WASHINGTON – Taking on topics that affect Muslim Americans such as surveillance, racial profiling, online bullying, media bias, and mosque protests, a new sitcom has been announced by actor and writer Aasif Mandvi, bringing Muslim families closer to Americans.
“It began with Katie Couric saying that what Muslims need in America to fight bigotry might be its very own ‘Cosby Show,’” Mandvi told NBC News on Thursday, February 26.
“We took that idea at ‘The Daily Show’ and created a sitcom parody that we aired a portion of on ‘The Daily Show.’”
Mandvi has wrapped up his campaign for new series, “Halal in the Family,” to finish post-production on the new web series, a sitcom starring a Muslim-American family.
It was first aired in 2011 under the title “The Qu’Osby Show.”
Starring Mandvi and Sakina Jaffrey, the series mixed all elements of American comedies in a Muslim package.
The idea was further developed to combat racism and bigotry towards Muslim Americans and came under the new title, Halal in the Family.
“We wanted to create the web series to use satire and comedy as a way to shed light on some important issues,” said Mandvi, “And make people laugh.”
Producers saw the sitcom as urgently needed to combat misconceptions about Islam after a 2014 “American Attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims” survey by the Arab American Institute found that only 27 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslims. The sitcom also seeks to challenge harmful stereotypes of Muslims and to expose a more Americans to the real, everyday experiences of their Muslim neighbors. “By using satire,” wrote Mandvi in his Indiegogo appeal, “We will encourage people to reconsider their assumptions about Muslims while providing a balm to those experiencing anti-Muslim bias. I also hope those Uncles and Aunties out there will crack a smile!”
The project received support from the Muslim, Asian, and civil rights organizations advising the project.
“By using satire, we will encourage people to reconsider their assumptions about Muslims while providing a balm to those experiencing anti-Muslim bias,” said Mandvi.