Reality TV Gets Religious


Imam Muda (Young Leader), a Malaysian reality show, is to selecting a young religious leader what American Idol is to selecting a young pop star. On Friday, the first season will come to an end, after a finale featuring two young men debating religion and news, and reciting from the Koran. The show started with ten contestants, all competing to prove they would make the best Imam, and was whittled down using competitions that involved “washing corpses in preparation for burial and ensuring that animals are slaughtered according to Islamic principles.” The prize is money, a car, and also “a job as an imam, a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia and an all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Mecca.” [NYT]