Donald Trump caused a frenzy when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. His worrying attitude brought to light the many myths and stereotypes surrounding the Muslim community. So, what’s the real truth?
In an attempt to send out a positive message and to change the way people think about Muslims, comedian, artist and founder of the UAE’s Dubomedy, Mina Liccione, has made a short film in order to bring to light how ridiculous the prejudices are.
“As a Christian-American married to a Muslim I was horrified when Trump made headlines stating that Muslims should be banned from entering the USA,” said Mina when asked why she created the film. “He said a lot of racist and hurtful things and this statement put me over the edge. Rather than getting angry and doing nothing I decided to use my talent and passion for comedy to do something positive.”
“Muslims are scary, Muslims are terrorists, let’s ban all Muslims,” starts the short film before Mina asks 20 non-Muslims, living in a Muslims country about their what they really think.
The interviewees are a diverse group with varying ages, cultures and religions represented. “I wanted people from diverse backgrounds,” said Mina. “I put together a unique group who would bring unique points of view.”
Kind, graceful, hospitable, tolerant and generous were the most common words used to describe Muslims in the film. When it came to terror, the only terrorising they were deemed guilty of was force-feeding. “There’s so much food,” one interviewee said while laughing. “[Yes, I get terorrised with food] by my in-laws every Friday” joked Mina.
While some may question Mina’s technique, she insists making light of the topic will actually help people understand more: “I’m a comedian by nature. I think humour is the perfect tool… It’s makes you laugh and then it makes you think. A lot of truth can be told in jest and since it’s not aggressive more people tend to listen.”
“I read online that in the USA only 38 per cent of all Americans actually knew a Muslim personally,” added Mina. “People associate Muslims with what the media portray. I thought why not show a funny side to these negative stereotypes to help people who might not have any Muslim friends see that they are just like the rest of us… Human, caring, creative…”
Mina is now co-writing a stand-up comedy show with her husband Ali Al Sayed, combining their lives from different worlds in the hope of helping break negative stereotypes in a humorous but honest way.
Watch the video and don’t be fooled by people like Donald Trump.