahida

    LOL!!! Whoa. I wouldn’t wish the bird flu on my mom even if she screwed up like that.

  37. Farah

    I thought all American TV is anti-male. Always female characters are right.

    Muslims get a lot of shit for how they “treat” their women. Good thing the show is showing us that Muslim women are smart and apprecaited.

  38. Steve

    All American TV is anti-male.

    That is correct.

  39. Kay

    I think the situation in this episode has nothing to do with male-bashing. Remember, there are really only five main characters that are female, and all of the ‘outside influences’ from the core characters are currently guys. Anyway, hitting the sign with the tractor (twice) was just a comedic tool – it probably wouldn’t have been as amusing if a different person had nailed the sign the second time around. Perhaps you are looking way too deep into something that is simply written to move a comedy along.

  40. Steve

    Are you sure Kay that the writers were not blaming the current state of Canadian society on “the common man”?

  41. Kay

    Steve, I am pretty sure they aren’t blaming anyone for anything (but then again, I’m not one of the show’s writers). They are writing a comedy and are trying to find situations that move from the sublime to the absurd (I mean really, braille on a road sign!?!). I’m enjoying the ‘silly’ humour from this show; I’m tired of much of the nasty and foulmouthed humour included on other shows and I am finding the gentleness and sure, the sometime corniness quite refreshing. Watching Yasir dealing with being the ‘official spouse’ was funny as well as Rev. Magee’s attempts at painting (although I really liked the last picture). I don’t see this show trying to blame anyone for anything – just trying to show how a group of people work at living in a community that generally operates a little differently than they do and doing it in a very funny (and quite educationally for me) way.

  42. Kevin

    “(I mean really, braille on a road sign!?!). ”

    You have a problem with braille?

    You don’t hate blind people do you Kay?

  43. Nahida

    Kevin, she meant that blind people can’t drive, so there’s no reason they would need to read a road sign, unless they were riding with someone and decided to stop at the sign to *feel* it.

    Geez.

  44. Kevin

    I know what she meant but I was being sarcastic. The show pretty well showed how such interest groups get their way even when it doesn’t make much sense.

    Such accommodation make public projects lots more expensive but for the interest group it is much more important to show their constituents that they can influence public policy. And for the politician the symbolism is more important than the substance of the accommodation as well.

    If you don’t do what they say they claim you are not sensitive enough and even that you have a prejudice against them.

    This is modern politics in America and it seems like in Canada as well.

  45. Sterendipity

    PLEASE START A ‘WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE’ LIST!! MINE IS RAYYAN. THOUGH YASIR IS QUITE HILARIOUS.

  46. Max

    Nahida, in many ways the way Mercy’s government is run reminds me so much of how the government of my city is run.

    I could practically see my city council put Braille on street signs (got to be inclusive don’t we). We do have a “sister-city” relationship with a Japanese city with the only “benefit” from it being that our public officials get taxpayer funded vacations to that city (Mercy’s sister city is in China and last year it was mentioned how the Mayor got a taxpayer paid vacation there).

    We do have a public access cable channel that nobody watches.

    So, when I see stuff like that go on in Mercy I can really relate.

  47. Max

    Sterendipity I like Fred though I wish the actor playing him would be more respectful of the character as the actor playing Baber is with his.

    I guess my second favourite character would be Baber although at times he can indeed get quite offensive. I will never forget that 9-11 remark he made after the fire in the Mosque. That was terrible.

    I also “like” the mayor. Or I should say more accurately she is a “necessary evil”. She reminds me of so many politicians I have known in my community.

    My least favourite is McGee though I realize he is a “necessary evil” as well. The actor plays him well. He does reflect the state of Christian “leadership” in the West today. Well I should say with the mainline churches as indeed there is a Christian revival going on among the smaller evangelical churches and their memberships are growing at the same time that of the mainstream churches are on the decline.

    McGee rarely seen doing anything for his flock. He is either painting, feeding the pigeons or something like that. Is it any wonder his church is on the decline.

    Also for what I have seen these days the mainline churches give a “watered down” version of Christianity while you can find the Gospel really being taught in evangelical churches. So since the mainline churches don’t really reflect true Christianity these days one would expect them to be in the decline.

  48. Kevin

    They “soften up” the Baber character in the hearts of the viewer by showing his love for his daughter.

    Of course is that really representative of how the Muslim male thinks? Well, perhaps they might have something that one can call “love” for their daughters but if their daughters ever “shame them” in some way the Muslim male can get quite violent and even kill the daughter.

    It would be interesting if the show would show Baber’s daughter “shame him” like if she became a Leisban, a Christian, or if they don’t want to go to that extreme even dated an “infidel”. Would he ban her from his sight for ever? Not how he is portrayed in the show but in real life she would have to fear for her safety. She might have to fear for her very life.

  49. Nahida

    Kevin, how would YOU know what is a good representation of how a Muslim male thinks? It sounds like all you have for scources is our wonderful, unbiased media.

    Why don’t you go ask some Muslim women with fathers like Baber if they feel oppressed.

    Hundreds of teenagers run away from home every year fearing for their safety. They die in the streets from starvation and disease. Are you going to blame this on Islam as well? Do you know how many of those teenagers are Muslim? Do you know how many were raised in Christian, Jewish, Hindu, agnostic, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, whatever households? The kind of physical abuse you’re talking about is forbidden in Islam. “In real life”–Where the hell do you live? This show takes place in Canada, not the MidEast. And believe it or not the physical abuse in the MidEast has nothing to do with Islam; Islam is only twisted to be used as an excuse like Christianity was twisted and used to “justify” the massacre of thousands of Native Americans. Christianity is a beautiful religion–it was the mind frame of the people there that was messed up.

    They DID NOT “soften up” Baber’s character for the viewers. Has it occurred to you that it might just be possible that there are Muslim men who are like Baber and actually and truly love their daughters even while maintaining a conservative Islamic viewpoint? That there are men who love their daughters so madly that even when they have “shamed” them, they welcome them still to their homes in acceptance and tears?

  50. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/01/23/cstillwell.DTL

    Throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, young Muslim women are being targeted for violence. Lest it be thought hate crimes are to blame, it is, in fact, their own relatives who are the perpetrators. So-called honor killings, whereby a Muslim male family member, typically the father, murders his daughter in order to defend the family’s honor, is a growing problem.

    While fathers are commonly responsible for honor killings, they often act in concert with their daughters’ brothers, uncles, and even female relatives. For infringements upon a Muslim daughter’s “honor” constitute the greatest humiliation possible to the religious and tribal tradition from which many such immigrant families emerged. Acts that demand “punishment” include refusing to wear a hijab (or headscarf), having non-Muslim boyfriends or male friends of any origin, being sexually active, rejecting arranged marriages, aggressively seeking employment and education, and, more than anything else, attempting to assimilate into Western culture.

    So no I am talking about CANADA!

  51. The slayings of Sarah and Amina Said came on the heels of another apparent honor killing, that of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez in Mississauga, Ontario, last December. Aqsa was a vivacious and popular young woman whose attempts at a normal, Western teenage social life angered her Pakistani father, Muhammad Parvez. Aqsa, who was opposed to wearing a hijab and sometimes changed her outfit once she got to school, often clashed with her father and had left the family home a week before the attack out of fear. But she eventually returned, only to be met with strangulation at the hands of her own father. She died later in the hospital and the elder Parvez, who initially called the police, was charged with her murder. Aqsa’s 26-year-old brother, Waqas, was charged with obstructing police.

    Like the Said sisters, Aqsa had long suffered abuse at the hands of her father, reports of which were never adequately pursued by Canadian authorities. But Aqsa’s friends saw trouble brewing and, according to the National Post, noted that “she had been threatened by her strictly religious family before.” According to one of them, Ebonie Mitchell, Aqsa held conflicting opinions with her family on wearing a hijab. As she put it, Aqsa “just wanted to dress like we do. Last year, she wore like the Islamic stuff and everything, the hijab, and this year she’s all western. She just wanted to look like everyone else.” As another friend, Krista Garbhet, noted, “She just wanted to be herself; honestly, she just wanted to show her beauty.” However, as Aqsa was to discover, the latter desire can have dangerous consequences for young Muslim women in the West.

    In the wake of Parvez’s murder, one would hope for moral clarity from the Canadian Muslim community. But with a few exceptions, the usual suspects issued the usual apologetics.

    Following Parvez’s funeral, an anti-violence vigil was held at the Mississauga Civic Centre and organized by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations. Unfortunately, CAIR-CAN, like its American counterpart, is part of the problem, not the solution. Working to further acceptance of Sharia (or Islamic) law in the United States and Canada and trying to silence — either through accusations of “Islamophobia,” libel lawsuits or boycotts — voices of criticism and reform, CAIR’s agenda would seem to be working against the advancement of Muslim women’s rights.

    Accordingly, representatives of other allegedly mainstream Muslim groups, instead of taking the opportunity to address the scourge of honor killings, downplayed the religious and cultural angle. Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, claimed that “The strangulation death of Ms. Parvez was the result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to color or creed,” while Sheikh Alaa El-Sayyed, imam of the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, came to the following conclusion: “The bottom line is, it’s a domestic violence issue.”

    Love Islamic Style

  52. http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11319&size=A

    Muslim women losing out in the West as well
    Expert focuses on the issue: Muslim women are losing out to fundamentalism, which leads to hatred and violence, and patriarchy, which gives men the right to beat and kill the women and girls of their families. Still women score a victory in Saudi Arabia: they can now go to a hotel alone.

  53. “That there are [fundamental Islamic] men who love their daughters so madly that even when they have “shamed” them, they welcome them still to their homes in acceptance and tears?”

    Only in the fictional town of Mercy. In real life they would ban them from their sight – FOREVER. And that is if the girl was lucky. More likely they would be beaten up and even killed by their father and the other male members of their family.

  54. By the way, the first article I posted was from a newspaper in San Francisco which as you know is one of the most liberal cities in the world.

    If a liberal newspaper would attack Muslims like this wow, it must be bad. After all right now the Left has been defending Islam (which has to be the greatest irony in human history).

  55. Max

    This would be a good upcoming episode

    Layla suddenly disappears. Baber says that she is off in Vancouver visiting her mother who is there for a conference.

    But what’s up with the hole Baber is digging in his backyard?

    (of course in the end Layla reappears as Baber was indeed telling the truth about her visiting her mother in Vancouver.)

  56. Bradley

    Great episode, thanks for posting the videos and keeping the blog.

    Now to multiculturalism vs. melting pot. I’m surprised at the strength of opinion on the matter, given that we’re talking about a complex cultural/historical/economic issue where even the experts get things wrong.

    It is my personal belief that people and groups do whatever they can to maintain their culture – be it building a mosque in Switzerland or worshipping in the catacombs of Rome.

    A society that follows a model of multiculturalism, I argue, allows people to keep their culture without resisting the laws of society. Since the official adoption of the policy of multiculturalism in 1971 intermarriage rates, citizenship rates, and official language acquisition have increased in Canada.

    How does Canada stack up against the United States? “Canada fares better than the United States on virtually any dimension of integration […] Whereas 72% of Canadians approved of inter-racial marriages in 1988, only 40% of Americans approved of them, and 25% felt they should be illegal!” argues a report by Canadian Centre for Philosophy and Public Policy, accessible at http://www.pearson-shoyama.ca/Hot_Button/immigran.htm

    I was born and raised in Toronto, and as any denizen of Vancouver, Montreal, or my own city can tell you, multiculturalism is on the whole a positive thing. Could Zarqa Nawaz have made Little Mosque in a melting pot society? It would have at least been more difficult…

    Finally, what some may really be arguing is that the melting pot model works better for the US and multiculturalism works better for Canada. Remember, official bi-culturalism is enshrined in the Canadian constitution: two languages, two different heritages, two sets of lyrics for our national anthem. It may surprise some to learn, for example, that every Canadian soldier must be fluent in both French and English.

  57. Kevin

    “It may surprise some to learn, for example, that every Canadian soldier must be fluent in both French and English.”

    And at the risk of sounding like Dr Phil…

    How is that working for you?

    From what I can tell bi-culturalism has caused great problems in your society.

  58. Kevin

    “Could Zarqa Nawaz have made Little Mosque in a melting pot society? It would have at least been more difficult…”

    Well for the most part, ironically, she has made Mercy into a melting pot instead of a multicultural society.

    Yeah, Baber wears that thing on his head and dresses like he is in pajamas all the time. He has an accent.

    Rayyan wears an hijab.

    Fatima has a slight accent.

    And yeah they all greet each other using foreign words.

    But despite that, they seem pretty Canadian to me. They even curl.

    That’s melting pot not multiculturalism.

  59. Max

    “every Canadian soldier must be fluent in both French and English.”

    Isn’t that just so the one soldier can understand what the other one is saying to him?

  60. Nahida

    “Love Islamic Style”

    You don’t know what that means.

    Did you NOT read the part where I clearly stated people use religion as an excuse ALL THE TIME?

    I’m going to make this short because I’m getting sick of having a battle of wits with someone who is completely unarmed.

    First of all, you don’t know who any of these women are. ‘Opposed to the hijab’–I’d like to hear HER say it instead of the media. Why didn’t they use any quotations? Just because she doesn’t wear it doesn’t mean she’s ‘opposed’ to it. How many oppressed Muslim women is that out of the millions who live here in the West? I have a friend whose Catholic parents went so psycho on her when they found out she’d become an atheist that she had to call the police. I suppose that branch of Christianity is completely evil and should be wiped out immediately. Because that’s “love Catholic style” with the whole idea of saving souls.

    You don’t KNOW any Muslim women do you? You’re as subject to yellow journalism as the Americans were during the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine.

    You WILL find Muslim women opposed to the hijab. But that’s all you’re going to hear–what you WANT to hear.

  61. Kevin

    “I was born and raised in Toronto, and as any denizen of Vancouver, Montreal, or my own city can tell you, multiculturalism is on the whole a positive thing.”

    I have talked to some, from the Vancouver area, and that might be what they tell you but not me.

    I wonder why that would be? Afraid of telling their own neighbors how they really feel about multiculturalism.

    Talk about 1984.

  62. Kevin

    “I’d like to hear HER say it instead of the media. ”

    I am afraid that’s impossible, Nahida.

    And of course you know why that’s impossible.

    SHE’S DEAD. Her family killed her to restore their Honor.

  63. Nahida

    Kevin, believe it or not, many Muslims in the West are NOT dead because their families wished to restore honor.

  64. Kevin

    No, most daughters are too afraid to do anything that their Father might perceive as making him lose his honor.

  65. Nahida

    25% of Americans think interracial marriage should be illegal?!

    omg. Why can’t people leave love alone.

  66. Nahida

    Kevin, you obviously have never spoken to a Muslim woman in real life.

  67. Kevin

    Nahida, that has changed since 1988.

    I am pretty sure it would only be 5% now.

    Even in the last 5 years I am seeing more and more interracial marriages. Lots of black male with white females, especially in the lower economic bracket. Well I guess I can’t be sure they are married. But I do see lots of white women at the grocery store with their black kids.

  68. Nahida

    “every Canadian soldier must be fluent in both French and English.”

    “Isn’t that just so the one soldier can understand what the other one is saying to him?”

    lol Max

  69. Episode 15 has been online 🙂

  70. Bronwen

    “I think it is cool that I live in a country where say for example a person of Chinese ancestry could own a pizza joint. That is TRUE DIVERSITY.”

    Dude, that happens in Canada too. And in the UK, where I currently live. In fact, pretty much anywhere in the world, a pizza place that doesn’t bill itself as “genuine Italian pizza” (ie, one that does pizza in the style of Pizza Hut, Panagolopolous, etc) will be owned by people who are not of Italian origin and may well belong to a visible ethnic minority. It’s not, like, a special feature of American multiculturalism.

    I repeat, the mosaic model of multiculturalism, or even better, the tapestry, in which interweaving threads come together to form a greater whole, which is our immigrant society (because with the exception of first nation peoples, we are all ultimately immigrants) works aces for Canada. You don’t want in the US? Fine. Your business. Don’t tell us how to run our country and how to model our multiculturalism.

    That said, the US and Canada’s versions of multiculturalism are not and never have been as different from each other as the “melting pot” VS “mosaic” metaphor suggests. There have always been elements of the mosaic in both. That’s why Little Italies, Little Indias and Chinatowns are rife in large cities throughout North American, but such things don’t exist here in the UK. Yes, Canada tends more towards the mosaic/tapestry model because we’ve been in a position to recognise differences at an official level ever since we became officially bilingual. But at base, you can’t say that the States is a “pure” melting pot, either.

  71. Bronwen

    Also “melting pot” and “multicultural” are not two different concepts. Anytime a society exists in which there is a great heterogeneity of culture or heritage (ie, where there isn’t a huge majority of people from one single linguistic, cultural, national, ethnic background, so, like, not Sweden, and not China) you have a multicultural society. All the Western English speaking nations which are products of British imperialism are multicultural nations. There are different “models” of multiculturalism — mosaic, melting pot, and tapestry are some of the metaphors used for these models. No country illustrates a “pure” example of any of these models because they are, ultimately, theoretical constructs to illustrate the different forms multiculturalism can take.

  72. Kevin

    “You can’t say that the States is a “pure” melting pot, either.”

    Not anymore and we are paying big time for it. We are starting to wonder “what does that sign say”.

  73. Kevin

    “(because with the exception of first nation peoples, we are all ultimately immigrants) ”

    Yeah, yeah, that’s something the pro multicultural people can throw in the faces of us here in North America.

    BUT, they can’t say that about the UK! So, I wonder how they justify multculturism there.

  74. Kevin

    “Don’t tell us how to run our country and how to model our multiculturalism.”

    You are quite right.

    It’s your country. You can do with it as you please.

    It’s just that this whole multculturism thing isn’t only in Canada, and isn’t only in the US, but its in the UK as well. And I think also in France.

  75. Kevin

    Just saw episode 15.

    So, last week the town almost banished English and this week it tries to destroy a Cultural Tradition in the city.

    It is not so much us giving them accommodations that bothers us but when they try to take away our traditions, our culture, that’s when we really get mad.

    Yeah, mock Wheat Week if you must but its festivals such as these that unite and bond together a community. And when out of “cultural sensitivity” something like this is banned, well you should be able to understand why we might be angry.

    Now of course in reality it wasn’t really the whole Muslim community against this festival. It was the liberals in the town who co-opted just a few Muslims to do their bidding (ok it was the liberal mayor and just one Muslim-Baber but the point still stands). This is often how it is in real life as well.

    I heard that in Seattle they tried to ban Christmas trees from the airport. This wasn’t the doing of Muslims but because of a Jewish guy.

    That is why I was really, really, really appreciative when a major Muslim organization in the UK came out in support of Christmas. I was really touched by that and it improved my view on Muslims in general.

  76. Kevin

    You know despite all of this the mayor will get reelected.

    Incumbency is a hard thing to fight and people have real short memories.

    In the end, we only have ourselves to blame.

  77. Kay

    Kevin, we should wait until the episode 15 site is up, but in the meantime, did you really watch the ‘Wheat Week’ epidose – I guess I should ask did you really see it because your take on it is a little off. The only person who wanted the festival cancelled was the Mayor, and only because she spent the money on a portrait. There were no liberals in town that wanted it cancelled – if you watched carefully, nobody wanted it done away with. They just needed a scapegoat, and in walked Baber (a perfect comedic choice for the ‘crank’ they needed). He just happened to be Muslim, and somebody just happened to stick the cancellation on the community (and the Mayor gleefully went along with it). Relax!

  78. Kevin

    I did see it and yes, it was the mayor who wanted to cancel it and she used the pretext of “offensive to Muslims” to do so.

    She found a Muslim that agreed with her and that is how she did it.

    All one has to do is just find a few minorities to complain these days and then whatever you want to get cancelled will likely be cancelled.

    Now that episode 15 is up, I will repost my comment there.

  79. Max

    “You know despite all of this the mayor will get reelected.”

    The way she’ll spin it she was the one who SAVED Wheat Week.

    And the people will buy it.

    I have seen politicians “re-invent themselves” election after election and people buy it. They don’t seem to look at voting records or go look at archived newspaper articles or anything like it.

    And yeah, if one is an incumbant it is pretty hard to beat that person. Sure, it happens, but not frequently. At least not frequently enough.

  80. Kevin

    It was only one Jewish Guy in the Seattle situation. But because of him the Christmas trees were banned.

    A few outspoken members of a minority group can have a great effect on public policy even when most of that same ethnic group might have disagreed with those few.

    The best thing would have been if the Muslims of Mercy would have joined in with the protest against the mayor. Sure they might not have cared about Wheat Week, at least not as much as people who grew up in Mercy and who have among their fondest childhood memories past wheat week festivals, but it would have shown support of the larger community and would dispel the belief that all Muslims were against Wheat Week.

  81. Kevin

    Kay,

    No doubt the mayor used the Muslims. She claimed it was due to the festival being offensive to Muslims that it was to be canceled.

    Sure, it was only ONE Muslim (two if you counted Amaar though his dislike of the festival was due to big city arrogance) but she portrayed it as a “cultural sensitivity” “Charter of Rights” type of thing.

    You know despite what she said about needing only one person to complain to get the event canceled, I think she was wrong about that. If it was Fred, or Joe or whatever the white people’s name were who Sarah asked that filed the complaint I don’t think the community would let her cancel the event. But throw in the whole “minority group offended” thing, well then you are talking about lawsuits, perhaps even negative press in the national media and such.

  82. Kevin

    “And yeah, if one is an incumbent it is pretty hard to beat that person. Sure, it happens, but not frequently. At least not frequently enough.”

    Yeah, and if you do get a incumbent elected despite all the odds, after all that effort that person in the end becomes just as bad as the former one was.

  83. Max

    I heard about a school district that banned Halloween because one member of the Wiccan religion complained that it re-enforced negative stereotypes against witches. Now most other members of the Wiccan groups said that was silly and they didn’t want to ruin Halloween for others, but because of that one person, the school district canceled Halloween festivals.

    But you are right. I don’t see how the Mayor would be able to justify canceling an event if it was just Joe, Richard, or Harry (just made up the names, they aren’t necessarily characters in the show) filing the complaint. There has to be some kind of minority angle to it. And that is what Baber (and Amaar through his negative comments) provided.

  84. Kevin

    I believe what Max and I are saying Kay is that stuff like this really does happen.

    And sure sometimes its only a few members of the community that complains, and often there are even others who aren’t of the community that uses these people to promote their own agenda (like the Mayor did with Baber), but in the end the effect is the same.

    The event is canceled, and another Western Cultural tradition is lost.

    I am glad that these two episodes were shown back to back, as they dealt with the same theme.

  85. Max

    I found it interesting that Sarah couldn’t get a Canadian company to sponsor the event.

    Perhaps all the Canadian companies were afraid that if they did put their name to that event they would offend the Muslim community.

    Yeah, I know the Muslim community wasn’t offended by wheat week. But once a rumor like that is started it is hard to put an end to it, and the Canadian company would feel why take the risk of offending the Muslim community. Perhaps it wouldn’t offend the Muslim community but why even take the risk when it would just be easier for them not to put their name to the event.

  86. Bronwen

    “You can’t say that the States is a “pure” melting pot, either.”

    Not anymore and we are paying big time for it. We are starting to wonder “what does that sign say”.

    Hello, did you read what I wrote at all? The States has never been a pure melting pot. Part of New York is defined by Jewish culture, part by Italian, part by Irish. The IRA’s largest donations come from Irish Americans. The “Pennsylvania Dutch” are of German heritage. What about the Amish? African American culture? You think that sprung up in the last 100 years? It goes back to slavery, at which time they WERE still people and American citizens even if not treated as such. America has always been built of different cultures, and they haven’t always been melted together in a melting pot.

  87. Bronwen

    As for how multiculturalism is working out in the UK — it doesn’t work as well here, because it is a nation in which some people see themselves as having a “pre-ordained right” to be here — so they are pushing the “melting pot” model, ie, we’re all British, let’s unify, and not surprisingly, people don’t like that idea because it means running over their own heritage and burying it in another culture which is certainly no better, even if no worse. A mosaic model would work much better here, but the hard right of the Tories (and anything further right) will never allow it because ultimately the “English” feel they have more of a right to be in England, the Welsh in Wales, the Scots in Scotland.

    The joke, of course, is that they too are the descendants of Anglo-Saxon, Norman, or Celtic invaders of migrants. There were people here before the Celts. The UK is a nation of immigrants too — you just have to dig back farther, a few centuries up to a thousand years or two, instead of a few decades up to a century or two.

  88. Max

    They do have a “pre-ordained right” to be there.

    Now I can trace my family roots back 300 years in North America so I think I have a right to be in my country as well but like you said their roots go back thousands of years.

  89. Max

    “not surprisingly, people don’t like that idea because it means running over their own heritage and burying it in another culture”

    Then perhaps they shouldn’t move to the UK but instead stay in the country their culture is in.

  90. Bronwen

    A thousand years is a blink in human history. It’s nothing. All it takes is a little bit of perspective to see that.

    “Then perhaps they shouldn’t move to the UK but instead stay in the country their culture is in.”

    To answer one hoary cliche with another, I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.

  91. Max

    I am just saying that if they want to maintain their culture then the best way to do it is not to leave the country their culture is in.

    Now, for England, their culture (as one would expect) is English Culture.

  92. Max

    “not surprisingly, people don’t like that idea because it means running over their own heritage and burying it in another culture”

    Well maybe the British don’t like seeing their heritage and culture being run over and buried in other cultures.

  93. Bronwen

    “Now, for England, their culture (as one would expect) is English Culture.”

    Yeah, except England isn’t the country. The country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is inherently multicultural (Gaelic, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norman), evidenced by the English language itself, a hotch potch of French, Roman, Germanic, Norse, Arabic, you name it.

    British culture is multicultural.

    If you think everyone should go back where they or their families or ancestors originally came from, then the UK is a huge problem because practically everyone here is a moggy mishmash of Norman, Anglo-Saxon and Celt. To whence should we return? Because we all came from somewhere, and I speak as one born in London to a Welsh father and a mother of primarily English and Welsh background whose family also has strains of French, Spanish, and Italian. That we know of. There’s probably more. But at first glance — father Welsh, mother English, born in a London hospital to British citizenship on birth. Grew up in Canada. Canadian accent. Yet by your lights I have more “right” to be here than a third generation Brit whose family happened to immigrate to the UK to escape the violence of partition.

    Yeah. Right.

  94. Bronwen

    “everyone here is a moggy mishmash of Norman, Anglo-Saxon and Celt.”

    Big gaffe — by that, I mean, everyone who is by ancestry “English,” “Welsh,” or “Scottish” and caucasian is a mix of the above. Obviously there are huge numbers of Brits who do not share this particular cultural heritage but are genuinely British nonetheless.

  95. Kevin

    I agree with Max.

    You said “not surprisingly, people don’t like that idea because it means running over their own heritage and burying it in another culture”.

    Why shouldn’t the British feel the same way?

  96. Kevin

    I mean why shouldn’t the British feel the same way when they see their own heritage being run over.

  97. Bronwen

    “I mean why shouldn’t the British feel the same way when they see their own heritage being run over.”

    No one is running over British heritage. It’s alive and well.

  98. Kevin

    Multiculturalism is running over British Culture.

  99. Bronwen

    “Multiculturalism is running over British Culture.”

    BOSH. British culture is alive, kicking, and growing.

    When you say “British culture” you obviously think “English culture” or maybe “English, Scots, Welsh or Irish culture” (although actually the Irish aren’t British despite northern Ireland being part of the UK, but that’s another history lecture).

    So here, here is what YOU think of as British culture:

    Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/

    English Heritage: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.884

    National Trust:http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=national+trust&btnG=Search&meta=

    Tate Britain: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=tate+britain&btnG=Search&meta=

    National Portrait Gallery: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=national+portrait+gallery&btnG=Search&meta=

    Church of England: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=church+of+england&btnG=Search&meta=

    I COULD go on… want me to?

    I could mention that Welsh and Gaelic have both been subject to an intense and successful revival movement over the past two decades or so. I’ve never met a Welsh person my age, raised in Wales, who does not at least understand spoken Welsh, and for the most part they’re fluent in it. Lookie here — BBC Wales homepage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/

    So, “traditional” British culture is just fine — and, you will note, already multicultural being formed of English, Welsh, and Scots (and none of these being itself not homogenous because there is so much regional variation in England, south north and midlands, Wales, coasts, mountains, and valleys, and Scots lowlands and highlands).

    But British culture is more than this because being British means having British citizenship so every person on these isles with that little burgandy passport is part of British culture, enriching it and enlarging it. Britain’s favourite dish? CURRY. Fast being supplanted by hummus, of course.

    What you think of as British culture is a) fine and b) only part of the picture. British culture is not only alive — it’s growing. And THAT’s multiculturalism.

  100. Max

    I just voted in a primary/special election in the US today. When I went to the place to vote they had signs directing me to the specific room where voting was taking place.

    What’s wrong with that?

    Well the signs were in both English and Chinese (I am surprised they didn’t throw in Spanish).

    Now if someone needs Chinese Language signs to find out where to vote is it really a good idea for them to be voting in the first place (beside no one in my neighborhood even speaks Chinese).

    The whole “push #1 for English” mentality has now reached the voting booth watering down the votes of those people who actually care about America.

  101. Sara

    I have to say of all the episodes this season, intentional or not, this was the boldest, most profound episode of the entire season. Actually it was the boldest episode I have seen ever regarding multiculturalism.

    The profound nature of the statement “what does that sign say” I will never forget. It sums Multi-culturism up perfectly. It leaves people saying “what does that sign say” instead of reflecting the people as a whole.

    The fact that the idea was started by a White Anglo Canadian woman instead of the immigrant community was indeed significant. And once started of course it just snowballed with every ethnic group wanting a piece of it “or else’ truly reflected how things actually happens.

    And in the end, English was left out, since PC forbids having groups that advocates the domestic culture and language. Perhaps in real life English wouldn’t be forgotten but the symbolic nature of how ones domestic culture is forgotten in all this focus on multicultural indeed was spot on.

    Again, I don’t know if it intended to be, but it was a most courageous episode indeed.

    But I don’t get the symbolism in the fact that it were white males who knocked the English sign down not once but twice. Is it because the white males (and perhaps just white people in general) have neglected appreciating our domestic culture that multi cultism has taken root like a weed? Perhaps that was the indictment the show was making and if so I will have to ponder the validity of this indictment.

    The symbolism of the sign was the perfect way to bring up the issue of multiculturism and the destructive effects it has upon Western society.

    And then the next week the whole “Mercy Wheat” episode. Had it not been for this episode “Mercy Wheat” would have been the best episode with how we in the west are seeing our culture being destroyed bit by bit under the name of mult-culturism, tolerance and all. Again, in that episode it wasn’t the the Muslims but the white liberal anglo who was really behind it. But she couldn’t have done it without the help of a minority of the Islamic community (okay in this case it was a minority of one – Baber, but that is really all it takes).

    Two great episodes. I wonder if we will see such courage in writing next year regarding episodes.

    Television writing rarely reaches the quality of fine literature, but these two episodes seemed to excel in profound ways that any novelist would envy. And it all had to be done in less than 30 minutes instead of the length of a novel.

  102. Steve

    “Is it because the white males (and perhaps just white people in general) have neglected appreciating our domestic culture that multi cultism has taken root like a weed? Perhaps that was the indictment the show was making and if so I will have to ponder the validity of this indictment.”

    I think you have something there at least about what the writer was trying to say by having the white males knock down the signs.

    After all, they didn’t seem too respectful of the signs. And as the signs symbolizes Canadian Culture/the Common Culture of Mercy it would seem to be saying that white people (or at least traditional Canadians) don’t respect their own culture enough.

    Perhaps this is an indictment of Westerners in regards to how they treat their own culture. After all it took an immigrant uniting with his new Canadian community to put the spirit of Mercy back into the sign, all for the native anglo to knock it down again.

    And after all for all the talk of Western Culture how many anglos out there have read the works of William Shakespire. I know of non-whites who were not born in Western society who have great appreciation of his work but for lots of people who have been born and raised in Western Civilization they might have had Romeo and Juliet forced down them in High School but other than that have no other cultural literacy when it comes to Shakespire or most other aspects of Western Civilization.

    Whole books have been written about the decline of cultural literacy in Western Society. So, perhaps such a criticism is dead on.

  103. Steve

    Yasir got it.

    Sarah didn’t get it.

    Fred and his farmer friend didn’t get it.

    But Yasir got it.

    I think that is a very profound statement in and of itself and I believe it has much validity.

  104. Steve

    By the way Sara you are right about both episodes. They both obtained an “Yes, Minister” quality for social satire.

    And as a strong fan of that classical masterpiece that comes as high praise from me indeed.

  105. Nathan

    I am sad that the writers didn’t have the courage to do a follow-up on this episode during the last season.

    I guess they used up all their courage in season two.

    I would like to know if they did have Wheat Week the next year.

    A good episode would have been having Muslims from Toronto coming to Mercy to try to shut down the festival because they heard “how offensive to Muslims” it was. Yeah, I know it isn’t offensive to Muslims but once rumours like that get started they take on a life of the own and for the activist it soon doesn’t even matter if the event is offensive or not but instead is a blatant show of power. What matters is that the activist can prove that he can get his way.

    It would be great if the Mercy Muslims band together in defense of their community’s festival even though for most of them, newly arrived in the community, they don’t have the deep memories of this even that people who lived in Mercy their whole lives have of the festival. It would be great to see a minority, any minority, stand up not only when it effects them personally but when something effects the larger community. Especially, in cases where some group is claiming that they are destroying a tradition on their behalf when that’s not the case.

    Having Mercy’s Muslims stand up to the outsider Muslim group would show that Muslims could be just as loyal to their community as the next person. And in the end perhaps Rayyan (who herself grew up with Wheat Week) could tone down some of Ammar’s big city arrogance and contempt for Wheat Week and he too could learn how important local traditions are.

    (A big scene could be Ammar saying to the big wig Muslim activist guy “get out of my town”. That of course would be something profound for Ammar because up to this point Ammar has never considered Mercy to be “his town” but instead just the first stop along the way to a larger career.)

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