pick of the week
Compass: Why I’m Still ... Sunday, 6.30pm, ABC1
You can imagine what it took to get three groups of people — representing the Muslim, Jewish and Catholic communities — around a dinner table to talk openly and honestly about their faith. It must be said, a television show about religious and spiritual matters does not stay on the air for 25 years without attempting to keep up with the zeitgeist. In this three-part series of Compass, Geraldine Doogue, who has hosted it for the past 15 years, brings substantial qualities of empathy, likability and a willingness to pose tough questions to her guests. Tonight’s show is titled Why I’m Still . . . Muslim and asks why believers stay committed to the Islamic faith despite the challenges of the post-9/11 world. Topics discussed include the wearing of the hijab, the rights of women, extremism and Australian identity. Each dinner was recorded across three hours and edited to a tight 30 minutes. But does the discussion arrive at any resolutions? ‘‘ Dessert was divine,’’ says one participant, without irony and to unanimous agreement. Perhaps gastronomy is closer to godliness than you may imagine. Next week, Jewish guests get stuck into a lively discussion, while the following week the Catholic contingent is a touch more subdued.