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Written by: Hamzah Moin
NBC’s new game show, Daleel or No Daleel, has taken network television by storm. Many critics believed such a show would be canceled after one episode, but its ratings continue to climb with extraordinary numbers.
“This show is a huge hit to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences alike,” says NBC Executive Jeff Yucker, “it’s probably the greatest game show of all time.”
A lot of members in the Muslim community agree. “I used to think that watching game shows was a complete waste of time, but Daleel or No Daleel has showed me that wasting time can be educational,” says local back-up Imam Abdul Quyyum Razi.
The game concept is quite simple: a contestant picks one of thirty shaykhs and challenges them to give a fatwa on the spot. If a shaykh gives a fatwa without any daleel (proof), the contestant must shout out “NO DALEEL!” However, some shaykhs will have proof and a contestant has to make sure not to mistakenly yell out “NO DALEEL” to the person.
Although some of the shaykhs on the show are qualified and have proper teaching licenses, some shaykhs are hired actors by NBC to throw contestants off. “Some of them are really easy,” says contestant Pamela Palmer, “like the easy ones are obvious. Like in this game, I had “Pork is Halal when nobody is around” or “Beard is only good for picking up sisters at Muslim Fun Day at the mosque.” Sometimes it’s easy to figure out which guy doesn’t have any daleel.”
The television advertisements have an edgy marketing campaign. It basically shows contestants getting too into the game and shouting “NO DALEEL!” at everything. The commercial ends with the show’s slogan: “You want the daleel? You want the daleel? You can’t HANDLE the daleel!”
One stubborn contestant, Hasan Abdi refused to believe he was wrong. “All these guys standing up here are fools. I don’t see the need to consult the shaykhs. I study my Islam from the internet and internet alone. You type ISLAM in Google and presto, instant knowledge. I guess I follow Shaykh Google LOL. ”
Some concerned parents also feel that the show inspires children to annoyingly question everything. “When I told my kids that we’re having tuna casserole tonight they just turned around and shouted ‘NO DALEEL!’ to me. I mean, that doesn’t even make any sense” cited Hina Mubarak, mother of four.
Other members of the Muslim community think the show is completely dumb. “This is just as bad as those other shows like Wheel of Fitna or Who Wants to be an Imam?” said Iqbal Khan, local Muslim television show critic. “I’ve yet to see a quality Muslim-themed show.”
However, the show continues to find new audiences. Yucker gave out the secret recipe for success for contestants: “The internet is a tough place to learn about Islam. I mean sometimes you have people learning all their Islam on websites like Fox News or worse, Maniac Muslim. Sometimes you just need to trust the shaykhs in the area like I have.”