Taboo Comedy pp 97-116 | Cite as

Taboo Humanity: Paradoxes of Humanizing Muslims in North American Sitcoms

  • Kyle Conway
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)


This chapter examines the Canadian sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, which ran on Canada’s national broadcaster from 2007 to 2012. It sought to ‘humanize Muslims’, but in a paradoxical way. It presupposed that ‘regular’ viewers were non-Muslim, and as a result, ‘humanizing Muslims’ meant erasing visible markers of difference. To talk about belief, writers had to privilege simplicity over complexity. Some traits were entirely out of bounds: ‘humanizing Muslims’ meant avoiding negative emotions such as anger and indignation. Hence the paradox: ‘humanizing’ Muslim characters meant cutting them off from much of what it means to be human.


Personal Interview Hate Crime Muslim Community Visible Minority Public Broadcaster 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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