Islamophobia is a multi-faceted problem and the fear is carried forward by stereotyping and typecasting. And as the world battles the deadly fear, artistes around the world have tried to fight it through their art breaking myths and prejudices.
One such personality has come forward to share his experience about the social stigma and perceived notions about Muslims prevalent in the US. Actor-turned-comedian Ahmed Ahmed in a video narrated the stories about being typecast as only a terrorist or any evil character in films and shows. Ahmed tired of being portrayed as a negative character asked his agent not to call him for such roles and sadly says, “The phone stopped ringing.”
The video is part of a series titled ‘The Secret Life of Muslims’ by Seftel Productions and is the first of many to be released in the following weeks. In the inaugural episode distributed by Vox, the actor narrates how he “uses comedy as a platform for addressing harmful Muslim stereotypes.”
Ahmed laments, “There was never an Arab friend, never an Arab doctor in the ER, they never had a guy like me.” He also shared how after losing out on acting offers he worked at a small restaurant and through it realised he had the talent to become a standup-comedian.
He also spoke about the prevalent hatred against Muslim after the 9/11 attack. Ahmed says, “Stand-up comedy allowed me to have a voice to talk about being a Muslim in a funny way without having being to be imposing or threatening.”
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Ahmed adds, “The impression that America’s is getting, the negative impression about Muslims is not good.”
In the video Ahmed highlights many stereotyping notions in a funny way but the message is clear and has been delivered perfectly.