Wednesday, November 21, 2007


BBC has another candidate for the much-fought-over UK press stupid question of the year. So Does Islam Have A Sense Of Humour? Now the answer in real life is "no". Only some creatures, certainly more than just humans but probably only the great apes - us, orangutans, chimps, gorillas and bonobos - have a sense of humour. A religion can't have a sense of humour.

What else are those diligent journalists trying to achieve here (aside from re-gurgitating a press release from someone organising a themed comedy tour of the UK)?

Do Muslims have a sense of humour? Of course most of them do. Being a Muslim doesn't affect your ability to enjoy and generate humour. It might affect your ability to go out and enjoy specifically-staged humour, if you are in one of those Muslim cultures which forbid entertainment. There were certainly a few Muslims who failed to see the funny side of the Danish-published cartoons of Mohammed. And there is certainly one lunatic Christian extremist who hasn't seen the funny side of Jerry Springer The Opera.

But also the article is about three male Muslim comics touring the UK. How out of date are they? Don't they know we now have a female Muslim comic in Britain? While their interviewees are explaining "women in hijaabs do laugh you know", there is pretty good evidence to suggest that some Muslim women (with or without hijabs) actually tell jokes too. While the men interviewed are still making jokes about "marriage" and "mother-in-laws", the fabulous Shazia Mirza (pictured) is making documentaries on TV and performing at all the major comedy clubs around the country. Keep up BBC...


Zeynab said...

HA! I like the post. We've already written a similar post about Muslim women in comedy, but do you mind if I link to your post here? We do a linkfest every Friday.

Cruella said...

No, not at all, please do, thanks.