Muslim Funny Fest: Using comedy to combat hate

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A photo of Dean Obeidallhah and Maysoon Zayid.

Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid, two comedians who organized "Muslim Funny Fest", which opens today in New York City. Photo courtesy Doha Film Institute.

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(RNS) The show aims to challenge misperceptions about Muslims and combat hate. It features 15 Muslim comedians, including more than a few familiar names on the marquee.

  • Bernardo

    There is nothing funny about Islam as long as the koran demands death to all infidels and Islam’s control of the world by any means.

  • Greg1

    It is funny, I will read something like this because comments are open, but I refuse to read anything Johnathan Merritt writes because he closes his articles to comments.

  • Seems like a good platform to help get rid of the mass misunderstandings and misconceptions about Islam. It’s a real shame that Muslims are perceived by many as being inherently bereft of humanity. Some of the best people that I have come to know are Muslims.

  • The Great God Pan

    Is a comedy festival theologically acceptable within Islam? Consider:

    “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. ….There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials.”
    –Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

  • Bernardo

    Bible prophecy/fortune telling accuracy? Please provide evidence. Keep in mind the following:

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and “Gentilized” the good word to the “big buck” world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

    The Story of the Holy Innocents appears only in Matthew and appears to be an attempt by Matthew to fulfill the “prophecy of Jeremiah”. And as we all know, there is no such thing as prophets since Future is one of our many gifts from God/Nature.

    Conclusion: The Story of the Holy Innocents did not happen in reality.

  • Bernardo

    Assuming there is a god and some words of wisdom below:

    As per Father Edward Schillebeeckx, the famous contemporary Christian theologian, God does not know the Future. From his book, Church: The Human Story of God, “Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For
    God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women.”

    And if God does not know the future, Mohammed, Jesus and Isaiah surely did not.

    In two sentences of profound common sense, Schillibeeckx has reduced the OT, NT and Koran to the wishful thinking of many ancient scribes.

    This falls correctly in line with two of Nature’s greatest dependent gifts, i.e. Free Will and Future.

    Pause and think about it!!!

  • Jacob

    Having fun is not restricted in Islam so long as it does not escape certain boundaries. Islam is not a very restrictive tradition contrary to common belief. Rather, it’s a moderate way of life; moderation is a teaching of Islam.

    Khomeini is a political figure. That statement is likely motivated by political end points and not by religious ones, fundamentally. His statements are certainly not aligned with the teachings of Islam.

    There is a Muslim scholar by the name of Ismael Menk. He videotaped his self skydiving, something that’s probably the most exhilarating activity conceivable. He’s probably a more traditional Muslim scholar too. That is not outside the bounds of Islam clearly. Fun is indeed permissible in Islam so long as it does not violate divine injunctions.

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