Islam and popular culture: an Inside Islam recap

All-American Muslim, a reality TV show we covered in 2011. Photo: TLC

It’s fitting to end Inside Islam where we started. When we first began the project, we focused heavily on Islam in popular culture and media. Our first shows and posts focused on Muslim youth and new media, videobloggers, and even fashion.

Our focus on cultural topics was deliberate. In our efforts to break down stereotypes about Islam, our strategy was to humanize Muslims by showing them engaged in activities non-Muslims could relate to. Popular culture has always cut across cultural and geographic borders, so we focused heavily on the medium. Continue reading

Can Comedy and Religion Go Together?

In a world where religion is part of so many conflicts, some have found ways  to bring people together and force them to address their stereotypes. Comedy is one way to achieve this goal. Laughing together can create a sense of understanding across differences. While some may people may not associate the two terms “Muslim” and “comedian” (or even “religion” and “comedy”), there have been many Muslims like Azhar Usman, Mo Amer, Preacher Moss, Maysoon Ziad, Tissa Hami, who have used comedy as a way to break stereotypes  and to make the audience appreciate their differences.

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Comedians Break Muslim Stereotypes

Allah Made Me Funny.jpg

Muslim comedian Preacher Moss founded the Allah Made Me Funny comedy group after September 11, 2001. Following years of touring around the world as a stand-up group, Azhar Usman, Mo Amer, and Preacher Moss filmed and produced a full-length movie of their performances. The movie showed in American theaters from October 3 to October 9, 2008.

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