Sarfraz Manzoor wants to know what comes to mind when you hear the word "Muslim." It's kind of a minefield... he suggests the natural thoughts are the 9/11 attacks, the Muhammad teddy bear, and the Danish newspaper cartoons... not exactly a barrel of monkeys. So he's on a mission to bring the humor of Muslim life to light, and his band is few, but mighty. According to him, Muslims as a group may suffer from "chronic" hypersensitivity and "over-earnestness." But there are a few bringing the funny to light, like Azhar Usman and Zarqa Nawaz (she has a sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie. Sample joke from an episode: "a Muslim defends his plan to turn the parish hall into a mosque. "It's only a pilot project, " he tells a local man, who responds, "You're training pilots?!" I laughed out loud.), and Manzoor says the work of these liberal Muslims is so easily undone by fury over a teddy bear that it's time for moderate Muslims to speak up in support of the lighter side of life. So listen in, laugh, and leave comments here.
Fighting for Funny
December 20, 2007