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The M Word

Islamophobia: the extreme discrimination and racial bias against those of the Muslim faith. A platform that has unfortunately, been on the rise since 2015 when the Paris attacks occurred on November 13th. Many Muslim Americans have fell victim to the racial stereotypes and even more severe hate crimes. A poisonous mentality that truly has grasped ahold of America.

There’s only so much the public can do at a time to combat these toxic times towards Islam but certain organizations have been able to utilize the situation on a more positive note. They took these dark and malicious times that divided us as an opportunity for a healing experience through the comedy styles of “The M Word: Muslim-Americans on the Right to Joke.” Muslim comedians have been bonded through the strength of laughter to break down barriers between Muslims and the population. Through charming personalities and own personal mishaps, they’ve brought Islamophobia into a light that has not been shown before.

It’s pushing aside all the grittiness of reality and getting down with the audience at an eye level to be more personable than ever.

Comedians in the organization such as Mo Amer, who became the first and only Arab-American refugee comic to perform for the U.S. and coalition troops overseas, and Negin Farsad, who has been named one of the Funniest Women of 2015 by Huffington Post, have taken personal experiences they have run into from their own lives as Middle Eastern-Americans and transformed them into relatable and hilarious stories to tell nationally. Audience members are a swirl from all walks of lives that have come to witness the shows. It allows everyone a moment to strip down the masks of everyday life and to enjoy unfiltered comedy, whether they can relate or not.

It truly is an event that invites a spectacular cast of comedians to confront the recent remarks made about the Islamic faith that robs the fundamental rights given to all Americans by the Constitution. “The M Word” is a program that exemplifies freedom of religion, self-expression, and the connection between Muslim and other communities.

The series has been able to be brought to life due to the support and funds of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program.

The program from the foundation attempts to grant effort and support to progress understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, increase relationships, and strip down racial stereotypes made about Muslims.

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Hannah Alzgal
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Hannah Alzgal is 18 years old and this is her first year writing for Affinity. She will be covering various topics from intersectional feminism to political affairs. In her free time, she enjoys writing short stories and reading.

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