Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Woman Wins Title Of Best Preacher on Malaysian Islamic TV Reality Show

Malaysia is getting more progressive, they're actually producing reality TV shows. Granted, you won't see any sexy men and women trying to survive on a desert island vying to win a car and $1,000,000. Nope, in Malaysia's popular "Solehah" ("pious female") which aired on Malay cable television station TV AlHijrah, the contestants were veiled young Muslim women between the ages of 20 and 30 who were competing to win the title of best female preacher, along with a trip to Mecca, $10,000 and a car.
The 13-episode primetime program titled “Solehah,” an Arabic word meaning “pious female,” judged young Muslim women on their religious knowledge, oratory skills and personality.
An all male version called "Imam Muda" aired on another TV station, but women are trying to make headway in a conservative Islamic society. 600 women auditioned for the show, and the final episode had the all-female  judges choosing between 10 would-be-preachers.
Clad in colorful traditional Malay clothing with headscarves, the 10 took turns presenting Islamic teachings on moral values on a stage whose magenta lights at times seemed more suited to a song contest. They were judged on their ability to “da’wah” (an Arabic word meaning to spread Islam). In practice, it means delivering religious lectures to Muslims to encourage them to be better Muslims. The contestants were also tested on their ability to complete various tasks, such as helping orphans and renovating a rundown mosque.
Amie Sofia Ahmad, was the grand prize winner. The 25-year-old studied in Egypt and hopes women will be more accepted as preachers.  Good luck with that.  She said,
“We will try slowly ... We will try to change (people’s ideas) without going against Islamic laws,” the serious-looking young woman, her head covered with a yellow scarf, told Reuters. “It may not happen immediately, but eventually it will come, God willing.”
Probably not in her lifetime.

And there might be a season two, which would include foreign contestants.  At least their outfits are colorful.

I wonder if they'd consider a Christian, non-Muslim TV reality show, and could they get any advertisers to commit?

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