Documentary follows comics’ tour of middle America that aims to demystify their religion and to combat Islamphobia
MONTREAL — Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah are two New York City-based comics. They are very funny. They are also Muslims. They fear that fellow Americans, particularly in the boonies, are getting the wrong impression of Muslims based on the actions of a few and the rhetoric of non-Muslim pontificators.
Rhetoric like this: “There is a virus more toxic than swine flu (sweeping the land) … They are trying to force Shariah law on the country … Every single, solitary butterball turkey that has been sold in the U.S. for Thanksgiving has been sacrificed to Allah — (because it’s) halal … Why don’t they go back to the countries they came from.”
So Farsad and Obeidallah decided to take affirmative action. They organized a tour with a band of standups and hit, not safe cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago, but the American heartland — where natives rarely come into contact with Muslims. The comics not only performed for free, but they set up Ask the Muslim and Hug a Muslim booths as well as offering a Bowl with a Muslim service.
The idea was to demystify their religion and to combat Islamphobia, as well to lay a few laughs on the folks. They appear to have succeeded, too.
Farsad and Obeidallah captured their odyssey on film and emerged with the revealing and whimsical docucomedy The Muslims Are Coming! (which has been released theatrically in the U.S. and which is now available for download on iTunes in this country).