The least that religious extremist murderers deserve, is to be mocked, ridiculed and laughed at.
These psychopaths have tarnished and destroyed the image and reputation of Muslims around the world and have given the opportunity to widespread bigotry and racism to flourish across the Western world.
“Jihad the Musical” is a comedy that opened last Wednesday in the Edinburgh summer Festival. That has apparently stirred up controversy, not least amongst Muslims but also among victims of religious extremism who set up a petition against the show.
Satire is part of a necessary and healthy process of coming to terms with things that preoccupy or terrorise peoples minds, especially things held as taboos and forbidden territories; things like religion or politics. For the victims, it’s a necessary cathartic process, to overcome terrible fears.
One can say a lot about shows like “Jihad the Musical” or satirical cartoons like “Islamic Rage Boy,” which makes fun of an angry bearded young Muslim, or about stand up comedians like Allah Made Me Funny troupe… For some it’s “bad taste”; for others, it’s provocative… But if you ask me: should it be banned all together? the answer is definitely NO!… if you don’t like it, you don’t watch it; plain and simple.
To be honest, I don’t know if the authors of these kind of shows and cartoons intended to provoke debate or if it is simply a cynical marketing strategy… nor do I know if their intention is to make people less afraid or if it’s a disguised attack on Islam… The fact is that I DON’T CARE. Indeed, I found those jokes terribly refreshing and hilariously funny.
Stretching the limits, going across the red lines, mocking the powerful, be it religious or political, is a terribly exciting fantasy. What’s more, it’s (again) a healthy process to break the permanent state of grief and suspicion that has been poisoning intercultural relationship in the recent years.
I can understand the concerns of the victims of terrorism and religious violence (many of whom are Muslims by the way), but people have to get over the fact that, that’s what creativity is all about: exploring the limits. If all artists become strictly respectful of so-called conventions and “moral” limits, the world would become a really boring place.
Should there be any limits? of course. But a question remains: Who defines those borders? I would personally be suspicious of religious or political establishment, imposing them from above and I would rather go for a more spontaneous process that can only occur in democratic and free societies, where people themselves through the independence of judiciary, mark the limits.
I remember a satirical movie released just recently in Germany, directed by a German Jew, making fun of Hitler and his Nazi regime. Despite some critics, the German public enjoyed and appreciated the show.
The majority in the Arab-Muslim “street”, (those who very rarely get the media attention, which is given to the more radical and vocal) are overwhelmingly tolerant and open, believe it or not. In fact, the most popular jokes now (more than ever) are related to God, sex and politics.
The media focus on the most extreme, gives this distorted image of Muslims, who, as any other people in the world, have more immediate and worldly concerns.
(picture by “vista“)