Islamic Channel, the London-based, Islamic-focused satellite TV channel, is preparing to launch an interfaith game show with contestants from different religions as part of efforts to promote knowledge and respect of all faiths.
"It's about transferring the basic blocks of knowledge," Abrar Hussain, producer of the "Faith Off" show, told The Guardian on Tuesday, May 27.
The interfaith game show will feature Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Buddhist contestants.
The eight-part series will be hosted by Muslim stand up comedian Jeff Mirza and is expected to feature all of the flashing lights, a garish set, loud buzzers and puns common to ordinary game shows.
But instead of questions about celebrities and soaps, contestants will be expected to demonstrate their religious knowledge.
In each episode, two teams of four will go head to head answering questions on their own faith and the opposing team's for points.
In another round, players will have to identify religious figures, such as the Dalai Lama and the Pope, from blurred footage.
There will also be quick-fire and general knowledge questions and a multiple choice current affairs section.
Contestants are not theologians or scholars but rather people with varying degrees of knowledge.
Some of them applied directly to online adverts on Muslim websites, while others were picked through Islam Channel's networks.
The winning team will be awarded modest cash prizes.
"We'd like to offer more but it's not about winning, it's about taking part," maintains Hussain.
The producer, who previously created Islamic Channel's hit show "Model Mosque", a competition to find Britain's best mosque, notes Britons need to know more about different religions.
"You learn about religions at school and then you forget," notes Hussain.
"I know a bit about Christianity but nothing about Judaism."
He believes the show would promote good relations and mutual respect between the different faith communities in multiethnic Britain.
"It's also about learning the similarities between religions, instead of focusing on the differences."
Danny Judelson, a 42-year-old Jewish contestant, agrees.
He believes promoting religious education through a game show is "an original idea."
"I thought it was interesting that the channel were taking seriously the opportunity to educate their audience," he told The Guardian.
"There's a very serious purpose behind it."
Source: Islam Online (English)
See also: UK: Model Mosques show