Season 3 – Episode 14 – Raised Expectations

Synopsis: When Amaar’s humble negotiations for a raise bear no fruit, Fred takes it upon himself to act as Amaar’s agent and shake down Baber – the Mosque treasurer – for all he’s worth.

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 topics from the episode that you want to discuss?

  • Imam’s Raise
  • Mosque Treasurer
  • Fred as an Agent


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32 responses to “Season 3 – Episode 14 – Raised Expectations

  1. Brian

    I loved how Rayaan and JJ were pussyfooting around the issue of him seing her hair. The sexual tension of the matter was hilarious and well-played. Great episode.

  2. Nathan

    If Sarah was in high school 20 years ago, that means she had Rayaan before she graduated, assuming Rayaan is in her twenties.

  3. Steve

    Please Nathan, one thing you don’t question women on is their age (Yasir did first say 30 years ago).

  4. Steve

    I guess since it is only a half hour show so it can’t really cover everything, but wasn’t the point of Amaar’s raise wasn’t so much that he needed the money but instead an affirmation of the progress he is making in life?

    It is true that particularly in Western society we often judge ourselves and our success and how we think we are progressing by money. I have even heard Billionaires say that yeah, after the first few billion then money isn’t important to them for what they can buy since by then they can buy anything they want. But the money is still important to them because it’s a “way to keep count”. It is a way for them to know if they are progressing through life.

    Amaar may be an Imam but although he never really took to being an attorney, still at least some of his father’s ambition has worn off on him. Amaar has said more than once that he doesn’t plan to live in Mercy forever. He sees this as a first step along his path. Surely if he hits the five year mark and is still in Mercy he is going to feel like he hasn’t been progressing.

    How should an Imam or any of us measure our progress?

  5. Steve

    By the way, Amaar says he gives a weekly sermon.

    Well that is what Pastors call it as well.

    Is that what it is really called?

    In this show when I think of Amaar’s role I think Pastor. Perhaps this something that no one can answer since those who have been to a church service haven’t seen what goes on in a Mosque and vice versa but is it an accurate comparison to say that the role of an Imam is like that of a Pastor? Is there any way the two roles are dissimilar?

  6. It’s called a khutbah.

    I think Amaar actually needed the money. There was that episode he worked for Yasir to make some extra cause he was barely eating.

  7. Bronwen

    I’ve been to a mosque for service although I’m Anglican. In terms of giving leadership, spiritual guidance, and daily tasks around the mosque, I’d say an imam’s role is basically the same as a minister, priest or pastor. My guess is the same would go for a rabbi. The main differences with imams is there is currently no particular educational requirement — the community simply chooses someone who they feel is learned in Islam and will make a good spiritual leader.

    Also, the khutbah I heard was pretty much a sermon, just with suras from the Qur’an as holy text instead of verses from the Bible; but the same moral messages, the same lessons from the text to be extrapolated to how to live one’s daily life. (The bits and pieces that we’ve seen of Amaar’s khutbahs seem the same.)

  8. I can’t believe how much of a moron JJ is. Though that is the same for most muslim guys in their 20s 😉

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  11. Greg

    For those of us who have problems with Muslims, its not because many of their women wear a hijab or most of the other pseudo conflicts they bring up in this show.

    We have a problem with stuff like this.

    So I really can’t see how this show can help to bring us all together when it refuses to discuss the real things that are tearing us apart.

  12. Greg

    The only thing I don’t understand about JJ is are they portraying his character realistically?

    Now he is a foreigner, a citizen of Dubai, but he seems like just another Canadian, personality wise I mean, just like Rayyan, Amaar, and Layla. Did JJ grow up in Canada and only later did his family move back to Dubai?

    Also, JJ is rich. And I don’t mean a little rich. Does anyone have any idea what is going on in Dubai? Dubai is said to currently have 15-25% of all the world’s cranes. It is building the worlds only 7 star hotel with its own indoor skiing and other incredible facilities in the hotel. It has the world’s tallest building. What is going on is the most tremendous growth concentrated in one place in all of human history.

    No, JJ is rich beyond most of our imagination. Yet he is so humble. Perhaps that could indeed be a possibility. A super rich guy who is still humble and seems like everyone else. After all Amaar himself is quite wealthy, though not even remotely close to JJ, and he doesn’t show it. Of course with Amaar he is purposely pretending to be poor as part of his calling. I mean if he wanted to he could ask his Dad for some kind of allowance and his Dad would give it to him but right now he is enjoying “being out on his own” and living like “they” do.

    Trust me, I met a lot of these “poor” rich kids in college. And it is much easier being “poor” when you know that you can stop being “poor” when you have had enough of that.

    But getting back to JJ, heck he could buy the whole town of Mercy if he wanted to and everyone in it. Does Yasir really think JJ would spend most of his time in Mercy in that house he remodeled next to Fred Tupper’s? Perhaps the writers have already thought about this and this indeed will be what inevitably causes JJ and Rayyan’s breakup. But regardless of how humble JJ may be there is no way he is going to live in a house like that in Mercy when he can live in a Mansion beyond imagination in Dubai. And besides, Dubai, not Mercy is where his business is so there is a practical aspect to living in Dubai as well.

    Perhaps he could divide his time between Dubai and Mercy after developing some business interests in Mercy. But how many skyscrapers can the Mercy economy maintain? Of course that question is some what rhetorical because it can’t maintain even one.

  13. Steve


    This is the same Amaar who just jumped on an International Flight to Mecca at a moment’s notice.

    Now I might believe that he actually needed the money if they had an episode where Amaar’s parents were so totally opposed to him being an Imam that they totally cut him out of their life.

    Perhaps as a result of that friend’s daughter dying in India after the advice Amaar gave her.

    But there was no such episode. As we saw, while they are not totally supportive of his calling, they have generally come to see it as a good thing for him. He is not estranged from them.

    No doubt the extra money would have been nice for him because he does seem to be “doing it on his own” but I don’t think that was why he wanted the raise.

    He wanted to know he was getting somewhere with his calling of being an Imam. He wanted to know he was progressing. He needed it as an affirmation of his ability as an Imam and perhaps even a symbol of their appreciation of him and what he has contributed to their community.

  14. Steve

    Good point Greg about JJ.

    I hope they have a “Wheat Week” II episode.

    This year outside forces come to Mercy to try to stop Wheat Week. You know some Muslim activists from Toronto coming because they heard that Mercy was having this event despite the fact that it was offensive to Muslims.

    Of course the truth we all know was that only Barber was offended after prodding from Sarah, but once such a rumor gets started it takes a life of its own and in the end the activists really don’t care if it is offensive or not. They only care that it is perceived as offensive and that is enough for them as if they could shut it down it would show their political strength.

    I believe it would be great to see the Muslims of the town of Mercy, stand up against these big city Muslim activists and even Amaar who himself did proclaim his disapproval of “Wheat Week”. Last time it didn’t matter that he wasn’t speaking as Amaar the Imam, but instead Amaar the arrogance big city Torontorian. Amaar is the Imam, the spiritual leader of the Muslim community in Mercy, and despite why he might say something he does have to be careful that something he might say out of personal preference isn’t mistaken for speaking for Muslims as a whole. And last time that is how it was taken. But this time, perhaps he can redeem himself by standing up to the Torontorian activists who want to deny a town of it’s annual traditional festival just to show their political clout.

    Perhaps at the end, since the city would be unable to get any sponsors because the companies would fear being labeled “anti-Muslim” perhaps JJ and his family’s company can sponsor the whole event.

  15. Steve

    Of course if JJ’s Family sponsors it then in the Dubai tradition it would be the biggest “Wheat Week” ever far surpassing what you would think a small town could put on. Fireworks, Ferris Wheels and everything.

    Which would totally embarrass the Toronto Muslim Activists. Here was an event that they were trying to shut down on the basis of being offensive to Muslims actually being sponsored by a prominent Muslim family.

  16. Steve

    Last time Amaar totally denounced Wheat Week which helped the political forces who were trying to get Wheat Week stopped on the premise that it was offensive to Muslims.

    That isn’t why he denounced it but Amaar is the spiritual leader of the Muslims of Mercy and he needs to realize that his statements can be taken in that light and of course this time there were those who for their own political reasons were more than willing to take it in that light.

    He would really redeem himself if in the end he made a public statement denouncing the Muslim Activists and in support of Mercy, a town who he has in the past thought of with disdain in a typical big city Toronto attitude but where now he feels a part of.

    It would be a great sequel to last years episode which was one of the best episodes of the whole series. I believe it was only second to the sign episode which was one of the most daring episodes ever.

  17. Steve

    The best episode this year was the “Hippies are intolerant” episode where Layla tells off that stoner kid “Tree”.

  18. Greg

    I don’t think Amaar fully understands the responsibilities he now has as an Imam. What I mean by that is as an Imam people are going to take his advice as an Imam where they might not have as “just Amaar”.

    And moreover as being the only Imam in Mercy, he really does wherever he wants to or not, have the role of being the “spiritual spokesman” for the Muslims of Mercy. He has to be careful that what he says isn’t misinterpreted by others as representing “the Muslim community as a whole”. At least when he doesn’t want it to.

    Perhaps it would be a good episode where Nate keeps going to Amaar for his opinions, and when Nate puts them in the newspaper he puts them in as “the Muslim position is” or the “position of the Muslim community” is, “Mercy’s Muslims stance on the issue is”, etc. All the other Muslims could get upset at Amaar because he doesn’t necessarily speak for all of them on all issues, and of course Amaar isn’t trying to but that is how Nate is reporting it (which unfortunately is pretty true to life with how journalists report things).

    I guess the writers would have to be kind of careful not to make it too much like the “rules” episode but I think they could.

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  20. And again, this issue hasn’t really been addressed in this show.

    People don’t have a problem with “Mercy’s” Muslims.

    We never did.

    So this show should discuss where we do have problems with Muslims.

  21. Steve

    Well it was kind of addressed in the Wheat Week episode but in that case the Muslim community wasn’t really offended. People just thought they were because a few members of the Muslim community (okay it was only one but it is a small town) spoke out against it.

    But what if something happened in the town that really, really, really offended the Muslim community to the core. I am thinking of a Folsom Street Fair type parade right down the street that Fatima has her cafe. What would the appropriate response of the Muslim community in Mercy be to that.

    And just from a Political Correctness sense of things it would be interesting to find out of Gay beats out Muslim, and Fatima is Black so does Gay beat out Black Muslim. Cultural Marxism gets so complicated at times. Poker is much easier.

    Three of a Kind Beats Two Pair. But does Black Woman Muslim beat out Male Hispanic Homosexual?

    Well does it?

  22. JJ is perfectly realistic. Greg–what are you expecting, an accent? There are plenty of people who grew up in foreign countries their entire lives and speak better English than Steve. And without even the trace of an accent. And if you’re talking about personality or something, college is the same everywhere. But I guess with your inability to even be able to separate religion from culture (’cause they totally did it because they’re Muslim, not ’cause they’re psychos right?), I’m not the least bit surprised.

  23. Greg

    Steve, I would hope that the Muslims would do the same thing that all decent people of Mercy would do – try to get the thing stopped.

    That’s not really the same thing as what happened in the UK. I think a good comparison would be if they tried to get Fred Tupper off the air, which they haven’t tried to do in the show.

    Nahida, you make a good point. We don’t have a problem with Muslims. We have a problem with foreigners coming from Muslim countries. That is an important distinction but in this show they really don’t emphasize the foreigness of the Muslims in Mercy, and in fact at least half them aren’t foreign but were born and raised in Canada, so the show isn’t really addressing the community we have our concerns about.

    You have to admit though, it’s pretty bad PR when such a prominent Muslim in Buffalo New York cuts off his wife’s head. Although the press is to surely under report and downplay this incident.

  24. Greg

    “JJ is perfectly realistic. Greg–what are you expecting, an accent? ”

    Sure, why not?

  25. Steve

    It would be interesting if they did have an episode or two about conflicts that might arise between the Muslims who were born and raised in the west and those who have lived in the west a long time with those who just have newly arrived in Canada from Muslim countries.

    As they would probably have the same problems with them that the rest of us do.

  26. Steve

    All the “extras” you see in the scenes they do when they show the Mosque ceremony, most all those people seem like they are immigrants.

    But as for the Muslim characters themselves yeah about half of them are Canadians. Yasir seemed to have been traveled enough and of course he has lived in Canada with Sarah long enough to be Westernized, and really the most “foreign” of them would be Barber who himself has been in Canada quite some time.

  27. Steve

    Regarding, JJ, if you didn’t know anything about geography, you would assume Dubai must be some other Canadian Province because he seems no less Canadian than the rest of the characters. Heck, he seems far less foreign than Barber.

    Although I guess his shirt seems foreign. But apart from that there doesn’t seem much to distinguish the fact that he is indeed a foreigner and not a Canadian.

  28. Steve

    And come on. They should have at least one, perhaps two but at least on character on the show named Mohamed.

    As it seems in real life that is the name of every other male Muslim.

  29. Steve


    I loved this quote:

    “Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.”

    Bitter irony indeed wouldn’t you say.

  30. AC

    JJ IS Canadian. I think it was said several times in the episodes leading up to his courting of Rayyan that he grew up in Canada and that the two families (the Hamoudis and the Jaffers) used to see each other often when Rayyan and JJ were children. (She referred to him as a geek or something along those lines and did not get along with him when they were children, which was one of the reasons why she was so surprised when he reappeared in her life.)

  31. farah

    Hey, I’ve never been to the US, and I speak perfect American – Californian- accent. We do have cable in KSA, you know. We watch movies and TV shows, we listen to rock and R&B music… etc… that’s how we’re able to muster the American or Canadian accent.

  32. Oh yeah, I’d forgotten that JJ had spent his childhood in Canada.

    Even if he hadn’t though, some parts of Dubai are quite Westernized, and many children attend British or American schools, in English, and speak English without an accent (besides a British, Canadian, or American one, of course).

    JJ’s really annoying me, though. He’s so wishy-washy and boring! Sure, he’s “nice,” but BORING!

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