I have a treatment for a television series. It’s called The Revenge of the Jibjab Woman™.
Our heroine is a Moslem woman, of modest demeanour and covered in her attire. But when she meets an enemy of Islam she beats the shit out of him. For each episode there will be a new enemy of Islam. In the pilot that I am working on it will be Santa, to give it a Seasonal feel, but for the future I have in mind Colin Powell, Richard the Lionheart, the Danish Prime Minister, maybe Henry Kissinger. I’m hoping that the more sporting among the enemies of Islam, if still with us, will be prepared to play themselves.
The Jibjab Woman™, who as I say will be modestly attired, will Transform™ when she encounters the enemy of Islam. Her attire, whilst remaining modest, will suddenly become the Jibjab ™, a combination of the traditional hijab and the jilbab suitable for her brand of Islamic martial arts. The hijab preserves the modesty of the top half and the all-important face and hair; the jilbab that of the bottom half. When the modest Moslem woman is engaged in anything more energetic than shopping, such as beating the shit out of an enemy of Islam, it’s essential that there is no clenching of the muscles of the buttocks, for instance, visible through the cloth, or jutting thighs.
So the five star Islamic scholars whom I have engaged have developed the Jibjab™. The long skirting Transforms™ into trousers, which, though baggy and of sturdy and by no means translucent material, will be suitable for kicking. The flowing upper garments will become restrained by something like bicycle clips, or rather sleeve garters, but with tasteful and devotional decoration.
The Jibjab Woman™ has a mentor, a kindly old imam. There is some back story here, possibly to be explored later in a Christmas Special. Maybe he rescued her as a baby. Anyway, when she encounters an enemy of Islam, the kindly old imam says that it is OK to beat the shit out of him – in accordance with Sharia law. I haven’t worked out how he does this. Maybe he appears to her as if in a dream; maybe there’s just a voice-over with a bit of echo.
Obviously this will all have to be sensitively handled, and I have faith consultants who will ensure that it is not offensive in any way. I have also applied to His Royal Highness the Sultan Qaboos of Oman for seed funding, and his blessing, and I am confident of success.
This is a project which is win win all the way.
It’s a TV series, suitable for the crucial children’s market.
The commercial tie-ins are obvious. There are the usual figures, sticker albums etc, but there is also the clothing market – not just t-shirts, but the dress that Transforms™, the Jibjab™ itself. For kids whose parents can’t afford the full Jibjab™, the Islamic bicycle clips will hopefully be an acceptable substitute.
There will be no nonsense from the actress who plays the Jibjab Woman™. Like Robocop, although in this case for spiritual reasons, you never see her face, so if she cuts up rough she is replaceable.
But I also look at this at a deeper level. At a time of strife such as ours, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has said so often, we desperately need meaningful dialogue between our faith communities. And the Jibjab Woman™ is all about inter-faith dialogue – at its most visceral level.