Every once and a while a group of comedians with some vague thing in common (usually they have the same agent) get together and go on a tour – they hire a videographer to film the behind the scenes shenanigans that go on – and bamn! You’ve got a DVD… or a Comedy Central ‘special.’ Blue Collar Comedy Tour is probably the biggest selling example of this. The Muslims Are Coming, as you may have garnered from the title, is NOT one of these.
The Muslims Are Coming is something different – sure it’s got the stand-up (which is quite funny) and the common theme (they’re all Muslims) but the film speaks to more than just the normal comedy crowd. It opens with a ‘best of’ or more appropriately a’worst of’ clip reel from the tv news of the pundits and politicians discussing Islam, Muslims and Sharia Law. In the opening sequence you get an idea of the media onslaught that has been fought against Muslims in America – not much of it’s subtle.
- Herman Cain rambles about ‘them trying to force sharia law on this country’
- Ann Coulter tosses a word salad that ‘terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 have looked amazingly identical… half of them are named Muhammed’ -
- Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association claims that all Butterball turkey’s are ‘sacrificed to Allah.’
I seemed to have missed this but that last one seemed to have been a really big campaign, just do a search for ‘butterball halal’ and you’ll find several articles, petitions and such discussing boycotting Butterball because of their supposed bowing to Islamic radical pressures.
Dear lord. The stupid is strong. On the right they have crazy mis-informed bigotry and on the left we have humor – and thankfully now we have The Muslims Are Coming.
We follow Negin, Dean and crew throughout some of the, let’s say less enlightened parts of the United States – Georgia, Tennessee Arizona and Utah. Instead of playing big halls like most of tour films do they play small cafe’s, convention centers and bars in small towns. In each town they take to the streets to promote the show – in Columbus Georgia they take to a gun show to promote the show. they get some interesting responses… you could cut the tension in the air with a knife. My favorite, though the quiz they give to passerby’s on where quotes come from – the new testament, the old testament or the Koran. The ignorance of Islam, one of the worlds main religions is stunning – but what’s more stunning is that most of these American Christians don’t even know their own Bible. Hell, I’m an atheist and I knew most of these… of course the reason I’m an atheist has a lot to do with the fact that I read the part in the old testament where it says that a woman who does not bleed on her wedding night should be stoned to death.
As they travel through the nation you get also get the fun of seeing a bunch of big city folks dealing with back country problems – Negin and crew stay away from the responses that many of you will be yelling at the TV when you watch it. Such as the awesome/awkwardness of the women asking two young Muslim comedians ”How do you feel about 9/11?” – Negin to her credit does not hit the woman in the face. The doc also includes a bunch of clips from interviews with comedians (Jon Stewart, David Cross, Lizz Winstead), journalists (Soledad O’Brien) and religion experts. A fast pace editing keeps the film moving from clip, to show to skit – keeping to hooked the entire 80mins.
The Muslims Are Coming is co-directed by comedians Negin Farsad, and Dean Obeidallah. Negin has previously directed several films including the South by Southwest featured film Nerdcore Rising and Dean co-directed The Watch List.