From The National (United Arab Emirates)
If you’re going to try to conquer Islamophobia in the United States with laughter, the very first problem you might run into is finding American-Muslim comedians. There just aren’t that many out there.
The second, third and fourth problems may well be surviving the right-wing blog vitriol, a suspicious cyber attack and a minor detention at the Mexico-Arizona border. When it’s all over, you’ll still need to find the funding to complete your documentary and share the laughs with the world.
The Iranian-American comedian Negin Farsad has experienced all this and more since dreaming up The Muslims are Coming, a socially conscious film that makes its point by making jokes.
“That’s the crazy thing about documentaries,” Farsad says. “Anything can happen when you’re filming. There’s no script.”
She and co-director Dean Obeidallah, a Palestinian-American comedian known for being part of the Axis of Evil comedy group, assembled seven Muslim humorists, representing a range of devoutness, and planned a tour across the southern and western US. Farsad says she was prompted into action by persistent anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, such as the ‘Birther’ conspiracy that claims Barack Obama is a foreign-born Muslim and ineligible to hold the presidency.