Aatif Nawaz: Muslims Do It Five Times A Day
A loud assault on religious taboos and censorship
This article is from 2015.
If it's fine for Catholic comedians to have a pop at ridiculous sides of their religion, and OK for Jewish stand-ups to get laughs from an impression of their mum and her hilarious accent, why should it be any different for a Muslim entertainer? That's kind of Aatif Nawaz's point in his first Fringe solo show as he becomes determined to debunk a few myths and troubleshoot some reductive stereotypes.
The London based British-Pakistani is fed up of the pussy-footing around Islam with our fear of being offensive and the general taboos about a religion that society is finding increasingly problematic. All of this he notes through a Cheshire cat grin. When asked onto BBC radio recently, hoping to plug his comedy show, he was deflated when they questioned him about ISIS. 'Most Muslims hate ISIS!', he screams.
Admittedly, the volume and constant forcing of fun with his crowd gets a bit full-on in places, plus it seems patronising when he asks who's heard of Malaysia or Bollywood. Glitches aside, Nawaz has plenty excellent insights on the hypocrisies of his religion, as well as much devotion, and he elaborates on both. His Top 5 daftest fatwas are inspired, as is that impression of his mum being troubled by a cartoon pig on the telly.
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