Netherlands: 'Halal Girls' best TV shows in 2007

They call them the Halal Girls.

They are three young sisters of Moroccan origin who have become TV stars in the Netherlands with a show that braves taboos and projects the true face of Islam.

"We are Dutch of Moroccan roots but we are above all proud Muslims," Esmaa Alariachi, 28, the elder sister, told

Esmaa and her sisters Jihad, 24, and Hajar, 23, began their talk show, The Halal Girls, on channel TV 5 two years ago.

"It all began when Jihad applying for a screen test at TV 5," Esmaa recalls.

"I was impressed to see hijab-clad girls with excellent communication skills, sharp minds and great sense of humor," Yam Coimann, the
director of the show, remembers his meeting with the trio after Jihad's test.

The channel then made the sisters an offer to host their own talk show tackling various social issues.

Since then, they have become the Netherlands's TV personalities.

During the past parliamentary elections, the sisters stole the limelight with their covering of the polls.

Their De Meiden van Halal was named one of the best TV shows in the Netherlands in 2007.

Breaking Taboos

However, the sisters' journey was not all rosy.

Right-wingers were not so impressed with the idea of three Muslim girls making a hit show.

"It was not easy at all for a devout hijab-clad girl to appear on TV," Esmaa, who was before the show an English language teacher, told IOL.

"But it's all behind us now."

During their journey to TV stardom, the girls had to wash away many taboos about Dutch Muslims.

"From the beginning, we were determined not to take part in anything that clashes with our religious beliefs," Esmaa said.

Yet, she added, they discussed almost everything, from drugs and crime and from sexual deviation to extremism.

"We are not afraid of speaking about anything," says a confident Esmaa.

"Our faith supports free speech and instructs us to have dialogue with our opponents."

Islam Image

The sisters believe their biggest success would be to dispel myths and misperceptions about Muslims, numbering one million of the country's 16 millions.

"Our show offers a chance to change people's perception of Islam which was deeply distorted after the murder of Theo Van Gogh," Esmaa says.

Filmmaker Van Gogh was killed by Dutch-born Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004 after making a controversial anti-Islam documentary.

Following the crime, immediately and vehemently condemned by Dutch Muslims, the country adopted a flurry of Europe's toughest entry and integration laws.

Many media outlets rushed to paint Muslims, all Muslims, as extremists or conservative recluses.

"Our aim is to show that Islam has nothing to do with extremism," Esmaa says.

"Extremists exist in every religion. Muslims are not all Bin Laden and Bouyeri.

"We are Muslims too."

Source: Islam Online (English)

1 comment:

Kleinverzet said...

What a mendacious piece of pseudo-reporting! What a laughable bit of islam-aggrandizement!

The Meiden van Halal never received a award or recognition for 'The best TV show in 2007'. Rather, the moment where Hans Teeuwen wipes the floor with the three Meiden with regard to free speech and the 'right to offend' in a multi-cult show entitled was voted TV-moment of the year.

Not because of the stellar performance by these three hijabis, but by the clear and sober argument with which Hans Teeuwen dresses them down. All the three girls did was make an utter fool of themselves, having nothing other to interject as 'insult this' or 'offensive that'. Just watch the video and listen to the aplause and cheers...

ANd this makes the Meiden van Halal heroes of islam? It really is a pathetic cult...