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Top Muslim comedians combat Islamophobia with humor at Muslim Funny Fest

By Mahvish Irfan

“I beat my pregnant wife – to the door, so I can open it for her. She’s a lovely woman.”

Beware! The Muslims are coming. Their plan is to invade New York City ruthlessly with laughter in America’s first Muslim stand up comedy festival. The invasion will occur from July 21, 2015 – July 23, 2015 in New York City at the Muslim Funny Fest.

Leading the invasion are Co-Producers Maysoon Zayid and Dean Obeidallah. A total of 15 of the top Muslim comedians from the US, two from the Middle East and one from Canada will be featured.

Comedians include Ali Al Sayed, Ali Hassan, Aman Ali, Azhar Usman, Dina Hashem, Gibran Saleem, Hisham Fageeh, Mo Amer, Negin Farsad, Preacher Moss, Ramy Youssef, Sana Khan, Zahra Noorbakhsh and more.

From ISIS to Islamophobia, no topic will be off limits. Comedians will joke about everything in the book, including the touchy topics of religion and politics.

“The United States is scared of two things: black people and Muslims,” African American comedian Preacher Moss explains in the Muslim Funny Fest trailer. “I’ve got the best of both worlds.”

Though entertainers hail from all different ethnic backgrounds and will joke about a broad range of topics, there’s a unifying theme for the whole event: Using humor to change the negative perception of Muslims.

While comedians find it unfortunate that the hatred they face for practicing their faith is a unifying link amongst them, they are confident that laughter is the best weapon to create change.
After all, who doesn’t love to laugh? It’s an essential part of the universal human language. In fact, Obeidallah hopes to have a large audience consisting of all faiths to maximize impact.

This is especially important considering that Muslims are viewed more negatively than any other religious group in the US, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll. Contrastingly, Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed most positively.

But a simple thing like humor has the power to shift that negative perception. Everyone loves a good joke. It fosters an environment of positivity and helps everyone relate to one another.

Schedule

Here is the fun-filled, 3-day schedule for Muslim Funny Fest:

July 21: The three stars of “The Allah Made Me Funny” tour, Azhar Usman, Preacher Moss and Mo Amer, reunite for this special show.

July 22: “The Muslim Comedy All-Stars” featuring a hilarious line up of Muslim comedian from the U.S., Canada and Dubai including Maysoon Zayid, Dean Obeidallah, Ali Al Sayed, Gibran Saleem, Ramy Youssef and more.

July 23: “America’s Funniest Muslims” with top Muslim comedians from across the United States together for one big show including Dean Obeidallah, Maysoon Zayid, Wali Collins, Aman Ali, Feraz Shere, Negin Farsad and more.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Age limit is 17 and older and content is PG-13.

For full details about Muslim Funny Fest visit muslimfunnyfest.com. Stay updated on facebook.com/MuslimFunnyFest and @Muslimfunnyfest on Twitter.

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