T

he location is Mercy Saskatchewan, a small town in the Canadian prairies. A small but devout community of Muslims has settled there, headed by community leader Yasir Hamoudi, a local building contractor. He is married to Sarah, a Caucasian ex-Christian who has converted to Islam for her husband. Their adult daughter, Rayyan, is a feminist Muslim doctor. The religious leader of the Muslim community - the Imam - is Amaar Rashid, a young, Canadian-born ex-lawyer from Toronto, who came to Mercy to replace Baber Siddiqui, who was deemed too extreme by many in the Mercy Muslim community. The local diner is run by Fatima Dinssa, a Nigerian Muslim who is strict about her religion but more liberal in her cultural values. The Muslims in Mercy are co-existing with their Christian neighbors, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes not. Reverend Duncan Magee welcomes his Muslim neighbors, especially if they enhance the social and economic fabric of the community and his parish. Likewise, Mayor Ann Popowicz welcomes the Muslim population especially if they vote for her. However, local radio host, Fred Tupper, is suspect of the Muslims and their supposed terrorist ways. But he and many of the townsfolk, Muslim or Christian, are equally as suspect of someone like Amaar since he is from the big bad city of Toronto, a city which has shaped his views and which is contrary to the outlook of a town like Mercy.

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