KUMAIL, ISMAEL, KHALID…AND JOE

Kumail SNL

After doing a rather serious blog post about suicide, depression, and loneliness, I thought it best to do a blog post to uplift the spirits. In that regard please find below 21 minutes of glorious stand up comedy, all with a slightly Islamic stance. As usual, I have tried to transcribe some of my favourite moments. I do hope you enjoy!


Kumail Nanjiani

In his stand up monologue on the legendary TV show Saturday Night Live, aired on 14th October 2017, Kumail tackled the ever prevalent disease of Islamophobia.

Islamophobia is really on the rise right now. It never really went away but it’s really having a moment right now. Islamophobia is kind of like “Will & Grace”, it was huge a while ago and then we thought it was gone and done and now it’s back and bigger than ever. Thursdays on NBC! They make me say that.

I saw a guy be like “Of course all Muslims are sexist. The Qur’an says women can’t drive.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure the Qur’an never said that. Because if the Qur’an had said women can’t drive cars 1400 years ago, I would be at the mosque right now. And so would all of you. Because that would mean the Quran predicted cars. If 1400 years ago the Qur’an was like “Some day there will be a metallic box that will carry you wherever you want, and it will have four wheels, and you’ll have to put gasoline in it, and it’ll have a little speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, and it’ll have a Bluetooth connection, and women shouldn’t drive it,” I would be like “I know two things for sure: Islam is the only true religion, and women shouldn’t drive.”

I am so glad you laughed at that, because otherwise it sounds like I’m just giving a very divisive speech. “Islam is the only true religion! Women shouldn’t drive!” That would definitely be the quote on the internet tomorrow.

Sikh people get attacked all the time for being Muslim. Spoiler alert, they’re not. But they’re brown and they were turbans so people attack them for being Muslim, which must put them in such an awkward position, because they’re like “I’m not Muslim. Not that you should attack Muslims, but if you’re looking to attack Muslims, which you shouldn’t, I’m not one. There is a Muslim right over there. Don’t attack him. Unless somebody’s definitely getting attacked, in which case get it right, which is wrong.”

Which brings me to my problem with most racism. Here’s my problem with most racism. It’s the inaccuracy, that’s what bugs me. I’m like “Do the research! Put in the work! You will see the benefits!” I’ll give you an example. If someone yells at me “Go back to India” I’d be like “That guy’s an idiot.” But if someone was like “Go back to Pakistan, which was part of India until 1947 and is now home to the world’s oldest salt mine” I would be like “That guy seems to know what he’s saying. I’ll pack my bags.” Just because you’re racist doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant. An informed racist is a better racist.

 – Kumail Nanjiani, 14 Oct 2017, from Saturday Night live


Ismael Loutfi

Here is Ismael Loutfi making his TV debut on the world famous American TV chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live!

I’m a Muslim. That hasn’t been fun. I don’t know if you’ve noticed. Last 16 years have been pretty stressful for us. I can’t watch the news, just the way they talk about us is so demeaning. The buzzwords they use, they’re always talking about moderate Muslims. That’s their go-to. They’re always like “Hey, I want to see one moderate Muslim. Show me one moderate Muslim denounce terror. I wanna see what it’s like…” Screw you dude! First of all, who came up with that term moderate Muslim? What an objectifying label to give to a billion and a half people. It’s like “Well, you got your moderate Muslims, your mild Muslims, your sweet-and-sour Muslims, you got your lemon pepper, your teriyaki.”

And also, we do denounce terror all the time but nobody puts a camera on that. Nobody wants to see people be moderate, that’s boring. You want to see people jump up and down and be crazy, that’s the whole point of the news system is just to sensationalize everything. It makes me so mad. I just want to blow some stuff up. I just want to…I get so angry! Anybody else have that instinct in their blood? I don’t know. I don’t know what that is. Probably nothing to worry about.

 – Ismael Loutfi, Oct 2017, from Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Khalid Rahmaan

A talented American comedian on the double meaning of the word Chad.

Do you guys think it’s weird that Chad is the whitest name ever, and the blackest place on the planet? No one in Chad has a friend named Chad. Being from Chad, West Africa is like being from Mohammed, Wisconsin.

My full name is Khalid Abdul Rahmaan. So obviously this is my going-away show.

My parents converted to Islam back in the 60s, because just being black people in the 60s wasn’t difficult enough. They had to get that negro extra credit.

I shouldn’t complain. It is tough being black and Muslim but I shouldn’t complain. My younger brother is black, gay, and Muslim. The day after the election I called him up and I said “Hey bro, you might want to drop one of those.”

 – Khalid Rahmaan


Joe Lycett

Currently one of the best British stand ups around, here is the always brilliant Joe Lycett, a non Muslim who understands and explains so eloquently the fine line between ‘terrorist’ and ‘knobhead’.

I want to talk about Birmingham because I am from Birmingham. I was watching Fox News the other week, the reputable news source that is Fox News! And they described Birmingham as “100% Muslim”. As-salaam-Alaikum. “Wa-laikum-Salaam” is what you say back, but don’t worry, we’ll work it out.

I was interested in that because they said “100% Muslim”. It is a sort of truth. There are a lot of Muslims in Birmingham. There are a lot of all cultures there. We are known for being multicultural. We are quite good at it. One of the most famous Muslims in Birmingham is Malala Yousafzai. I don’t know if people are familiar with her? Yes, she’s brilliant. If you don’t know who she is, she’s an 18-year-old schoolgirl who was shot at by the Taliban for wanting to be educated. She now goes to Edgbaston High School for Girls. It is a private school. I don’t think she pays the fees! I personally would hate to go to school with Malala Yousafzai. Can you imagine Show and Tell Day with Malala?

“OK, class, what have you brought in? Sally, let’s start with you.”

And Sally goes, “I’ve brought in a papier mache cat that I made”.

“OK, anyone else bring anything in? Malala, did you bring anything in?”

“This Nobel Peace Prize.”

“Sally…You’re a piece of shit.”

I’d hate to be a teacher, as well. You’re not going to tell Malala off for anything.

“What are you doing with that phone Malala?”

“Texting Barack Obama, actually, so…”

“Oh, sorry. Um, Sally…you’re a piece of shit.”

Poor Sally. No, I made her up. I was annoyed about that. I was annoyed when they said we were 100% Muslim, because when they say things like that, there is a subtext to that. What they are saying is that we should be worried about that, that there is something terrifying, frightening about Muslims. I think we have got a problem. I think we are using the word “Muslim” far too quickly to describe people doing atrocities, when they do not represent Muslims any more than I do. I think we should be using a more accurate word for those people, which I am going to argue is “knobhead”. It’s a political rally now.

There would be levels of knobhead. You would have a moderate knobhead, all the way up to fundamental knobhead. And if we all did it, the news would have to catch up. They would have to go, “Today, two knobheads bombed a car.” They would have to do it…No, I don’t have a problem with Muslims in Birmingham, at all. Happy to have them. I think they add to our city and to our culture.

– Joe Lycett, from the BBC TV show Live At The Apollo

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