Saturday, September 28, 2013

COMMENT: The perils of islamicomedy

[01] What happens when you write and/or perform comedy involving religion? Especially about Islam? And in a world where many think Muslims aren't supposed to have a sense of humour?

[02] Some years back, a rightwing Danish newspaper commissioned some cartoonists to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (s). The cartoons were supposed to be hilarious, though I must say that after seeing all 12 of them, I couldn't see much humour. Though many will recall the imbecile nature of the responses of protests by a minority across Muslim communities. 

[03] (From memory, there was one cartoon in which the Prophet was shown at the gates of heaven telling a suicide bomber that there were no virgins left. Now that one was worth a chuckle.)

[04] What made me wonder was why so many were so offended. After all, in many languages spoken commonly by Muslims, humour and jokes and Islamic religious symbols are common. Yes, I haven't heard anyone made jokes about the Prophet, but I have heard God dragged into a few punchlines, often in the most blasphemous way. Often these jokes are targetted at allegedly religious politicians. Few seem to mind.

[05] Comedy about ethnics by ethnics is nothing knew. Most of us find it funny because - let's face it - we are all ethnic in some way. We recognise that you can be racial without being racist. Stereotypes can be upsetting, but it depends on the intentions of the one doing the stereotyping. 

... to be continued

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