AETN to air documentary Islam in Arkansas

Posted: November 21, 2013 at 2:58 a.m.

Sister Waheedah Shaheed is featured in the 30-minute special Islam in Arkansas airing at 10:30 p.m. Friday on AETN. She explains the use of the hijab, or veil, worn by Muslim women.

The 2010 documentary Islam in Arkansas airs at 10:30 p.m. Friday on AETN. Its goal is “to go beyond stereotypes and misconceptions to explore the lives, religion and community impact of Muslims in Arkansas.”

I haven’t had an opportunity to preview the film, but here’s this from the AETN news release: “According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, more than 90 percent of Arkansans as a whole report themselves to be Christians, but a steadily growing 1 percent of Arkansas residents proclaim themselves to be practitioners of Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world.

“Featuring a range of interviews and community service projects, Islam in Arkansas encourages viewers to meet their Islamic neighbors and break down perceived barriers.”

One review of the half hour film says it “reveals [Muslims’] perspective on Christianity, terrorism, and the stereotypes they face. It also helps shed light on some of the burning questions surrounding the religion and its followers.”

Directed by independent filmmaker Michad Holliday, the documentary allows “native and immigrant members of Arkansas’ diverse Muslim population to discuss their beliefs, their community of worshippers and how they work to make a positive impact in their neighborhoods.”

Those interviewed include Imam Aquil Mohammed, entrepreneur, master chef and member of the New Africa Nation’s mosque, The Islamic Center for Human Excellence in Little Rock.

He will discuss his mosque’s efforts to renovate and restore a portion of southwest Little Rock along Wright Avenue.

In addition, Sisters Waheedah Shaheed and Clarshun Beya of Clara Mohammed School will seek to provide clarity and a new perspective on the wearing of the hijab - the traditional veil worn by Muslim women - and the lives of female Muslims.

More AETN. At 6:30 p.m. Friday, AETN will feature the “energy-infused dance rock and rollicking personality” of Booyah! Dad in its latest from AETN Presents: On the Front Row.

AETN Presents, celebrating its 10th anniversary season, is part of AETN Arts Fridays, featuring arts and culture programming and locally produced series.

AETN tells us, “Booyah! Dad was born in the back of a duplex in Little Rock and features J.R. Top on guitar,synthesizer and vocals; Andy Warr on bass and vocals; and Chad Condor on drums.

“The band calls itself a crossbreed of ZZ Top and the Talking Heads, with influences such as Blue Cheer and Buck Owens.”

Later at 9 p.m. will be Nashville 2.0, which showcases a variety of musical genres “through the vibrancy of Nashville’s Americana music scene.”

Perfect casting. Creator Ryan Murphy has revealed legendary Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks will guest star on a future episode of American Horror Story: Coven on FX.

That’s all we know so far, but I’m betting she wears all black and twirls around and around and around.

The series airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday and has been renewed for Season 4 next year.

Return dates. Which is your favorite, Rizzoli or Isles?

That’s not fair. It’s like asking you to pick between Cagney and Lacey, or Starsky and Hutch, Laverne and Shirley, or even Beavis and Butthead.

Whether you prefer Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) or Isles (Sasha Alexander), you can see both crime busters when they return to the air following their winter break.

Rizzoli & Isles returns at 8 p.m. Feb. 25, followed at 9 by Perception starring Eric McCormack.

Not canceled. Viewers have notoriously short memories, and one of the problems with giving a series an extended hiatus is that viewers assume it’s canceled.

Can’t blame them. The networks make a big fuss when a show debuts, but tend to quietly euthanize it when it fails. If you don’t see a show for a while, you assume it has been canned.

That’s sure to be the case with Ravenswood, the Pretty Little Liars spinoff on ABC Family. Here’s the plan. Make notes.

After the break, Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family’s No. 1 series of all time) will return at 7 p.m. Jan. 7. Ravenswood follows at 8. Twisted will return at 8 p.m. Feb. 11.

Season 3 of Switched at Birth kicks off at 7 p.m. Jan. 13. That’ll be followed at 8 with new episodes of The Fosters.

On the horizon. You’ve heard the rumors; here’s the scoop.

Helix, Syfy’s latest scripted series, will debut at 9 p.m. Jan. 10. The 13-episode first season stars Billy Campbell (The Killing, Killing Lincoln) and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine). It’s a thriller about scientists “who travel to a high-tech research facility to investigate a possible disease outbreak.

Cosby special. Bill Cosby’s first TV concert special in 30 years airs at 7 p.m. Saturday on Comedy Central.

The 90-minute special, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished, will deal with relationships, marriage and children.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Weekend, Pages 33 on 11/21/2013