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Zarqa Nawaz surprised by her own prejudice

Zarqa Nawaz is used to straddling two cultures. She's Muslim, with a Pakistani background. She grew up in Toronto but now lives in Regina. In 2007 she created the CBC sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie and she's just written a book called Laughing All the Way to the Mosque.
Zarqa Nawaz is used to straddling two cultures. She's Muslim, with a Pakistani background.  
She grew up in Toronto but now lives in Regina.

In 2007 she created the CBC sitcom  Little Mosque on the Prairie and she's just written a book called  Laughing All the Way to the Mosque.

A lot of Zarqa's work is about challenging stereotypes. She recently had an encounter with a fan that got her thinking about her own prejudices.

Check out the rest of our conversation about race
A 13 year old boy from Christian Island Indian Reserve got in touch with her. He was a fan of her work and wanted a signed copy of her book.

She also noticed he was following her on Twitter.


"I noticed that some of [his tweets] were in Urdu," she recalled. "He had the daughter of Benazir Bhutto following him... he was tweeting about Pakistan and how he hoped they would have a stable, democratic government soon."

Nawaz admitted that she wasn't expecting a 13 year old who lived on a reserve to be tweeting about Pakistani politics.

"It didn't jive with what I thought he was," she admitted. "I thought he'd be interested in hunting and fishing and all those things that aboriginal people are interested in."

Nawaz recognized that she did the same exact thing that people who have stereotypes about Muslim women as being meek and oppressed have done to her.

"I felt terrible that I had pigeon-holed him," said Nawaz. "You realize how powerful stereotypes are and how they influence everyone." 



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