Belfast Telegraph

Lives of young Muslims explored in gritty documentary series

A gritty and humorous series following the lives of young Muslims in the UK begins on Thursday, delving into the subject of dating.

The three-part Channel 4 documentary is called Extremely British Muslims, and the first episode is named All The Single Muslims.

The programme sees Nayera and Bella try to balance their priorities as 21st century women with the expectations of their family when it comes to finding a partner.

They talk about their dreams of romance, failed dates, family squabbles and the process of divorce in the Muslim community.

Speaking at the programme's launch in London last week, they said: "We want young girls to have a voice and show the world they are not oppressed and they can be modern British women with expectations and still love their family and religion."

The second episode, Boys To Men, sees Birmingham charity workers Waseem Iqbal and Naveed Ahmed use jokes, videos and personal stories to confront the key issues challenging young Muslim men growing up in difficult backgrounds.

The programme was filmed over a year as director Paddy Wivell worked with Muslim families and communities to allow him into their home lives, as wells as mosques and meetings with religious leaders.

"It was unbelievably difficult getting access," he said.

"Economics is the biggest factor to whether you feel free or not, and being young, deprived and Muslim can be a lot to bear."

Last in the series, The Rules, follows white "revert" Abdul - formerly Shaun - who tries to convince his family to understand the comfort and discipline he has found in the traditional rules of Islam.

:: All The Single Muslims airs on Channel 4 at 10pm on Thursday and the series will continue over the following two weeks.

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