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-Malaysian Imam ‘Idol’?

by Dr. D ~ July 8th, 2010

image The most popular show on Malaysian TV is the reality show- "Imam Muda" or "Young Leader." It is kind of like an Malaysian Muslim version of American Idol though no good Muslim would want to be associated with an ‘idol’.

Young men compete to become an imam while being judged on every turn by a three-member panel of religious scholars, including chief judge Hasan Mahmud Al Hafiz, a former prayer leader at Malaysia’s national mosque.

According to Imam Al Hafiz:

"We have no shouting or jumping. We provide spiritual food. We’re not looking for a singer or a fashion model."

More than 1,000 men auditioned for the show. They had to recite prayers, complete major exams on Islam, and answer questions on current events and world leaders. Extensive background checks were completed on every contestant to ensure that all had a proper Muslim past.

The contestants are asked to perform duties that imams would be expected to do like counseling families who just lost loved ones, preparing dead bodies according to Muslim customs, and completing ceremonial burials. Also, visiting and providing religious counseling and instruction to residents of a women’s shelter and a home for abandoned children.

In the end the winners will receive an automobile, an all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Mecca, plus a job as prayer leader at a major mosque, and a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, along with a laptop computer and $6,400 in cash. Plus everyone in Malaysia will know them and want them as a son in law.

Response: Incredible. This really does show how culture and religion are intertwined in different ways among different people groups.

Can you imagine a TV show in America- ‘Becoming a Baptist Preacher’, ‘Dare to become a Rabbi’ or ‘So you want to be a Catholic Priest?’ Probably would not be so popular. Religion is important to many Americans but in a more private and diverse way. Obviously the Malaysians take it to another level entirely.

The majority of Americans might claim to be Christian but their faith is divided among many different denominations and groups none of which could generate enough numbers to support a popular national TV show of this nature. While the Malaysian Muslims would seem to be far more homogeneous in their Muslim religion.

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1 Response to -Malaysian Imam ‘Idol’?

  1. World Wide News Flash

    -Malaysian Imam ?Idol??…

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