Make Me a Muslim
Channel 4 Sunday 16 December 2007 at 8pm
Can Islam help repair the moral fabric of British society? To test it out, Imam Ajmal Masroor asks six non-Muslims and one lapsed Muslim to follow Islamic teachings for three weeks. The six come from Harrogate, in Yorkshire, a town with very few ethnic minority inhabitants.
How will the six volunteers cope with living according to the laws of the Qur'an? The group finds it difficult to accept the principle tenets of Islam and, for some, the implications of the experiment are far-reaching. Karla, a white British Christian and her boyfriend Ash, a lapsed Muslim, have been dating for two years. So far Ash's conservative Muslim family have refused to meet Karla but she hopes that by immersing herself in their way of life she may convince them to accept her.
The process starts with a sweep of the group’s homes for items that are haram – forbidden by Islam – such as alcohol, pork, inappropriate clothing, lads’ mags… The next stage is to add a schedule of praying five times a day. The rebellion begins almost immediately. Taxi driver Phil retreats to his local pub for pork pies and beer; others object to the rigid dress codes and say that they disagree with many aspects of the faith.
To Ajmal’s disappointment, only three turn up for Friday prayers at the end of the first week. The group are more resistant to Muslim teaching than he had imagined. So will he and his team of mentors be able to convince the wayward group that Islam really does have something to offer them?