13 STAND-UP COMEDIANS ON THE DEMISE OF OSAMA

Shortly after Osama Bin Laden was killed in the dead of night by a US Navy SEAL team in Abbattobad, Pakistan, I made a joke at work that fell on deaf ears and worried faces. Thinking myself rather funny I said, quite openly in the office, “I can’t believe they killed my uncle…only kidding, he was my dad…” Queue nervous laughter from all those listening in.

Admittedly this was not as funny as the following tweet from Dana Arikane:

They should have captured Bin Laden alive and made him continually go through airport security for the rest of his life. – Dana Arikane

Good one, Dana. It’s now been over 5 years since the death of Bin Laden and, in order to understand more about this incident, I’ve started reading the book ‘Manhunt: From 9/11 To Abbottabad – The Ten-Year Search For Osama Bin Laden’ by the brilliant investigative journalist Peter Bergen. I thought the book would be a good way to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes Bin Laden did when he got caught (queue more nervous laughter). This book is a very serious and detailed look at the search for and death of the former world’s most wanted man.

This blog post, however, is not as serious. It is instead a look at what various stand-up comedians have said about his demise. While some may say this is in bad taste, it should be noted that many of the views expressed are rather interesting and informative, differing from the official narrative, which is what really good stand-up does (it changes your perspective by making you think as well as laugh).

So below I have gathered a collection of various clips, pics, and one article, from different stand-ups presenting their unique take on the death of a man who once had a price tag of $50 million on his head. I have provided transcripts which are presented further below so as not to disrupt the humorous flow of proceedings. Anyways, on with the satire…

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Omid Djalili reminiscing…


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Paul Chowdhry on conspiracy theories…


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Daniel Tosh on the positive contributions of Obama…


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Dylan Moran on Americans not being mature…

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Dylan Moran again, this time getting a little mixed up…

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Russell Howard anagrams Osama’s name…


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Lewis Black on Osama’s final dastardly plot…


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Frank Skinner sings a cheeky song…


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Stewart Lee on American reactions to the death of Osama…


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Stewart Lee again, this time on the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of Osama’s sea burial…


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Aamer Rahman on the Mafia-style burial of Osama…


Maz Jobrani on Osama Bin Lamp…


Bill Maher on Christian contradictions regarding the death of Osama…


Doug Stanhope on Osama Bin Bigfoot…


Richard Herring on Osama and consumerism…

Did Cola seal Osama’s fate?

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…On our last day [in Warsaw, Indiana] we visited an amazing candy and soda shop with shelf after shelf of chocolate bars, sweets and fizzy pop. Amongst the Hershy’s Bars and Babe Ruths I found something amazing: a single bottle of undescribed, brown drink, featuring a cartoon of a wide-eyed Osama Bin Laden, which was called “Seal Ya Later”.

It was good to see an historical event celebrated through the medium of a fizzy syrupy beverage. They should have politically-incorrect colas for all assassinations and atrocities.

Even better, there was a joke on the bottle:

“Knock Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“America!”

I am not sure whether that exchange is a verbatim account of what happened that fateful night, but I hope so. I like to think the Navy Seals turned up with the joke all planned out. It did rely on OBL saying “Who’s there?” but who could really resist that?

The problem with the Seals’ joke, though, is that Osama Bin Laden might not say “Who’s there?” and then they are just left downstairs knocking again and again, whilst he makes good his escape. Navy Seals are like vampires. They can only come in if invited. You have to respond to their knock knock joke or they’re screwed.

More importantly, what if Bin Laden did say “Who’s there?” Then they deliver their brilliant (if pre-planned) gag, “America”. Surely then Osama Bin Laden would say, “America who?”

And the Seals are not prepared. They thought “America” would get a big enough laugh. But the Al Qaeda front man has called their bluff. Now they must think up a topper on the spot. It looks like it should be easy, but not in the heat of the moment. “A merry car is fun to drive”? Tumbleweed. Not funny enough for this historical moment. “A mere Icarus”?

I think Osama Bin Laden would counter, “There’s nothing mere about Icarus. He could fly. And anyway it’s still scarcely a joke. Come back when you have a proper punch line.”

I am going to perpetuate the rumour that “Seal Ya Later” is the only soft drink available in the US and that it is compulsory to drink it at all times and anyone who doesn’t drink it is locked up in Guantanamo Bay for being un-American. It’s not true. But I think we’ve all had enough of facts.

 – Richard Herring, metro.co.uk, 14 Sep 2016


But is he really dead…?


TRANSCRIPTS…

Omid Djalili reminiscing…

Last year was the year they killed Osama Bin Laden. We all remember where we were when Bin Laden was killed. I remember where I was. I was in a compound in Abbottabad, pretending to be a woman. We spent ten years looking for Bin Laden. We scoured 27 countries, looking for Bin Laden. We spent 2 billion dollars, looking for Bin Laden. Where do we find him? In his house! – Omid Djalili

Paul Chowdhry on conspiracy theories…

People believe in all that now, the Illuminati. People think the government are controlled by other forces. “Illuminati, innit blood!”

[Talking to an audience member] Do you believe in that, man? Do you believe in, like, 911 conspiracies? I got mates like you. My mate goes “King Kong did that, innit. Where was King Kong during 911, blood?”

He goes “Blood, yeah, don’t phone me on my mobile, innit. Call me on my land line.”

How come?

“CIA, innit.”

You live in England, you idiot.

“You don’t know, innit. CIA, MFI, M&S…Illuminati, blood, yeah!”

He goes “Yeah blood, Bin Laden, yeah, he’s not even dead, innit.”

What are you talking about?

He goes “If he had died he would have got a Muslim burial.”

No he wouldn’t. Bin laden didn’t even deserve to get thrown into the sea. We should have just chucked him into a wheelie bin, like we did with that cat last year. And then we could have called him Osama Wheelie Bin Laden.

He goes “Blood, it’s the illuminati, yeah.”

I mean, what’s the illuminati anyway?

“People that glow in the dark, innit.”

 – Paul Chowdhry

Daniel Tosh on the positive contributions of Obama…

By the way, has enough time passed in this country that we can openly and honestly talk about the great things Osama Bin Laden did for us? And don’t act like he didn’t do anything good. How about the fact that we immediately know September is nine? That’s not nothing…Do you remember what we used to do?

[Counting with his fingers] “January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August…nine! Honey, it’s nine!”

I use it for August. 911 minus one…eight!

How about the fact that every time you take your wife or your girlfriend to the airport, you no longer have to walk her all the way to the gate? Yeah, maybe next time you do a drop-off, you give him a quick, [Looks up] “Thanks, Osama. Hope you’re enjoying that good young tight stuff they hand out up there.”

Some of you are too young to remember pre-911 airport drop-offs, but they were the worst. Your girlfriend’s like, “Can you give me a ride to the airport?”

And you’re like, “Yeah, I’d love to. Because there’s never been a service invented that would take you to the airport. What time’s your flight?”

“4.15a.m.”

“Perfect! No, I was gonna get up at 2 anyway, so that works out. No, you know me, 2 o’clock rolls around and my body’s like ‘Start your day, it’s 2!'”

Then you’re driving to the airport, she’s like, “You gonna come inside?”

“Yeah! Why wouldn’t I? Parking there’s so convenient. Besides, I like to start every day with a two-mile stress-filled sprint walk. Oh, your flight’s delayed an hour and a half? Perfect, I’ll get a Cinnabon, get diabetes before you take off.”

Do you remember? Some guys wouldn’t even leave after they boarded. They would just stand at a window waving at a machine backing up because they were so happy to finally be alone. Now what do you get to do thanks to Osama? Barely slow down and kick them to the curb. Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I say that’s worth a tower. [Audience groans] Not two! Not two! Not two. Whoa. That was close. No, no, no, rightfully so.

“I [Bleep] thought he meant both of them. He didn’t. He only meant one. He cleared it up.”

“Which one?”

“Does it matter?”

“To my uncle.”

[Audience groans] There you go, now everyone’s offended.

 – Daniel Tosh

Dylan Moran on Americans not being mature…

I’ve never really understood when…America’s reaction to Osama Bin Laden’s assassination was not very politically mature, I thought, because they sort of, what they really as a country did, was go [rapping mockingly and childishly] “Oh yeah, he dead. Look at him with bullets in his head. He’s so dead. He’s dead forever”. And that suggested a people who hadn’t really considered the idea of being bombed again. – Dylan Moran

Dylan Moran again, this time getting a little mixed up…

Erm…So…I don’t know. I don’t. There’s too much…Isn’t there?…And not enough at the same time. And it just carries on. I can’t…I can’t cope any more with…er…days. There’s too many days. Days are a stupid length, you know. They’re just long enough to get regret and then you have to go to sleep. It’s that feeling of “Ah, I should have…” and then you go “Argh” [goes to sleep].

There’s too much of everything. There’s too much world. There’s too many people. There’s too much news. There’s far too much news, and it all happens too close together. How are you expected to keep up? With what the changes…I wanted to talk about what’s going on but I’ve said enough…fuck it…just settle it. It won’t. It keeps becoming something else. And you know, even when the…I mean, you must find it hard to keep up with what’s going on. There was the…because it is too close together.

There was the royal wedding, for instance, which is kind of silly news, you know, celebrity news. And then a couple of days later, Osama Bin Laden got killed. This is too close together. In real time, it’s hard enough to keep track. Imagine what it’s going to be like in 30 years’ time when you have lost your mind completely. The name Osama Bin Laden will come up and you’ll go “Yes…he was…he was a very wicked man…he was…but he did look stunning in that dress…of course, his brother was the one everybody was talking about, you know. What an arse”. So, it’s an incredible period of change.

 – Dylan Moran

Russell Howard anagrams Osama’s name…

The other major international news was this.

NEWS READER: Fox News is just reporting that Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden, is dead.

Did you see how the papers covered it? The Times went with “Justice is done.” The Express had “Coward to the end.”

And what did The Sun go with? “Bin Bagged!” [Laughter and applause]

The American reaction to Bin Laden’s death was fairly muted.

VARIOUS AMERICANS: You kill innocent American people, you’re going to pay the price…USA! USA! USA!…Osama Bin Laden is dead. Happy days!

[Laughter] Did you see how they got rid of Bin Laden’s body?

NEWS READER: We can now confirm that about an hour and a half ago, John, Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea.

I love that description. “Buried.” I think the verb they’re searching for is “flung!” “We found you, now you find Nemo!” [Laughter] The bizarrest thing about this story, do you know the anagram you can make out of Osama Bin Laden? Look at this. Osama Bin Laden…Lob Da Man In Sea! How weird is that? [Laughter and applause]

 – Russell Howard

Lewis Black on Osama’s final dastardly plot…

TREVOR NOAH: When a new story falls through the cracks, Lewis Black catches it in a segment we call “Back in Black.” [Applause and cheering. Lewis Black continues]

Osama Bin Laden! We all know he was the scum of the earth and deserves to rot in hell. But did you also know how much he loved the written word?

VARIOUS NEWS READERS: The CIA releases new documents uncovered in the raid on Osama Bin Laden…A second release now to the public…providing some interesting insights into the terrorist’s mind…And they shed new light on what he was thinking, reading and writing in his final days.

That’s right. Bin Laden was reading and thinking. While we were spending all that money trying to find him, he was trying to find himself. When SEAL Team Six kicked in the door, he was nestled next to the fire with a glass of wine and a copy of Eat, Pray, Love. Yes, it turns out the guy trying to blow up the world had his own concerns about what would happen once he was gone.

NEWS READER: You see an Osama Bin Laden who was obsessed, you might say, with his own death. He had a last will and testament in there.

That’s right. Bin Laden had a last will and testament. The first line read, “Stop sharing!…And to my loved ones, I leave you this.”

NEWS READER: He says he has $29 million stashed in the African country of Sudan. Let me quote from this: ‘I hope for my brothers, sisters, and maternal aunts, to obey my will, and to spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on jihad for the sake of Allah.’

Sorry, Bin Laden, you may have been a feared terrorist, but no grandkid spends their inheritance money how you want them to. They’ll just buy one of those flammable hoverboards and a bunch of bitcoin. Although I do respect a man who asks his grandkids to kill themselves, I don’t know you could do that in a will. I need to call my lawyer. “Listen, schmuck, have the following people kill themselves, starting with you!”

But don’t be surprised that Osama was tough on his family. Last year we found out how he treated potential employees.

NEWS READER: One of the more stunning documents, a job application for those seeking to join Al Qaeda, asking about hobbies, special skills, and instructions to write legibly.

You’re telling me you get a guy who’s willing to blow himself up but you’re gonna turn him down because you can’t read his handwriting?! That’s like turning an organ donor down because he chews with his mouth open.

NEWS READER: And then this…[reading from the application form] ‘Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?…Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?’

Emergency martyr contact?! That’s the stupidest [bleep] thing I’ve ever heard of! Does every job involve bureaucratic nonsense? The one perk of being a suicide bomber should be no paperwork! You just say, “Yes, I’m all in!”

But there’s a lot about Bin Laden in these new documents that you wouldn’t expect.

VARIOUS NEWS READERS: Osama Bin Laden was an environmentalist. In letters discovered in his compound in Pakistan, Bin Laden worried about the dangers of quote “catastrophic climate change”…President Obama had an unlikely ally in the fight to slow climate change, Osama Bin Laden…Who knew that President Obama had such an infamous ally?…He jumped on that bandwagon, didn’t he? [Laughs] Yes, he did…So to speak.

Oh, of course. Obama and Bin Laden were friends. That’s why Obama hunted him down, shot him in the face, then threw his corpse into the ocean. You know, friend stuff. Listen…listen, you numbnuts, just because Obama and Bin Laden both wanted to stop climate change, that doesn’t make them buddies. Guess what. I’m a [bleep] painter. But that doesn’t make me friends with Hitler!

You know, this whole climate change issue makes one thing very clear, Bin Laden wasn’t just any old douche bag terrorist. He was a douche bag terrorist mastermind. He knew if he stood up for fixing climate change, then Americans would be anti-climate change, and then climate change would destroy America. It’s his final plot against us! Nice try, Bin Laden. You think we’re that stupid? So listen to me, climate change deniers, either get on board with fixing this, or the terrorists win!

 – Lewis Black

Frank Skinner sings a cheeky song…

What happened to that nasty man so pally with the Taliban?

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

[Speaking to the audience] I believe you promised to buy this

He had one big hit, then he went away, like a terrorism Macy Gray

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

He occasionally sends out a video tape

To say he’s doing great and he’s full of hate

Well if he’s doing so great then please tell me, why a video tape, not a DVD

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

You might think that he’s wicked and depraved

But think of him stuck in that f***ing cave

He takes girls back there now and then, but the clerics just throw stones at them

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

All music’s banned by the Taliban, so he always misses the ice cream van

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

Taliban TV ain’t got a lot of laughs in

Their biggest show is called “Strictly No Dancing”

No one comes to his parties anymore, It’s like being Michael Barrymore

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Osama Bin Laden

Thank you very much, good night!

 – Frank Skinner

Stewart Lee on American reactions to the death of Osama…

I was driving on the M4, it was the day Bin Laden was shot by the Americans and there were all different Americans coming on the radio talking about what they thought about it and it made me think: what we like, collective groups of people, here in society. Here’s four real quotes by real Americans on May the second, the day Bin Laden was shot. This first guy, he’s called Thomas Cox, he’s a construction worker, talking in Times Square on Radio 4, and he said, “I made Photoshop pictures of the Statue of Liberty holding Osama’s bloody severed head and handed them out to the crowd. It’s payback.”

It’s not, is it? The payback for Osama surely was being shot in the face at point blank range. Thomas Cox’s offensive collage…It merely adds insult to injury. Bin Laden was buried at sea, you’ll remember. This Thomas Cox goes on, he says, “We should have mounted his head on a spike. I am hoping that the fish and the crabs are having a good meal on his eyeballs.”

Now, it’s a very apposite quote that because as you all know, under Sharia law, if a Muslim man is buried at sea, it is required that their body be protected from the attentions of fish, and I think it was that that this Thomas Cox was alluding to there. If you’ve not seen me before, I don’t think that, I think the opposite of that. Okay? That’s one of the things I do, I make a very bold statement about something, but the implication is actually the opposite of…

Now, this next quote from an American called Steven Reginella, again on Radio 4 in Times Square, and he said, “They should have brought Bin Laden’s body here and hung it from the lamppost. In fact, they should have roasted him here like a chicken, so he would have seen what it felt like.”

It’s all over the place that, innit? “They should have brought Bin Laden‘s body here…”

Alive, presumably.

“…and hung it from the lamppost.”

What lamppost is that? The New York City designated corpse-roasting lamppost. Who should have done that?

“They should.”

Who are they? The New York City designated corpse-roasting team. They don’t do a lot of corpse roasting. Their duties mainly entail maintenance of the corpse-roasting lamppost.

“…roast him like a chicken, so he would have seen what it felt like.”

“There you are, Bin Laden, on the lamppost, roasting, yeah. Can you see what that feels like?

“I can f…I can f…I can feel what it feels like”

“That wasn‘t the question. What…What if we hold this mirror up, a full-length mirror? Can you see what it feels like now?”

“I can see what it looks like?”

“This is exactly the kind of unhelpful behaviour we would expect…”

Roasted like a chicken. Why? We’ve all roasted a chicken at some point in our lives, haven’t we? No need for this kind of frontier justice, is there? He didn’t have any issues with chickens, did he? Bin Laden? It was the West that he hated wasn’t it? And our values, not chicken. Imagine if he had hated chickens, Bin Laden. And he deployed the same level of firepower over a 10-year period to the eradication of poultry that he had to Western democratic systems. I’m not an expert but I think we’d be looking at a very different global geopolitical setup.

…This next quote from an American was on the YouTube. You’ve seen that, where the people film themselves talking. This is an American lady talking to the camera. She said, “I so happy Osama be dead, I climb stoplight and show my two titties at the crowd. Everyone be cheering. Everyone be whistling. I so happy Osama be dead. My titties be pretty big titties, too. Osama one holy motherf***er, but he a man, and I-a say-a he’d-a got a kick out-a these hot titties. Word.”

This last one, this was on the YouTube as well. A chap running around in one of the big towns there waving a flag, and he said, “They should get Max Hardcore out of jail…”

Now, I didn’t know who Max Hardcore was when I heard this quote. He’s a bloke. He’s in violent American pornography. And I didn’t know who he was, so I looked him up on the Internet. Now I’m on the sex offenders registry. Max Hardcore. I thought he was just a very efficient builder. This is what he…”They should get Max Hardcore out of jail to reverse cowgirl Osama‘s body on the White House lawn. Max would tear that Muslim faggot‘s dead body a new hole. Know what I’m saying? They should get Max to reverse cowgirl him on the White House lawn and FedEx the tapes to his family saying, ‘Look at this, you gay c*nts. F**k with America, you’re fucking with God. Prepare to have your assholes ripped open.'”

I know, it’s amazing. Amazing quote. Now, I don’t think it’s fair to make hard-and-fast generalisations about a whole society based on just four random quotes. But if I was gonna do that…I’d say what have we learned about America from these four quotes? It’s a country…It’s obsessed with its own blind patriotism, with its own religious fundamentalism, with sexualised violence, and there’s a weird homophobic undercurrent going through some of those quotes, as well. Interesting thing about those four quotes.

The second interesting thing about those four quotes, I think, is that of those four quotes, only two of them were made up by me. Such is the depth of your blind anti-American prejudice, you’ve got no idea which ones they are. You go, “No, they could all be true, Stew! And if they’re not they should be because that’s what they’re like!”

 – Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee again, this time on the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of Osama’s sea burial…

Anyway, that’s enough making fun of America and the West. It’s time now to mock Islam and to ridicule individual Muslims. People are very keen on that now in comedy. There was a big piece in the Daily Mail in December by Jan Moir saying there’s not enough anti-Islamic stand-up in Britain at the moment. Of course, they’re very keen on balance at the Daily Mail. It’s been a watch-word of the paper going way back to the 1930s.

[Mild laughter] I know, it’s a good joke. No one gets it.

So…it’s an occupational hazard of stand-up now if you do a joke about anything and you don’t immediately follow it up with a joke about Islam. People are like “What’s wrong with you?”

These are the kind of e-mails you get. This sort of thing.

“Dear BBC, I enjoyed Stewart Lee’s making fun of Chris Moyles on TV last night and I look forward to him mocking the Prophet Mohammed in the same way next week. Yours, Norris McWhirter. Nuremberg.”

Another one here. “Dear BBC, I enjoyed watching Stewart Lee making jokes about crisps last night, but I doubt we will be seeing him having a go at any Muslim snacks in the near future. On the politically correct BBC, it appears there’s one law for crisps and quite another for those mini poppadom things that they sell in Marks & Spencer’s. Yours, Norris McWhirter, Argentina.”

Yeah. Well, it’s a later postmark. So, erm…I know, they don’t get it…it’s time…So time to ridicule a Muslim now, in accordance with the Daily Mail’s demands, and the Muslim we’re gonna be ridiculing tonight is called Mohammed al-Qubaisi. He’s from Dubai, he’s one of the top Muslim guys out there.

Yeah, people down there [pointing at one section of the audience] are laughing at that, as well they should because, of course, in Islam, there is no pyramid power structure. So succession of Imams, er, Imams, all with equal power, so the idea of a top Muslim is…haha.

Now, anyway this is what he said. Mohammed al-Qubaisi about Bin Laden being buried at sea. He said, “They can say they buried him at sea, but they cannot say they did it according to Islam. Sea burials are permissible for Muslims in extraordinary circumstances only, and this is not one of them.”

Let’s have a quick recap on those circumstances. Osama Bin Laden was shot in the face at point blank range in front of his family after a possibly illegal American incursion into Pakistani airspace following a 10-year campaign to bring him to justice for flying two hijacked, fully-laden passenger aircraft into the World Trade Center killing literally thousands and thousands of people. What has made this Mohammed al-Qubaisi so jaded that this does not fit his definition of extraordinary circumstances? What a jaded, jaded man, Sheffield. Not the sort of man you’d wanna have to organise a surprise birthday party for.

So that’s a Muslim ridiculed. Time now for some anti-Islamic stand-up. Jan Moir in the Daily Mail says there’s not enough stand-up about Islam. There’s loads, actually, if you think about it. There’s Roy “Chubby” Brown, your spiritual king in this region. He goes round and round doing loads. And Tim Minchin’s done stuff about Islam to stadiums full of people. Of course there’s dozens of British comics of an Islamic background talking about it all the time, night after night. So I think really there’s so much stand-up about Islam, I don’t really know what to bring to the table, so what I’ve been trying to do on this tour is something that has not been done before, I’ve been trying to do observational comedy. Yeah. That’s kind of BBC One, ITV One, sort of “Oh, look at that,” kind of stuff.

I’ve been trying to do observational comedy of a specifically anti-Islamic bent. Yeah. Anti-Islamic observational comedy. I’ve had some good reviews for that. You know, people going, “Brilliant! Like an Islamophobic Michael McIntyre!” That was good. “Superb! The John Bishop of cultural relativism.”

So, here we are now, Sheffield, with some anti-Islamic observational comedy. Anti-Islamic observational comedy. Observational comedy.

[Runs around on stage in a style mocking Michael McIntyre. moves the microphone stand from place to place. runs around some more. does this in silence for a few minutes, occasionally sighing. audience laughter throughout]

Have you seen these Muslims they have now?

[Laughter, applause] That’s the end of that bit. People up there [pointing to another section of the audience] are going, “Ooh, now it’s picking up.”

I’ve got three, erm, anti-Islamic one-liners now that I’m hoping to sell on to Roy “Chubby” Brown. Here they are.

[Imitating Brown] “Hey, you know, one in two kids born in Britain today is called Mohammad. And that’s just the girls. [Trailing off] I’ve not got the exact figures…Did you know one in two Islamic hate preachers in Britain today has got a hook for his hands and a bad…[Trailing off] I’ve done no research.”

Do you know one in two people claiming to be a spokesperson for the entire British-Muslim community is, in fact, the unelected leader of a non-democratic special-interest fringe group given ideas above its station by a misguided New Labour community bridge-building initiative?

Some laughs. A lot of people going, “What was that? What was that supposed to be?”

I’ll tell you what that was, my come-in-error friends, that was the best joke about Islam in Britain anyone has ever done. That’s what that was. It was even-handed. It was informed. It’s what you say you want, isn’t it? You go, “Do stuff about Islam!”

I just did.

“Not like that, Stew…Not where you have to know anything…When we said do stuff about Islam, we meant make fun of their hats.”

 – Stewart Lee

Aamer Rahman on the Mafia-style burial of Osama…

A lot of people thought the war on terror was going to end and after they found Bin Laden, right? And, you know what, I never knew how to feel about Osama Bin Laden. Like I never knew whether he was actually real or he was just sipping tequila somewhere on an island with Elvis and Tupac, paid for by the CIA. My friends get upset, “Don’t be ridiculous Aamer. Of course Osama Bin Laden is real. Of course he’s real. You’ve seen the videos.”

It’s like, yeah, yes I’ve seen the videos. But I also Life of Pi. I thought that tiger was real for two and a half hours. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with a green screen nowadays.

And I’ll never forget, the White House came out and said “We’ve located Osama Bin Laden.”

Everyone was like “Wow, you’ve found Bin Laden. Where is he?”

And like, “Uh, well actually we killed him, we killed him.”

And everyone was like, “You killed him? Okay, well show us some photos.”

The White House is like “We didn’t take any photos.”

And everyone is like “Okay, well what did you do with the body?”

And the White House is like “Oh the body? Well don’t worry about the body see, because what we did was, after we shot him in the face in front of his family, we thought we would be really culturally sensitive, so we put the body in a helicopter, we flew it out over the middle of the ocean and then we dumped it in an undisclosed location, because that is an Islamic burial ritual.”

And then every single Muslim on the planet earth said “Um…no, no it’s not actually. We’ve never heard of that IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF ISLAM!”

Muslims, they don’t dump bodies in the water. That’s the Mafia. Yeah, someone typed the wrong thing in Wikipedia that day. And what a story, what a story, because they created Bin Laden, right, they created him, they funded him, and then he turned around and he became their greatest enemy, right. And that was a proper, proper Mafia execution, right, shot in the face, dumped in the ocean. I think they should have gotten someone from the Mob to handle that last press conference, right. They would have been asked questions like, “Can you just tell us some more details about the final moments of Osama Bin Laden’s capture and assassination?”

They just could have had a guy from the Mob standing there going [speaking in an exaggerated American Italian accent] “Well, you know, it hurts me to say this because I loved Osama, he’s like a son to me. Back in the eighties, Afghanistan, Russians tried to move in our turf. He really took care of business. We paid him good money. But then, with the 911, he disrespected the family. If there was one thing I used to say to him over and over again, I used to say to him ‘Sammy, in this line of business you don’t bite the hand that feeds ya.’ So he had to get whacked. Now he’s sleep with the fishes. Forget about it.”

 – Aamer Rahman

Maz Jobrani on Osama Bin Lamp…

It went crazy last year, a lot of crazy stuff happened man, like they killed Bin Laden, that was crazy when they killed Bin Laden. First thing I did when they killed Bin Laden I called up my Pakistani friend, I was like “How did you guys miss him?! He’s been in that town for five years. He’s a tall guy. How’d you not see him? Was he walking around with a lamp shade over his head pretending to be a lamp?”

“I’m not Bin Laden, I’m a lamp. Pull my arm, I’m on, I’m off.”

Were people walking up to him, “You know who you look like?”

“I know, I get it all the time. If I had a dinar for every time people say that. I’m not Bin Laden, I’m his cousin Jin Laden. Very different. He’s a terrorist. I’m a magician. [Pulls a quarter from behind the ear] Is that your quarter?”

The craziest part of that story were these Navy SEALs. These guys are so badass, they showed up in the middle of the night, it took 40 minutes, got the job done, got the hell out. And then afterwards they called up Pakistan and told them what they’ve done. “Hey, we just killed Bin Laden.”

And the Pakistani guys is like “What?! Bin Laden? I thought that was a lamp! No wonder he never turned on. He was always turned off.”

But the Navy SEALs ruined it for every guy in here. Those guys set the standards so high we’d never live up to it. My own wife was like “Why can’t you be more like a Navy SEAL?”

I was like “What do you mean? Do you want me to go around killing enemies of the state?”

She said “No, I want you to show up in the middle, take 40 minutes, get the job done, get the hell out.”

Damn! I thought I could show up, take 2 minutes, get the job done, get the hell out. I’ll be an elite force.

I like that joke, because in the first part woman are always like “That’s right, 40 minutes. Hahaha.” Second part, guys are like “That’s better Maz. 2 minutes. You should fix this, fix the expectations…”

 – Maz Jobrani

Bill Maher on Christian contradictions regarding the death of Osama…

New rule. If you’re a Christian who supports killing your enemies and torture, you have to come up with a new name for yourself.

Now, last week, as I was explaining why I didn’t feel at all guilty about Osama’s targeted assassination, I made some jokes about Christian hypocrisy. And since then, strangers have been coming up to me and forcing me to have the same conversation. So, let me explain two things. One, I’m not Matthew McConaughey. He surfs a long board. And, two, “capping thine enemy” is not exactly what Jesus would do. It’s what Suge Knight would do.

Now, for almost 2,000 years, Christians have been lawyering the Bible to try and figure out how “love thy neighbor” can mean “hate thy neighbor,” and how “turn the other cheek” can mean, “screw you, I’m buying space lasers.”

Martin Luther King gets to call himself a Christian because he actually practiced loving his enemies. And Gandhi was so f**king Christian, he was Hindu. But, if you rejoice in revenge, torture and war–hey, that’s why they call it the weekend!–you cannot say you’re a follower of the guy who explicitly said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.”

The next line isn’t, “And if that doesn’t work, send a titanium-fanged dog to rip his nuts off.”

Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick. He has lines like, “Do not repay evil with evil,” and “Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you.”

Really. It’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but non-violence was kind of Jesus’ trademark. Kind of his big thing. To not follow that part of it is like joining Greenpeace and hating whales.

I mean, you know, there’s “interpreting,” and then there’s just ignoring. It’s just ignoring if you’re for torture. As are more evangelical Christians than any other religion. You’re supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, “How could a man suffer like that and forgive?” not “Romans are p**sies; he still has his eyes.”

If you go to a baptism and hold the baby under until he starts talking, you’re missing the message. Like, apparently, our president, who says he gets Scripture on his Blackberry first thing every morning, but, who said on “60 Minutes” that anyone who would question that Bin Laden deserved assassination should–quote–“have their head examined.”

Hey, Fox News, you missed a big headline: “Obama thinks Jesus is nuts!” To which I say, Hallelujah, because my favorite new government program is surprising violent, religious zealots in the middle of the night and shooting them in the face. Sorry, Head Start, you’re number two now.

But, you see, I can say that because I’m a non-Christian. Just like most Christians. And, Christians, I know, I’m sorry, I know you hate this and you want to square this circle, but you can’t. I’m not even judging you. I’m just saying, logically, if you ignore every single thing Jesus commanded you to do, you’re not a Christian. You’re just auditing. You’re not Christ’s followers. You’re just fans. And if you believe the earth was given to you to kick a** on while gloating, you’re not really a Christian; you’re a Texan.

 – Bill Maher

Doug Stanhope on Osama Bin Bigfoot…

Osama Bin Laden is really this serious badass that we all have to be worried about. He’s calling on Muslims to attack Americans on all fronts, anywhere they can. Just blow them up, blow them up! That’s what the voiceover says on the tapes. How come not dick has happened since September 11? Not one fucking thing. No one has gotten so much as an Indian rug burn since September 11, but we should all still be very, very worried and follow George Bush very carefully because he’s in control, be very afraid. Nothing’s happened.

Bob on Dudley KLBJ, a B-market, third rated station, they could get on the air tomorrow, with that little power, and they could say you know what I had a bad meal at Schlotzsky’s last night, so I want all my listeners to go out and moon a Schlotzsky’s today. With that little power someone would still get a face full of ass for breakfast. But Osama Bin Bigfoot, the bad ass terrorist, he can’t get one crazy assed Muslim to leave a burning bag of dog shit on an Americans’ door step and ring the bell. That doesn’t add up to me. I’m no Alex Jones conspiracy theorist but once you start spotting some bull shit, then you start spotting it all. And that’s BULL SHIT! Bull blown up. That pipe bomber too. Man.

I think Osama Bin Laden is Tyler Durden. First rule of Al Qaeda, you do not talk about Al Qaeda. And that pipe bomber, trying to make a smiley face across the country, he’s part of Project Mayhem too. He had some great points, he did…he’s a kid, man…it’s just such bull shit. It’s just a big fat bloated celebrity, this country…It is…It’s just retards, and retards, you know.

“They blew up the World Trade Centre because they’re jealous of the way we live.”

No they’re not. They’re not jealous…They want us to stop fucking with them. Why are we over negotiating peace with the Middle East? Who the fuck are we? We have problems in this country…you know, the election, we had a big election dispute…with Gore and Bush. You didn’t see the Emperor of Tunisia coming over here, “I’m gonna help you guys work this out. You sit there, and you sit there, and we’re gonna have to come to a resolution…”

“Who is this f**king guy? Get him outta here. Blow shit up in his country.”

That shit’s the arrogance that gets shit blown up. “No, they’re jealous…”

No, they’re not jealous…that’s like the fat skanky unwashed girl on Ricky Lake, and they boo her, and she goes “You’re just jealous, you’re just jealous and all, you’re jealous of me, you’re jealous of my spandex and my dirty ass.”

Ew! Jealous? Stop f**king with people. But we have to f**k with them because they have all the oil. And that’s the only reason we’re over there. Shit goes on all over the world, and we don’t give a f**k about it. But where there is oil, all of a sudden we have to negotiate peace. Blow me! But everyone’s fat and has cable, so they don’t pay attention.

 – Doug Stanhope

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THE BOGEYMAN IN THE MIRROR

It all started way back in February of 2016. On the Muslim forum site deenport a user made the following comment under a discussion the user entitled ‘Bogeyman’:

I’ve wanted to say something for a while now. I’m tired of these articles pointing the finger at the West, Islamophobia, conspiracy theories or some other bogeyman. Why are Muslims so full of this rubbish? When are we going to stop and look at ourselves? I have had to unsubscribe myself from so many mailing lists and WhatsApp groups because of the rubbish Muslims like to keep circulating, so that we can keep our heads buried in the sand and ignore the rot in our backyard. We seem to be in deep denial about some of the atrocities that Muslims are committing around the world (and on home soil). It’s always someone else’s fault, or media bias. If we were true to our deen, no amount of mud the media throws at us would stick. Have we taken our responsibilities seriously in this country, or do we keep bleating on about our freedoms & rights? Why can’t we see and celebrate what is good in western society? We need to recognise the good will of these countries towards Muslims and immigrants, but I don’t see any articles on this. Another problem that I find, no offence to anyone, but Muslims in general seem to be of below average intelligence. Our thinking has sunk into extremisms in the fiqh, deen, and theological shallowness that feeds violent fundamentalists. Where have we gone wrong, or can someone enlighten me? Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? – comment made on deenport

In answer to the last question, I do indeed have some thoughts on this. Her heartfelt comments really got me thinking. Many questions were buzzing around my mind: Why are many Muslims in a bad way? How much blame do we shoulder ourselves? How much is it genuinely our own fault? How do I make sense of the situation we Muslims currently find ourselves in?

Worryingly, for me at least, was that the more I looked into this subject, the more I was realising a great deal of the problems that Muslims face today are self-induced. Below I have listed various reasons as to why Muslims are, on most occasions, their own worst enemy. This list of reasons unfortunately is by no means exhaustive. Also, whilst many of these reasons will have some overlap and thus seem repetitive, they are all still nonetheless valid points in their own right as well as collectively:

We face calamities because our faith is not sound…

Everything that happens to us that is calamitous, and this is hard to swallow, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but everything that happens to us that is calamitous is from disobeying Allah and His messenger. That’s simply reality, and until we come to terms with that our faith is not sound…We were given guidance, we were given a covenant. When the covenant is abandoned, calamities happen. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The above comment can also be related to the following quote from the third rightly guided caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattaab:

We were lowly and weak then Allah made us mighty with Islam. So when we seek mightiness in other than Islam, Allah humiliates us and brings us low. – Umar ibn Al-Khattaab

We are also self–righteous and self–conceited because our unsound faith…

We are regarded by the rest of humanity as the most self–righteous, self–conceited, winging group of people on the face of this earth, because we always blame other people for our decadence that we find ourselves in. – Shaykh Zahir Mahmood

Another relevant point is made by Omar Shahid:

It’s a depressing reality today that far too many Muslims are driving people out of their faith, rather than welcoming them in. A sense of self-righteousness, arrogance and intolerance has pervaded Muslim communities across the world and, if anything, it seems to be getting worse. While these may seem like generalisations, they are, in fact, uncomfortable truths and Muslims, not to mention an increasing amount of non-Muslim, know this to be the case. This sense of self-righteousness is the opposite of true religion. In fact, it’s satanic. Self-righteous behaviour in a religious person is a sign of weakness of faith. It’s also a sign that your religion has become your personal identity, so any attack on the religion becomes an attack on you. – Omar Shahid, from an article entitled Are Muslims The Most Intolerable People In The World?

We are far too quick to blame others…

Shaykh Zahir Mahmood, a Birmingham based Muslim scholar, shortly after 11th Sep 2001, said in a talk that I attended that we Muslims blame MI5, MI6, Mossad, CIA, FBI, Dajjal, the media, Freemasons, New World Order, jinn, jaddoo, nazar, the evil eye, and the rest. The truth is we Muslims are the ones to blame, for we are not following the faith as we should be following it. Sheikh Khalid Yasin also makes a similar point in the following talk:

We are also far too quick to blame ‘fate’…

This isn’t just a Saudi problem; it is a global Muslim problem. Fatalism is constantly used as an excuse for human neglect and errors…Accidents, of course, happen everywhere. Yet in the Muslim world, fatalism often serves as a cover for inadequate safety measures or greedy bosses unwilling to pay for them. That is why Turkey’s top cleric, Mehmet Gormez, an erudite theologian, felt the need to warn fellow Turks that “Producing excuses about ‘divine power’ for human guilt and responsibility is wrong,” after a Dickensian mine fire killed 301 workers in 2014. “The laws of nature are the laws of God. God has given us the ability to understand these laws and asked from us to act accordingly,” Mr. Gormez declared. “What is suitable for God’s will is to take the necessary precautions against the physical causes for disasters.” Consequently, “God’s will” becomes an easy cover for intellectual laziness, lack of planning, and irresponsibility. Muslims in positions of power often refer to “fate” to explain away their failures, while never hesitating to take pride in their successes. Colossal accidents in Mecca and elsewhere must be taken as alarm signals for Muslims to purge our societies of this problematic mentality and seek the great intellectual revival we need. Using oil money to import Western (or Far Eastern) technology is not a solution. What matters is gaining the skills to use that technology proficiently, with all the necessary precautions — and maybe one day inventing such technology ourselves. – Mustafa Akyol, author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, Sep 2015, from a New York Times article entitled Islam’s Tragic Fatalism

We think we are religious, which we may or may not be, but we are definitely unjust…

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, if you look at a Muslim nation such as Pakistan, for me the current condition of Pakistan is summed up succinctly in the following quote from Imam Ibn Taymiyyah:

God upholds a just state even if it is non-believing, but does not uphold an unjust state even if it is believing. – Imam Ibn Taymiyyah

With this in mind, think about the UK and Pakistan. Here in the UK if you were to kick your neighbour’s dog you would probably be arrested in a matter of hours. Over in Pakistan, you could murder people in broad daylight and get away with it. A work colleague of mine went to Pakistan a few years ago for a family wedding. His brother was mugged and shot in the street, left for dead. As far as I am aware, to this day there has been no justice. Here in the UK they may not have any faith but they have justice, whereas in Pakistan they claim (dubiously) to have faith but clearly justice cannot be found.

We have become so immoral that we are now obsessed with porn…

We just love to argue unnecessarily…

Maybe it’s me, but many Islamic discussions I have been involved with tend to be intellectually bleak, vacillating between shouting matches to occasional discussions of more meaningful affairs. The tone of such evenings moves effortlessly from that of schoolyard taunts to the odd substantive discussion, and then quickly back to schoolboy taunts. These discussions always remind of the following quote:

We Muslims are busy bickering over whether to fold or unfold our arms during prayer, while the enemy is devising ways of cutting them off. – Ruhollah Khomeini

In other words, we need to focus our energies on improving ourselves, rather than all this infighting which makes it easier for those who consider us their enemies.

Also, when Muslims from different groups discuss an issue, one thing I don’t understand is why does every opinion have to be competitive? Why the aggression? It seems that some Muslims just love to argue, they just love to go on the theological offensive. This point is better explained by the stand-up comedian Aron Kader when he talks about peace with Israel:

We have let politics take precedence over religion…

We Muslims like to believe that ours is “a religion of peace,” but today Islam looks more like a religion of conflict and bloodshed. From the civil wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen to internal tensions in Lebanon and Bahrain, to the dangerous rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East is plagued by intra-Muslim strife that seems to go back to the ancient Sunni-Shiite rivalry. Religion is not actually at the heart of these conflicts — invariably, politics is to blame. But the misuse of Islam and its history makes these political conflicts much worse as parties, governments and militias claim that they are fighting not over power or territory but on behalf of God. And when enemies are viewed as heretics rather than just opponents, peace becomes much harder to achieve…None of this means that Islam, with core values of justice, should be totally blind to politics. Religion can play a constructive role in political life, as when it inspires people to speak truth to power. But when Islam merges with power, or becomes a rallying cry in power struggles, its values begin to fade. – Mustafa Akyol, author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, Feb 2016, from a New York Times article entitled How Politics Has Poisoned Islam

We are too self-absorbed to realise that what we do impacts on everyone else…

…we must call a spade a spade. An Islamist may be a lost Muslim or a Muslim gone astray, but he or she is a Muslim all the same. We must stop repeating ad nauseam that these aberrant Muslims have “nothing to do with Islam.” In other words, we must acknowledge that two Islams are locked in a fight to the death, and that because the battlefield is the planet and the war threatens values that the West embraces, the fight is not solely the Muslims’ affair. – Bernard-Henri Lévy

We turn from oppressed to oppressor quicker than anyone else…

If you’re not ready for victory, if you don’t have the tazkiyah (the desire to purify your soul), then it’s a blessing that Allah will not give you victory, because it’s better to be oppressed then it is to be an oppressor. And if you don’t think people right now in the Arab world, if they were given victory…what do you think they’re going to do? What did they do to Gaddafi? Seriously? And he was a bad guy, undeniably, but what did they do to him? Did they take him to a mahkama (court)? Did they follow the rules of engagement? They could have taken him to a mahkama and tried him for crimes against the people of Libya. No. Instead they ripped him to pieces and filmed it. Is that how our Prophet came into Mecca? Seriously? Is that how Salah-Ud-Din-Al-Ayoobi came into Al-Quds (Jerusalem)?…Look at Nelson Mandela, he’s not even a Muslim. When he came into power, and these are people that imprisoned him for the best years of his life…put him in the worst prison, tortured him, he was tortured, did horrible things to him. He’s not even a Muslim, and when he gets into power, he has the Prophetic Sunnah, and what does that do? Everybody, everywhere, except the worst type of people, love Nelson Mandela. Seriously, they love him. Because he practiced the Prophetic Sunnah, which proves that even a non-Muslim, if he practices the Prophetic Sunnah, it will have the same effect on the hearts of the people. But if we’re not practicing the Sunnah then Allah is not going to give people victory. Why should He give people victory?…If we’re the same in our disobedience Allah gives them victory over us. He gives those with their kufr, He will give them victory over disobedient Muslims. Why? Because if they (the disobedient Muslims) get victory then they’re going to disgrace the religion. It’s better to be oppressed than to be an oppressor. If you’re not ready for power….then when you get power you’re going to do what everybody does when they get power: you’re going to become the tyrant. – adapted from a speech by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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We are divided, especially along the lines of Sunni and Shia…

The historical division between Sunni and Shia still continues strong after some 1,400 years. Today we see a great civil war that has begun between the two historic forms of Islam championed by Saudi Arabia and her allies on the one side, and Iran and its clients on the other, with the consequence that as many as 250,000 people have died in Syria and 4.5 million persons have become refugees.

In fact, all over the Muslim world there are conflicts deeply rooted in this Sunni-Shia schism: Yemen fighting with Saudi Arabia, civil war in Syria, persecution of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, Iranians not being allowed to perform Hajj this year, and the ongoing actions of ISIS to kill all Shia Muslims and to blow up all things Shia related.

This schism is rightly focused upon by the western media. Just yesterday morning I was listening to Sebastian Usher on BBC Radio 4. He was chronicling the war of words between Saudi Arabia and Iran during this year’s Hajj (From Our Own Correspondent: It’s Not What It Was – the discussion starts at 06:58). Add to this that on Monday, again on BBC Radio 4, Tarek Osman begins a 2 part series, Sunni-Shia: Islam Divided, which explains the Sunni-Shia divide past and present.

Here are a few quotes related to this topic:

I’m not fond of any religions, but if this were the 14th century when the Catholic Inquisition was going on and they were burning witches, I would be criticizing Christianity as the religion that was way too violent and took itself way too seriously. But this is not the 14th century, and it’s not the 16th century when Catholics and Protestants were slaughtering each other the same way Sunnis and Shiites are now. It’s the 21st century, and in the 21st century, the problem is more about Islam than it is about any other religion. – Bill Maher

Internecine conflict in the Islamic world is endemic. The unrelenting Shia and Sunni schism dominates it, but it also includes tribal and ethnic divides. In 2013, there were 12 Western victims of terror attacks compared to 22,000 non-Western fatalities. These do not include those killed by the barrel bombs that Syrian President Assad dropped on his own people, or civilians killed by warfare in Afghanistan or Iraq. From the jungles of Sulawesi to the deserts of Libya, Muslims are killing Muslims at a rate that dwarfs the more highly publicized conflict with the West. In that light, it is hard to subscribe to the theory this is a clash of civilizations. Rather, it is one culture turning on itself. – Scott Gilmore

So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous and cruel. – from the movie Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

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We blame other like Iblees does, rather than take responsibility like the Prophet Adam did…

A lot of Muslims now tend to want to blame things outside of themselves and always look that it’s somewhere else. If you read the Quran what you’ll find is that the person that blames in the Quran is Iblees, and the person that takes responsibility is Adam. And this is why Adam was given the Khilafah, the Caliphate, over Iblees because Iblees blames. He even blames Allah. What Iblees says to God is “Because You lead me astray I’m going to lead all of them astray.” This is a sickness, it is a disease of blaming the other for what happens. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a talk entitled Tribulation And Ease

We are very hypocritical, especially when we try to imitate the West…

The Arab Spring went all round the world. It started in Tunisia, then it went to Egypt and Syria. Every country in the Middle East was galvanised. Everywhere except Dubai. Because Dubai is a very interesting country. They’re a bit too, umm…There’s too much money there. There were people on the streets, going, “What do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? After happy hour!” And when you go there, they always give you some kind of…There’s always a guide who goes, “Omid, you come here. You come to Dubai. We are the Las Vegas of the Middle East. You want girl? We get you girl. You want drink? You can drink. You want to gamble? You can gamble. All day long. Girl, drink, gamble. Gamble, drink, girl. Drink, girl…You want to drink girl? We blend girl, you drink it! You want all three? We blend girl, you drink it, we bet how quickly you down it in one!” I said, “Actually, no. I’m not into all of that. I’m actually quite hungry.” “Ah, what you want, my friend? Anything you want.” I said, “I quite fancy a bacon sandwich.” He went, “Pork?! What do you think we are, infidels? This is a Muslim country! Now kindly drink your woman and leave!” – Omid Djalili, comedian, from Live At The Apollo (Series 8 Episode 5)

We perhaps do not realise just how bleak our picture is…

My husband is a professor of Middle East politics and an expert on Islamic democracy, so he travels to the Middle East frequently. He comes back with a lot of stories and our families are respectively from Pakistan and Iran, so we’ve seen one disaster after another. In the entire Muslim world, the picture is bleak, particularly with Iraq and Syria, but all over. A tremendous darkness on what was once such civilizational beauty, and elegance, and grace. – Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Islamic world is in relative decline. Or, more precisely, a large number of countries with a Muslim majority are not developing as rapidly as the rest of the world, and in some cases, like Syria, they are even regressing. This is a golden age for most. In the last 100 years life expectancy has more than doubled. In the last 50 years the poverty rate has fallen by 80 per cent. During that same time, the number of wars fell by a similar figure and the number of nations governed democratically tripled. But, while the global community leapt forward, Islamic nations (as defined as members of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation) have progressed at a much slower pace. – Scott Gilmore

We are openly killing our fellow Muslims for things we think they have done wrong…

Whilst there are unfortunately plenty of examples of Muslims killing their fellow Muslim brethren, one particular example impacted me more deeply than others. Asad Shah, a shop keeper in Glasgow, was murdered by Tanveer Ahmed for apparently insulting the Prophet (S). Shah was murdered outside his shop, a news agents that is a 2 minute drive from my parents’ home in Glasgow. Several members of my family went to the candle lit vigil held in the victims honour.

The deenport user referred to at the start of this post has also commented on this murder, responding to someone saying the murderer was ‘stark raving mad’:

‘Stark raving mad’, or was his nafs his Shaykh? I’m seeing this more and more often now. Muslims taking the Quran and Hadith into their own hands, and deriving their own rulings in order to do what pleases their nafs. He might feel that someone had disrespected the Prophet of Islam (SAW), but where did Prophet (SAW) instruct that you should kill someone for this? Something is completely missing here. This is where you arrive at when you refuse to defer to the scholars on matters of the Deen. And it’s a disease affecting the whole Ummah now. Just how do we reign it in? – comment made on deenport

Even more recently Mohammed Syeedy was found guilty in Manchester Crown Court of murdering 71-year-old Imam Jalal Uddin in a children’s park with a hammer in Rochdale. Syeedy said Uddin was not Muslim enough because he practised a form of spiritual healing called ruqiya, which involves special spiritual amulets. Syeedy thought this was akin to black magic, so he killed him. So extreme and shocking has this murder been that Haras Rafiq of the Quilliam Foundation counter-extremism think tank said:

The murder in Rochdale is a reflection of what I believe has been happening in the UK and around the world – there is a civil war within Islam right now. – Haras Rafiq

In a similar vein Arfan Shah made the following point:

It really annoys me that people cheat Islam and they are the first to be believed and others are seen as liars. Islam is not a vigilante religion, where people can say what they want and kill whoever they want. The ONLY people that can decree the punishment of death is a legitimate court. Not some hillbilly who can’t even read Arabic but can pull out a knife or a gun. This is a major sin and it cannot be justified. Murder cannot be justified ever. This is just one of the ways that Wahhabism has destroyed Sunnism. Great, we all look like fools now. If your love makes you kill someone else then it’s not pure love. Pure love has no hate for anyone. I find it offensive to the extreme that people commit sins and use the Prophet (SAAS) as an excuse. It does not matter if you saw him in real life or in a dream. He would NOT contradict the very law he was sent with!! I know that someone is lying. You might be able to fool others but not me. Blasphemy laws do not apply to non-Muslims, it’s that simple. If an insane politician makes a statement then it has to be reported to a judge who will deal with it. Taking the law into your own hands is wrong. Why? Because people could kill others and lie. It’s not just a sign of decadence but a sign of regression. It will also drive people out of Islam by making us all look like extremists, fools who cannot rationally apply an argument. The lunatics are in charge and the day of judgement is not far… – Arfan Shah, from an article entitle Vigilantism

We make excuses, pathetic excuses, for when we commit mass murder…

In homicide trials I’ve always been slightly suspicious of the “I was abused as a child so I had to murder my girlfriend” courtroom defense. Or “I was high on meth at the time and…” Or, “I couldn’t find a job and shot the cop…” Or, “I have too low an IQ to understand the consequences when the AK47 in my hand got a life of its own …” The latest version of “Yes I killed my parents so please don’t punish me because I’m an orphan” is the current excuse for young Sunni Muslims on jihadi rampage in Brussels, Ankara and Istanbul (where most victims are Muslims), London and San Bernardino. The key words are “disaffected”, “alienated”, “excluded” or “embittered European youth”. You live in a slum suburb like Molenbeek or an inhumanly colossal concrete Corbusier-designed Paris banlieue where exclusion, discrimination and poverty drive you to petty crime and prison where you convert to mass murder of innocent Muslims and us. Please. – Clancy Sigal, from an article entitled The Devil Made Me Do It

We are so backward that we are not on the International Space Station, yet we should be, yet we’re not, and this is why…

This final point for me sums it all up regarding the situation we Muslims currently find ourselves in. Scott Gilmore makes the following deeply cutting comments about how Muslim nations are in some aspects way behind non-Muslim nations:

There are no Islamic nations on the International Space Station. Why? No one in the Muslim world has an advanced economy capable of supporting a competitive space program. Some argue it is due to a combination of “guns, germs and steel”—economic and geographic circumstances that have historically favoured some regions over others. This has left the Islamic world handicapped, unable to join the ranks of leading powers in the 21st century. Or, it could be due to historical injustices like those committed by diplomats such as François Georges-Picot and Sir Mark Sykes, who, infamously and arbitrarily, carved up the Middle East in 1917, condemning it to a cyclical hell of internecine war. Further east, colonial legacies can be faulted for the ragged states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. And, of course, the endless parade of self-interested dictators from Rabat to Jakarta must not be forgotten.

But those answers ignore the men, their faces covered with black masks, walking through the streets of Paris, killing in the name of their God. They might not be the reason the Islamic world has been left behind, but they are the reason it is staying there.

All faiths have their fanatics, and I won’t debate whether one desert creed is intrinsically more violent than another. But Islamist terror exists. It is endemic. It has reshaped the world over the last 20 years. And the world it created has, ironically, left Muslims further behind.

The twin towers. Subways in London. A nightclub in Bali. A memorial in Ottawa. A café in Sydney. A magazine in Paris. None of these attacks avenged the Prophet. They diminished him. None of these attacks defended Islam. They marginalized it. Incrementally, one after another, they have forced us to treat Islamic nations as problems, not partners. Governments around the world—Australia, China, Russia, France, the United States—now see Muslim nations as places that must be contained, sidelined and neutralized. Partners in a space program? No. Impossible.

We, and our governments, don’t say this. In fact, we do all we can to make it appear otherwise. U.S. President Barack Obama himself proposed using the NASA space program as a tool to reach out to the Islamic world, for example. Nonetheless, with every act of terror, we push the Muslim world further way. We accept fewer refugees. We send more drones. We watch more mosques. We close more embassies. We issue fewer visas. We leave them further behind.

This may be unfair and ultimately counterproductive, but it is true. Islamist terror has achieved nothing but to weaken and isolate Islam. Will these attacks eventually end, as the zealots realize what they have wrought? Or have we now passed the tipping point, where Islamic culture can only continue to self-destructively spiral inward? I can’t offer a prediction. But mankind is now in space, and we didn’t bring the Muslim world with us.

 – Scott Gilmore

10 QUOTES ABOUT MUSLIMS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA

Much has been written recently about Islam in Europe and America. Whilst both American and European Muslims are constantly battling with issues of identity and where home truly is, each group is also dealing with specific issues. American Muslims are having to deal with echoes of 911, the rise of Trump, the perils of flying whilst Muslim (especially on American Airlines), and the rest. European Muslims are having to deal with issues of the influx of Muslim refugees, burkinis, ISIS terror cells, Brexit, the rise of right-wing nationalism in individual European countries, the threatening Arabisation of Europe, and many other issues.

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What to make of all this? In order to try and understand, in however small a capacity, what is happening and why I have listed below several quotes which, I hope, are somewhat informative, thought provoking, and opinion generating. As much as one can, enjoy!

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Apparently, one in five people in America don’t think Barack Obama is a Christian, they think he’s a Muslim, although he goes to church every week. These people, they don’t think him going to church every week makes him a Christian, they think it just makes him a bad Muslim. – Andy Parsons, comedian

Cultures decline and fall. The decline and fall of Islam was the rise of Europe. Don’t forget that Europe rose with the introduction of all the Islamic sciences that came into it with the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the fall of Granada in 1492. This is the transformation of the West. This is when all these great works were translated into Latin. The translation movement was amazing. It stimulated Europe and they took it and they’ve been going for five hundred years now. But the truth is the Muslims were going for a thousand years before that. People forget, when you look in terms of the long-term vision of it, what happened in the Muslim World will happen here, it’s only a matter of time. The Romans had their time. Civilizations have their time. They decline and fall. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

For those who say we do not want Muslims in Europe, I am sorry. We have always been here. When were we not here? England became Christian in the 8th century, the Muslims were already in Europe. The Muslims were already in Europe when this country became Christian. We have always been here and we are here to stay. But we need to be upright people. We need to be people that people want to live next to you because they feel their children are safe in your presence. They feel their houses are safe in your presence. They feel their stores are safe in your presence. That is the way the Muslims should be. And all of those who are disgracing this religion, they are disgracing the Messenger of Allah (S). Really. And unity will not come in this community until we begin to take this position. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a speech given in England

I think you have to start with some level of empathy. Part of what is happening now is just a complete loss of empathy between all sides. I mean, if you’re a black kid you have no empathy for the legitimate fears of a white cop. If you’re a white cop you completely dismiss the concerns about racial profiling from that black kid, who might be a college student for all you know. No empathy. If you are a white working class person, you say “Oh, these Muslims, these Muslims…” But you forget, we have six million Muslims in America right now. They have the lowest crime rate of any group. Thomas Jefferson had a Koran. Islam is not some new phenomenon in the United States. The radicalisation of Islam overseas is but, you know, your doctor, your dentist, your cab driver, might be a Muslim. [So] What are you talking about?! But we are starting to lose track of each other’s basic humanity. That is very dangerous in a country, and when that happens you have demagogues on all sides. And what is happening, I think, is because…it’s not…sure, the economic pain here compared to, you know, Haiti – hey, look, we’re all living high on the hog. But that’s not what people react to. They react to their expectations. And their expectations are that tomorrow will be worse than yesterday. That opens the door for demagogues. – Van Jones, political commentator, speaking on CNN, 20 Jul 2016

In America I’m asked, ‘Why does Islam hate the West?’ Abroad I’m asked, ‘Why does the West hate Islam?’ And all this time I’m asking myself, ‘Who is Islam? And who is the West? And how come I’ve never met either of them?’ – Wahajat Ali, author, from a radio discussion entitled Fear Of A Muslim Planet

Most people are unaware of the incredible contribution that Islam has made to human civilization. We call our numerals Arabic numerals. Many of our stars have Arabic names because the great Muslim astronomers were the ones that wrote the most advanced books on astronomy. When I went to Turkey I was so struck by how much of European civilization came from the influence of the Ottomans. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

The vast majority of the people who are doing the mass shootings in America aren’t Muslims at all…You are seven times more likely to be killed by a right wing extremist — a racist or an anti-government nutjob — seven times more likely than a Muslim…If I came on TV and said let’s start racially profiling white men, let’s start racially profiling young, white men who are loners with bowl haircuts, people would think, ‘Wow, that’s a pretty unfortunate conclusion for you to come to.’ If a Christian shoots somebody, we don’t say a Christian shot them. But if a Muslim shoots somebody, we say a Muslim shot them. I think that’s starting to muddy the waters. – Van Jones, political commentator, speaking on CNN, July 2016

Traditional images of God seem to have lost their appeal in modern American and European culture. It is not that God’s existence has been disproved –– philosophers continue to debate the proofs inconclusively, and no informed and honest observer of the philosophical scene really thinks a case has been established either way, or ever will be. No, God has simply become boring and irrelevant. We no longer care for big men with white beards. We no longer feel the weight of tremendous guilt that drove the Pilgrim onto his Progress. Jesus has sunk into the pages of irrecoverable history, and it seems impossible to draw him out again in a new resurrection which might make him a powerful image of infinity for more than a tiny handful of our contemporaries. The sad thing –– and it is sad, for it is a loss of a kind of perception, the atrophy of a distinctively human way of seeing –– is that there seems to be nothing to replace such images, to show us how ‘to be one with the infinite in the midst of the finite and to be eternal in a moment’. – from the book God: A Guide For The Perplexed by Keith Ward

Western people think that religion is a scaffolding that we built our civilization with and now that it’s built we can get rid of the scaffolding. I think there’s a very strong argument that it is the civilization, and if you get rid of it you’re left with buildings that are devoid of meaning. I think that’s what a lot of Western people are struggling with. The Muslims don’t have that crisis. Their crisis is that buildings are derelict but they still have meaning in them. And they don’t have the wherewithal to renovate. Renovation is a beautiful word, because in the Islamic tradition people are called to renovate, to renew. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

With Brexit engulfing the land, a people divided more than they’ve been in living memory, and terrorist activity on the rise, privacy seems as if it might slip from our grasp. “Yeah man, scary times,” says Ahmed, sounding genuinely afraid. “What happened in 1930s Europe, we had a rise in inequality, financial crisis and collapse, polarisation of the political parties, the rise of the far left and the far right, disillusionment [towards] the establishment, and the systemic scapegoating of ethnic minorities,” he says, drawing contemporary parallels. “So yeah, you don’t need to tell me we live in scary times, man. I’m Muslim.” – Riz Ahmed, actor, from an interview in the Guardian, 23 July 2016

Another Trump Blog Post? Seriously?

“Donald Trump is everywhere. It sometimes seems, and has seemed this way for several months, that the Republican nominee is all anyone can talk about. Whether this is because the media is doing its duty or because news organizations are capitalizing on Trump’s bombast for ratings and traffic is a matter of debate. But one thing is clear: Trump is getting outsized attention compared with his opponents.”

So says journalist Adrienne LaFrance over at The Atlantic Monthly. And I fully agree. However, I know what you’re thinking, “Another Trump blog post? Seriously?” So I begin with an apology. I am truly sorry for blogging about the Donald once again. But it’s not really my fault. I try my best to keep up with all the latest news about him but Trump is an online moving target, with so much being written and said about him on a daily basis.

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Trump, an actual 70 year old human being, is a political car wreck that has the whole world rubber necking. The constant speculation about him is breathless and endless. This makes it nigh on impossible to keep fully up-to-date with all things Trumpian. Having said that, below is a selection of quotes and cartoons about some of the more recent and more interesting things related to Trump. As much as one can stomach, enjoy!


Some of the best and most recent descriptions of Trump…

A racist voodoo doll made of discarded cat hair – John Oliver

Cinnamon Hitler – Trevor Noah

Tangerine Mussolini – Molly Crabapple

A demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator – Prof Stephen Hawking

An unhinged tangerine-coloured candidate with cotton candy hair who lies about being a billionaire – The Daily Mash

A rabid coyote with bad hair – Stephen King

An arrogant asshole [with an] ego the size of Texas – Cher

F*ckface von Clownstick – Jon Stewart

A megalomaniac reality TV star incapable of understanding facts – The Daily Mash

A damaged, sociopathic narcissist – John Oliver

One former Marine infantry officer described Trump to me as a “fake-bake-ing chicken hawk” whose “knowledge of the Middle East could be trumped (sorry) by your average Georgetown sophomore” – Andy Kroll

A two-bit bullshit artist conning America to help himself – John Oliver (recently Oliver said if Trump pulls out of the presidential race claiming it was all a joke to test the American populous, then he can become “a three-bit bullshit artist conning America to help America”)

The modern incarnation of Narcissus, a terrible-to-behold mirror image of America’s worst public face – Thomas Singer

The imploding star that is Donald Trump, the owner of what you might describe as ‘resting rich face.’ – John Oliver

A demented orange murder clown – The Daily Mash

[His political campaign is] the political equivalent of a bigoted clowns blazing funeral pyre – John Oliver


The best description is from Fareed Zakaria who described Trump as a…


Various quotes…

If Donald Trump is president of the United States, it will be the end of the world. – Jennifer Lawrence

Try as I might, I cannot make my brain work like a Trump voter. Maybe it’s my mother not drinking when she was pregnant. I just don’t get how Trump has been able to convince so many people. – Bill Maher

For more than a year, to the disbelief, especially, of America’s media and political elites, Trump defied all the laws of political gravity. Every insane utterance seemed to boost, rather than hinder him. Written off by everyone as a joke, the orange juggernaut blundered on to win handily in the primaries. – Nicky Woolf

When are you going to realise it wasn’t a good idea to put your name on every shitty product you’ve ever been a part of?…If you ever robbed a bank your getaway car would be a van with the words ‘Trump Robberies’ on the side. – Seth Meyers


Trump stumbles from one verbal disaster to the next…

He has clearly said countless awful things throughout this campaign. Any of which would disqualify any other candidate. Just this week, he declined yet again to release his tax returns, lied about getting a letter from the NFL agreeing with him that the debates shouldn’t clash with football games, called Angela Merkel a moron, implied that Brazil brought the Zika Virus on themselves, and encouraged a foreign powers hack of his political rival. Now, two of those didn’t happen. But you’re not sure which two. And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Because Trump hasn’t said one crazy thing. He’s said thousands of crazy things, each of which blunts the effect of the others. It’s the bed of nails principle. If you step on one nail, it hurts you. If you step on a thousand nails, no single one stands out, and you’re fine. That is how Donald Trump has managed to say pretty much anything in this campaign, seemingly without consequences. – John Oliver

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The chaos is Trump and Trump is the chaos…

Trump…didn’t cause the chaos. The chaos caused Trump. What we are seeing is not a temporary spasm of chaos but a chaos syndrome. – Jonathan Rauch

The rules and customs of American politics have not and do not apply to Trump; therefore, we cannot judge his presidential campaign within their context. Trump and his campaign cannot be off message because Trump and his campaign do not have a message. Trump and his campaign cannot be in disarray because Trump and his campaign invite and weaponize disarray. In short, nothing matters…Trump’s campaign has forever been populated by amateurs and lunatics who have somehow managed to guide him to success thus far. And that success is not in spite of his inability to stay “on message” but because of it. Trump’s message is chaos. Trump’s free associative speeches are a reflection of what he claims is the chaos in the country. He can’t speak in real sentences with a beginning, a middle, and an end because he’s just too outraged about too many things too much of the time to form thoughts like that. – Olivia Nuzzi

It spirals on, this massively entertaining, hugely terrifying collision between worlds, the real one and the parallel universe of Trump’s creation, masquerading as a presidential election. – Matthew Norman

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Trump has been linked to the Syrian boy Omran…

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Final thought – under Hillary things may not be so different after all…

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