Why Channel 4 Documentary "My Week As A Muslim" is a success

Muslim woman using her iphone

Muslim woman using her iphone
Muslim woman using her iphone

There is a lot of criticism out there for the Channel 4 Documentary called “My Week As a Muslim” that was aired tonight.

A lot of it is based on the fact that a non Muslim was taken and “black-faced” to fit as a Muslim/Pakistani stereotype instead of actually talking to actual Muslims.

There are a lot of comments on it on Twitter, a lot of ridicule.

However I think that is part of what makes it a success.

A lot of the comments are accurate. It shouldn't take a white woman to disguise herself as a Pakistani Muslim woman to see the abuse and hate that Muslims can experience.

But it has taken that.

Hate crime is not a new thing. Racist attacks are not a new thing. Even murder of Muslims due to their beliefs is not a new thing.

But for many all of those can be shrugged off because they are happening to others, someone else that they do not identify with.

Those that do not shrug those incidents off are not the main target of this type of documentary. Everyone else is.

It really took a white woman to dress as a Pakistani Muslim for some people to think about the topic.



A lot of ridicule is coming from people who are simply annoyed about the fact a white woman has been browned up to represent what Muslim women encounter on an everyday basis. 

They are missing the point.

OK it raised awareness. Had it been a Pakistani woman, maybe there wouldnt be as much hype.

 What about a solution now? Why does no one bat an eyelid when this happens in public? She just spent a week dressing up. What about women who dress like this everyday? 

I don't intend to watch this. Channel4 are obsessed. First it was "Muslims like us" .. whats next.."Im a Muslim get me out of here". 


I love how on Twitter everyone hated the documentary.

The normal people were patronised.

The Muslims were ignored.

The Bigots think this is part of a conspiracy at bringing in “Sharayah Law” or something.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Waiting for ISIS to claim responsibility next


I glanced at the article, read the comments and then was about to move on. Then thought, I shall have a look at the program.

What I found interesting was, was this your typical Muslim family? I mean is there such a thing as a middle class Muslim household as there are in the mainstream community?

Saima was married to a man who works abroad; Saima is a teacher and spends a considerable time outside of the home. She as raised four girls quite well, plus one young boy. She openly states that they live in a predominately Muslim area in North Manchester. But are they your average Muslim family?

Katie, who comes from south Manchester, as she said herself, where she lives is mainly all ethnic brits [whatever that means] and also had a very anti view point. Why are they here, they are taking over, why don’t they live like us etc.

Katie and Saima both meet and after the usual niceties asked were Saima come from, Saima replies “I was born in Manchester”, but my parents came from Pakistan.

It was also interesting how Saima’s daughters don’t appear to socialise much outside the home and appear to be happy with it? [Yet later on show Katie how they dress in the privacy of their home] and take Katie to their favourite place for cake and ice cream. Katie’s daughter from what I saw, appears to have more freedom? Plus Katie only has the one child, whereas Saima has five.

It was a coincidence that the Manchester Arena bombing took place at the same time. [It took courage on Katie’s part to carry on] but it did show two things, 1] how most of the people in the Muslim community Katie came in contact with appeared to be genuinely shocked. [Saima even commented that she had Muslim friends whose children where at the Arena] and 2] Even though Katie was filmed going home in her Pakistani regalia and passing her local pub, were she had comments shouted at her. Even Katie’s mother was shocked by her appearance and said, “ I don’t like it.” There has not been any retaliation against the Pakistani Muslim community.

So full marks for Brits, be they Pakistani Brits or ethnic Brits for showing tolerance.

There was talk about the Islamic dress code Hijab v Burqa. I was surprised by the comment it was difficult to read faces behind the Burqa, you don’t know if they are laughing at us. Saima’s friend did say that she did wear a Burqa for three years and did have a bit of a giggle at other people’s responses. I know in my local Tesco’s I see a Muslim woman in a Burqa I tend to feel a bit uncomfortable, but on approaching a Muslim woman in a Hijab and doing the usual trolley two step in the aisle and the exchange of a smile I don’t feel uncomfortable. Then again that’s my own opinion.

There was the meeting with the marriage arranger lady [I liked Katie’s comment, “she looks and spoke like my gran] also when Katie stood in as a chaperone at an introduction I was surprised at two things, 1] How westernised the girl dressed and acted. And 2] the response of the boy when he said, “I am looking for a wife to live in the household with my family” and the girl said basically “I want a man who I can start a home of my own with.” With that the introduction ended?

In the discussions afterwards with Saima’s daughters, they said that they were not in any hurry to marry, even thought the eldest daughter was 21. I suppose this presents a problem with the Muslim millennial generation. Girls are fairly well educated and don’t want to live with their in-laws and bring up lots of children. While some of the Boys expect a girl to be like their mothers who appear to be subservient to their father. As the restrictions are severe on the bringing brides into the UK, be they Muslim or not, this can present it’s own problems.

I thought it was an interesting production, I might if I get the time have a look at Extremely British Muslims, http://www.channel4.com/programmes/extremely-british-muslims

I also liked Me’s comment

“Waiting for ISIS to claim responsibility next” and “What’s next I’m a Muslim get me out of here.”

It shows that Muslims may have a sense of humour after all. The again, a get me out of here show with 6 Muslims and 6 non-Muslim celebrities appearing together would make for interesting viewing. But let the people vote for the 12 celebreties?