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Make Me a Muslim

Wed Jan 30, 9-10pm, BBC3

Emily Hughes

Sometimes, BBC3’s commitment to putting well-meaning amateurs on camera to front its documentaries can really pay off. But Shanna Bukhari, host of ‘Make Me a Muslim’, looks unlikely to enjoy a long career as a TV presenter. A former model and lapsed muslim, Shanna’s stated mission is to discover why increasing numbers of white British women are converting to Islam. And, while she learns (through eccentric lines of questioning) that one of the five young converts she interviews misses eating Parma ham, another skips early morning prayer (‘I love my sleep’) and none of them much miss high heels or short skirts, she barely addresses deeper, more spiritual concerns. A couple of the women have endured tougher times of isolation and rejection – Lisa is a co-wife and Inaya is struggling to find a husband – and have consequently more interesting tales to tell, but this eventually boils down to a standard-issue personal journey, as Shanna weighs up whether or not to re-engage with Islam. A missed opportunity.