Laughter the Best Medicine: Muslim Comedians and Social Criticismin Post-9/11 America
Before the September 11 attack in the United States, Muslims andArabs from the Middle East were regarded as ordinary citizens withoutstereotype and social segregation. They were being regarded later tobe viewed as terrorists and as an outcast. This led numerouscomedians from Islam to use comedy as a method or means or removingthis misconception. Comedy can be used as a tool of social changebecause it is a publicly protected mode of expression (p, 468).Muslim comedians are using their talent as a way to express thepositive side of the Islam and Arab culture. The role of comedy inthe society cannot be underestimated and can used as a form ofprotest against racism that is mainly subjected towards Muslims andArabs by politicians. For instance, Obama was referred to as an Arabin a bid to prevent him from entering the white house.
The issue of racism and use of comedy to eradicate it is crucial tothe reader and the common person. People need to stop viewing allArabs and Muslims as terrorists. In addition, the reader must learnthat comedy has more weight and can be used as a tool to changesocial misconceptions. It is also apparent that the reading issignificant in informing the reader of the role that the 9/11 attackplays in stereotyping and enhancing racism. Comedy is not only alaughing affair, but it is a means through which Muslim comedians aretrying to bring about inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogues.Members of the Muslim community must also see themselves as equalmembers of the society. Muslim comedians such as Dean Obeidallah havebeen in the frontline trying to portray to the western word the trueside of the Muslims and Arabs.