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August 13th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

U.S. Muslim comedy tour hits Deep South

By Summer Suleiman, CNN

(CNN) - The Muslims are Coming is a comedy tour that is traveling to small towns throughout the South in hopes of opening up a discussion about Muslim stereotypes.

The tour started in Gainesville, Florida, home of Terry Jones, the pastor who attracted international headlines by burning a Quran, and stopped in Lawrenceville, Georgia, outside Atlanta, on Tuesday night. It will continue to Alabama and conclude in Tennessee.

The shows feature comedians Dean Obeidallah, Negin Farsad, Maysoon Zayid and Omar Elba. They are targeting small, conservative towns in the South where controversies over Islam have erupted.

“We came to the South because it has this reputation of being intolerant. It has this stereotype of hating other groups, so we wanted to see,” Farsad said. “We have a feeling that they’re not actually uniformly sitting around hating Muslims.”

Obeidallah, who performed with the recent Axis of Evil comedy tour, and Farsad, producer of the 2008 movie Nerdcore Rising, are producing a documentary about The Muslims are Coming. The shows on the tour are free, they say, because they want to reach as many people as possible.

“We really wanted to make this tour a chance to reach out American to American, people of different faiths coming together, laughing together,” Obeidallah said.

He hopes the tour will start a candid dialogue about Muslim stereotypes - and that it will simply make people laugh.

And laugh they did, at least on Tuesday.

The Lawrenceville audience was receptive to the performance, even when it veered into sensitive territory. At one point, for instance, Zayid joked about meeting her husband in a Gaza refugee camp and telling him to “pack up his tent”.

The shows also feature a question and answer portion with the audience.

In Lawrenceville, many of the questions gave voice to stereotypes. “Is it true if a group of women get naked, that Muslim men must kill themselves?” one audience member inquired.

“We want to answer the tough questions, we encourage people to ask the tough questions, talk about the stereotypes that are lingering in your mind,” Obeidallah said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam

soundoff (1,214 Responses)
  1. herbert juarez

    @peace2all,
    the poem was left for an obvious impersonator,poor sob doesn't realize he can be tracked.
    Now to your question.
    Mormons are not "Christians" at all.They were never intended to be.Some years back for whatever reason, probably financial ,Mormon leadership conspired to "merge" Mormonism into a more acceptable package,thus the attempt to piggy back onto the Christian label.Do some research on Joseph Smith/fraud and you will find out a lot about where Mormons "really" are coming from.This is not to say Mormons are "bad" people, just not Christian.Mormons play lip service to the Bible, their real text is the book of Mormon.If you have ever been visited by Mormons that is the book they will have, and the first tenant of their belief is to accept Joseph Smith as the prophet.Sound familiar "there is one God and Mohammed(Joseph Smith) is his prophet.The Mormon or for that matter the Muslim god is not the God of the Bible,plain and simple.The key to finding the false is diligent study of the genuine.No one on earth has all the answers,allow room for human error in interpretation and keep an open mind.As always good corresponding with you ,if I miss a response it is because I did not get back to a story.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Herbert Juarez

      Thanks for your opinion on my question.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @peace2all
      I proposed ,what I think was a good response to an issue on the Bachmann submissive story page 10 in response to 2 Kings.If you get opportunity I would like your opinion on the piece.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Herbert Juarez

      I'm honored that you are interested in my opinion on your interpretation of the biblical passage of 2 Kings.

      However, not being a biblical scholar, I don't think my opinion would be really worth a 'hill of beans' here.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      I'm an idiot. 🙂

      August 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      those who impersonate on these blogs
      roll their pooh in little logs
      they gutless hide to pretend wit
      let them eat those logs of ...
      the above post is by a twit
      you'll know his breath
      it smells like...

      August 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  2. justan opinion

    do the "women" in the video smell as bad as they look?

    August 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • ARMYofONE

      I just wonder why all these Muslims here in America never denounce the terrorism, the killing of innocent people of their own countries and religion, or even have a anti terrorism stance. I could care less about your comedy routine, stand on the stage and tell us how YOU feel about what terrorist do in the name of your GOD and Religious way of life.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      You're as transparent as your comment. May lady-luck fart in your general direction.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      ArmyOfNone: Exactly the same thing bible-thumpers have been doing to others for way too many years. Do you even realize the stupidity and ignorance of your comment? I think not.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  3. KeiHith

    So, Bashar Assad has his navy shell Palestinian refugees in Latakia. Then Rick Warren praises him for not tolerating extremism of any kind. Then Obama orders another NATO airstrike against Qadaffi....But wait, wait, there's more...

    August 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  4. Rex Lutherin

    I think this is a GREAT idea. Bring people together to make them laugh, not only at the humor, but at themselves as well. We need more of this in our world. Based on some of the angry comments I've skimmed over, it would seem that you angry folk can't handle this because you're truly afraid of the truth that lies in your own ignorance.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Keith

      What bubble do you live in?

      August 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Keith

      I have no idea what being an American is all about, so I must hate

      August 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  5. MohamedComicStrip

    i HAVE A COMIC STRIP OF A MOHAMED – DA PROPHEEET YEEEAH! WANNA SEE?

    August 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  6. darntootin

    How fking annnnnnnnnooooooooooooyyyyyyyyying is it to have to wait while CNN plays the same video commercial after EACH video???????

    August 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Eric

      Answer : Extremely.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • John

      any thing I see in ads online I make sure 2 never buy

      August 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  7. Samuel

    WOW ! After reading some of these comments, I wonder what did I do 30 years of military services for ! I guess freedom of speech is for all.....even for a group of clowns. America is a great country....but when the peope refuse to care for it fellow American and accept other cultures that are apar and contribute to the country. Then we are no better than the hate groups and terrorist groups....

    August 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      I know, it's really sad isn't it?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  8. Alonso-Brito

    This is humanity as good as it gets.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  9. chubchaser

    Is it not a sterotype that they are just touring the Deep South?

    August 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Maybe Jimbo will learn something, no?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • chubchaser

      so just the Deep Southern region has issues with this subject matter? Rex could learn something as well that sounds just as distinguished as Jimbo.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      ChubChaser: Lol, I have to admit, you got me on this one. Peace dude.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  10. Chingus

    If they were funny everyone would be laughing. Humor knows no ethnic bounds, but these guys are not funny. They are just politicking from the pulpit.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  11. goman2

    How about a christian comedy team touring Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Would Lloyds of London or any other insurance company insure them?

    August 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      So your point is the US should start practicing religious intolerance like the countries you listed ...?

      August 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • goman2

      Just the opposite! Why isn't there religious tolerance in Muslim Countries. They can't tolerate other Muslims of a different sect.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  12. richarddurian

    It's funny cause as this clip is showing all the news headings scrolling on the bottom were about violence in MUSLIM countries... funny 'cause it's true.... HAHAHAHAHa

    August 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • richarddurian

      I am an idiot. HAHAHAHAHa

      August 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Have you entertained the thought for just a second that this is why they immigrated here? To get away from that type of fanatical nonsense?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Pablo

    These commedians should go to the middle east and try to perform comedy shows in muslim coutries.

    I would be suprised if threats against them were not made.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • AthensGuy

      There is always someone like you to make this type of cr@PPy comment, huh?

      August 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Neil M

      That is what they told this lady – but she went to the Middle East and they opened their arms to her. My guess – they are just regular people trying to bring up their kids as best they can and improve their lives. They probably think about America as often as we do about Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, etc.

      http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Inspirational-Detta-cycles-Middle-Eastern-peace/story-12500908-detail/story.html

      August 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  14. dgkdgk

    Very, very cool! Having been put in a position to endure the Deep South for a few years, it became quickly evident to me that I was living in a vacuum – a time warp, where angry, angry people who were afraid of anyone who didn't look and act like them perpetuated their hatred onto younger generations. Prior to living where I did, I never really thought the Deep South could be as bad and as stereotypical as it's been made out to be. I'm here to tell you: It is. I applaud these comedians for getting out there and trying to make a difference by enlightening minds.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • RocketJL

      Sounds like you and these guys come from the same place. It also appears that both of you do not understand that people in different places don't exactly think like you do. Thanks for trying to inform others how you think and I hope they provide you to courtesy to listen. I also hope that they do not think like you about others that don't see thing exactly as you do. In the South, they may hate criminals and terrorists, but that's just them. Give us more information on your knowledge as to how the lost tribes in South America or the Congo 'should' think, to be in line with – – – – ????????.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Mexneck

      You're a liar.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Couldn't have said it better myself. I grew up in that sort of racist climate. It was sad then and still is sad today. What a joke it was that the same people I knew who ran down other races actually had friends who were of a different skin color and culture, yet they never ran those people down, just the ones they'd never even met or knew. That's what makes it all so stupid and hypocritical.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  15. Webhoncho

    I'll requote for certain bible bangers and hate mongers – if you're going to selectively quote history and go back centuries .. let consider, say... the 11-16th centuries. I loved the Medieval and then the Spanish Inquisitions – those were the days we long for – the public tortures and burning alive... Yes, those Vatican and then local Catholic missions were so much fun.

    "NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION.

    [JARRING CHORD]

    [The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Palin] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jones] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [Gilliam] is just Cardinal Fang]

    Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."

    August 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Mexneck

      That's a very bigoted comment from someone who describes themselves as "open". Maybe you really meant people who are only open to your way of thinking?

      August 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Don't forget FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), tools of Hitler and most recently, George Bush Jr.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Even Obama spreads fear.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  16. Guest

    Love it.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  17. herbert juarez

    I like to rhyme over and over again, because I am a fool

    August 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      when posting on the blog you really should use a breathe mint.Everyone now knows what you eat, if there be doubt

      he who impersonates anothers blog
      rolls his feces in tiny logs
      he hides and thinks he's such a wit
      let him eat his tiny...
      and wash your hand too you moron,keep your keyboard sanitary

      August 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      I have a hard time typing, because I have a pair of balls in my hand

      August 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      You didn't wash your hand did you?Keep typing you've already left a mile wide trail that can be followed right back to you!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Oh ,and if you actually had a pair you'd use your own i.d. and engage in honest debate.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Sorry Herbie, but when you start talking like you have a hatred towards another group of people, for crimes committed by a small number, and you show that culture no respect, but hold your own backwoods culture high above the rest, and your religion above the rest, then you could never have an intelligent conversation. Herbert Juarez in a hateful. simple minded person.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      mentally disabled stalker
      petty trash talker
      spewing for a little bit
      aren't you tired of eating...?

      August 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  18. pumpkinhead

    " I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe" –Martin Luther

    August 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  19. beth

    Great idea! Love it!

    August 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  20. Sagebrush Shorty

    Bet you they don't draw cartoons.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.