When you think of some of the best line-crossing, politically incorrect comedians in America, your mind likely travels to the likes of Bill Burr, Doug Stanhope or Jim Norton. And while they continuously push boundaries at the peril of losing an audience, I’d submit that their lives are rarely in danger because of their comedy. But there’s a group of Middle Eastern comedians whose lives are very much in danger—and that’s because the subject of their ridicule is ISIS, the fundamentalist Islamic group based in Iraq that have been beheading prisoners and releasing videos to prove it the last few months.
Veteran comedian and writer Dean Obeidallah today published a piece for The Daily Beast titled “Middle East Goes Monty Python on ISIS,” in which he details the rising of Iraqi based television and Internet comedians who lambaste ISIS despite the fact that if ISIS ever finds them, they’ll likely be murdered.
“No one doubts that these comedians will be killed if ISIS captures them. ISIS doesn’t want to be laughed at, they want to be feared,” Obeidallah writes. “In fact, just a few months ago, ISIS threatened to cut the tongue out of anyone who referred to them as “Daesh,” which is the Arabic acronym for ISIS. Why? Because ISIS learned that many Arabs use that term as an insult, because Daesh in Arabic also can mean “a bigot who imposes his view on others.”
Below you’ll find ISIS parodies that aired on Iraqi television. And we highly suggest you read Obeidallah’s piece.
And here’s the trailer of a new sketch comedy series State of Myths that’s currently airing in Iraq.