The BBC has just released a two part insight into the average Muslims in the UK.
Part One can be found here.
Part Two can be found here.
Meet the Cast
Abdul Haq : A revert to Salafism who likes to speak his mind.
Saba : 76 Year old revert to Islam. Married to a Muslim and grew up in India.
Fehran : Openly Gay and ultra camp. He is tackling being gay and Muslim.
Mehreen : Dresses to impress the Instagram generation. A contrast to the stereotypical Muslim woman.
Nabil : A comedian and volunteer in a soup kitchen. Passionate about racism and equality issues. Possessive about his onions.
Barra : A Syrian who is studying in the UK.
Humaira : Used to wear the Niqab, but now sports a Youtube style hijabi look. A victim of racism when she was younger.
Mani : Pakistani roots , has just married his cousin from “Back home”, awaiting her visa.
Naila : Feisty and forward. Another contrarian choice as she does not fit the stereotypical Muslim woman label.
Zohra : From a shia background,
There were a few characters that stood out, there was Abdul Haq, who was the classic “Hot head salafi”. He is a revert who has loads of passion and enthusiasm, but seems to miss the point on occasion. Mehreen, which is pronounced like “Submarine” 🙂 again means well but seems to have strong views on how a woman should look.
Was the show entertaining? Yes.
Was it informative? Not really.
As with so many of these “Reality” or Fly on the wall shows, they are heavily engineered and edited to increase the entertainment factor to its maximum. Often at the cost of gaining any insight into the reality of the views held. Abdul Haq for example. He has clearly been down the Salafi path, which so many reverts have, and hasn’t quite made it out of that phase. It would have been a real service to see him realise that the beliefs he had been indoctrinated with, are not true representations of Islam, but merely that of his Saudi -Salafi sect.
Some of the ladies also grappled with the issue of how to determine what is “right”, or how do they get the correct answer to their Islamic questions. One hadn’t given up prayer and instead wrote letters. They saw nothing wrong in that approach.