29 June 2007

TV's Muslim Exchange Program

Just heard about the upcoming TV sitcom Aliens in America, in which a typical American family takes in a foreign exchange student. The mother is picturing "an athletic, brilliant Nordic teen who will bestow instant coolness on her outsider son." Instead, they find themselves greeting a Pakistani Muslim boy.

I'm hopeful that the show -- like the successful Canadian comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie -- will find a humorous way to raise discuss concerns (and stereotypes) about Islam, as well as about the commonality of these boys in facing the awkwardness of high school. And about aliens becoming human -- whether the alienation is that of the boys' adolescent transition, the mother's suburban isolationism, or the sister's interracial dating. That's right...don't assume that the "alien" in the show's title is restricted to the exchange student.

For an insightful preview of the show from a Muslim perspective, read Rizwan Mohammad's "Mad About Aliens in America" at altmuslim.com.

Watch Aliens in America previews
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