Is Mo pretending to be stupid? I have no idea.

This one was inspired by British MP Rupa Huq’s complaint about a popular sitcom called Citizen Khan.

Discussion (77)¬

  1. MarquisDeMoo says:

    I’m looking forward to the Islamic version of ‘Father Ted’, that should be a hoot.

  2. Steve Cut says:

    I’ve not seen the show but “Beardy, weirdy” and “an everyday tale of a Birmingham family” makes it sounds a lot like the Royle Family transposed to the West Midlands. Are the Khan’s really as backward as the Royles? In that case is the Royle Family weakanglicanophobic? Do they depict all Mancs as stupid? And will I be shamed as a mancophobe for using the word Mancs nowadays?

  3. Alastair says:

    I remember a comedian saying she’d pitched an Iman of Dibley but the BBC said no.

  4. Sparky_Shark says:

    MarquisDeMoo – ha! And instead of “Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!” we’d have…..Imam Jack saying…

  5. MarquisDeMoo says:

    @Alastair No surprises there. Actually as Christianity slides into irrelevance it will become the new inviolable under dog. My guess is atheism will be the next target for such humour, albeit the lack of ritual and dogma will make it hard to get a handle on.

  6. MarquisDeMoo says:

    @Sparky_Shark – Bacha b?z?!

  7. Max T. Furr says:

    Sounds like a liberal/progressive trying to reason with a religious conservative. They often do not get the point of a statement.

  8. Someone says:

    (second attempt – site error)
    Legally Bown is a good one to look up – satirizes Muslim stereotypes and is made by a Muslim comedian.
    An Islamic version of Popetown set in Mecca might be interesting.

  9. Someone says:

    Legally Brown* Goddamn typos.

  10. pink squirrel says:

    There is already a parody of Islam, called ‘Daesh’
    or would a comedy about an imam with tourettes be funnier

  11. RossR says:

    Ms Huq said “they’re not quite cutting off people’s hands but I can imagine that being in a future episode”
    … of a sitcom? It seems that Mo is not the only one with no sense of humour, or should we just say “with no sense”?

  12. pink squirrel says:

    a TV program makes muslims look stupid

    that they believe in ‘god’ is what makes them look stupid

  13. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Translation (to the best of my abilies) of a letter to a Dutch newspaper yesterday:
    “Together with my 2 year grandson I regularly go to a children’s playground in Oude Westen in Rotterdam. It ‘s a playground in regular use by children of various cultures and their chaperones. Few weeks ago my grandson made a little rabbit of sand, using a pre-formed shape, but before I could praise his well-done “work” an about 9 year old girl of foreign decend put her foot on it and loudly exclaimed: “No images with eyes”. On my asking why, she said “We do not tolerate that here”. I decided to call it an incident and not report to the (ever friendly, enthousiastic and correct) overseeers.
    However, 2 weeks later, EVERY shape “with eyes” has been removed from the playground! Mayb it is about time for Dutch people with Christian backgrounds and values to learn how to integrate in Islamic culture, and strive to be accepted such as we have accepted them”. (name and address know to the paper)

    It struck me as an illustration of Mo’s worldview above.

  14. Stumpy says:

    I don’t think it’s Islamophobic, but I don’t think it’s particularly funny either. It’s just crap.

  15. Stumpy says:

    I don’t think it’s Islamophobic, but it’s not funny either. It’s just crap. Imo 😉

  16. Fabio García says:

    So very meta. Surprisingly funny.

  17. LindaR says:

    Good grief, there are lots of reasons to object to Citizen Khan, but Islamophobic? If she’s trying to be satirical, she could do with getting a few lessons from her brother-in-law…

  18. csjm says:

    I didn’t believe I would have anything to say, but I guess I do. I was highly offended by Archie Bunker. I thought it portrayed working class white people in the U.S. as racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, etc. I am from a white working class family in the U.S. so I felt it rather personally. But then, I knew (and know) racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, etc. white people. I had to admit there was some truth in the show. Some people thought there were redeeming qualities in the show but I had a hard time getting over my initial emotional rejection. I didn’t protest or write letters or any of that, I just didn’t watch. Maybe this MP needs to acknowledge the parodied truth of the series and get on with her own life.

  19. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Whatever could make islam look stupid?
    Muslims and stupidity, unmitigated
    They bleat and they bray
    “All is fubar” they say
    The “best of people” are totally vapid.

  20. Grumpy says:

    I thought Islamophobic meant an irrational fear of Islam, just saying.

  21. Jim Jones says:

    Anyone watch “Little Mosque on the Prairie”?

  22. IanB says:

    Grumpy says thought Islamophobic meant an irrational fear of Islam

    Hmmm there’s nothing irrational about fear of isalm

  23. wrinkel42 says:

    What is wrong your site is hacked, look deep.

  24. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I do look deep. People say it’s my eyes.
    Maybe it’s your brain that’s hacked. Think shallow!

  25. Abhijeet says:

    She won’t be surprised if a future show features cutting people’s hands off. Kinda makes you wonder whether Muslims would ever really do that.

  26. Stumpy says:

    Hmm, sorry for the double-post earlier. First one didn’t show so I assumed there was a problem and posted again. Fortunately I’m not excessively tenacious about these things or there’s be a huge list of them!

  27. pink squirrel says:

    ‘Citizen Khan’ is the western version
    the muslim version would be
    ‘Female Citizen Khan not’

  28. machigai says:

    Jim Jones
    I watched Little Mosque every week.

  29. Reid Malenfant says:

    An Islamic version of Father Ted?

    As Imam Jack would say: “???????” (dubur!)

  30. Reid Malenfant says:

    Okay, so you can’t cut and paste squiggly 🙁

  31. pink squirrel says:

    an Islamic version of father Ted
    that would include whipping with 50 lashes then – Islam is often offended by ted’s
    especially one’s named or which contain mohammed

  32. pink squirrel says:

    An Islamic version of Father Jack
    brings to mind the joke:
    what do you call an Imam with tourettes
    A – headless

  33. Esratrams says:

    I suspect Dr John de Wipper is reporting something that didn’t happen (except in the newspapers). or perhaps all Dutch folk are a bit slow off the mark. If a child claims that something is contrary to their culture, the obvious answer is, what about the other kid’s culture? If they don’t challenge like that, they are probably fascist infiltrators trying to boost Wim de Prjick rather than real social liberals.

  34. Mary2 says:

    Greetings pub-mates, Long time no see.

    This one reminds me of a relative of mine who has an unfortunate combination of a chip on her shoulder about racism (not altogether surprising given some of her experiences with the subject) and a lack of any sense of humour. She once told me that she had watched a re-run of an old 1970s British sitcom and was completely outraged that they had let such racist filth on television. Poor woman entirely missed the context and the point of ‘Love thy Neighbour’ – a ground-breaking show where, for the first time, the Black character was handsome, intelligent, educated and honourable and the audience was supposed to laugh AT the stupid, bigoted White guy rather than WITH him.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Mary! How the Devil are you?
    I was thinking of that very programme myself earlier, as an example of a show that’s always brought up whenever somebody wants to show how racist ’70’s TV was, and always with selected clips of the white bloke being racist.
    As you said, they are completely wrong; they are confusing racist programmes with racist characters. The same will happen now with Citizen Khan, although having suffered through a couple of episodes – it just isn’t very funny – they’re going to need some very selective editing to make a case for Islamophobia.
    The other programme that is always misrepresented is In Sickness And In Health. Alf Garnett was probably the vilest character ever in a sit-com. He was racist, homophobic, sexist, antisemitic and so on, but the character was written to be reviled. The actor playing him, Warren Mitchell, was himself Jewish, and I recall seeing him in an interview saying that he wanted the audience to despise Alf and everything he stood for.
    Those two programmes were effective in showing racism for what it was, and they both very clearly portrayed immigrants (and homosexuals, women, etc. in ISAIH) as being no different from anybody else. That people did and still do see only the bigotry in them says more about those people than the programmes.
    The Black And White Minstrel Show, on the other hand………..FUCK!

  36. Mary2 says:

    I’ve never seen the Black and White Minstrel Show – a bit before my time – but I think we need to be careful putting 21st (or even late 20th) century morals on to earlier worlds. Yes, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but it would be a miracle given his time period if he did not. To judge his as a ‘bad’ person because of it misses all the great stuff about him and is about as useful as judging an Inca as stupid because they had no computer.

  37. Grumpy says:

    AoS, Mary2: excellent points well put, I really don’t understand the use of the word Islamophobia, is it a real word ?, in the context of this show. If this show is classed as Islamophobic then surely that means the show is designed to instil fear and anxiety about Islam into the audience who would then presumably stop watching it. Sometimes I feel that people just get outraged for the sake of being outraged.

  38. pink squirrel says:

    boy made a ‘rabbit of sand’,
    9 year old girl of foreign descent
    put her foot on it
    saying ‘we don’t tolerate that here’

    what stopped the adult from replying that she did and making another with the ‘pre-formed shape’ ?

    of course muslims will succeed in imposing their intolerantly fascistic values if westerners acquiesce.

  39. Dr John de Wipper says:

    pink squirrel:
    what stopped the adult …?
    Sorry, I just tranlate-reposted the letter-to-the-newspaper.
    I have no further info on it.

  40. pink squirrel says:

    okies Dr John
    Was not aiming the comment at you. it just seemed strange that someone with an animal shaped mould would not simply use it again
    ‘circumstances’ I guess

  41. LindaR says:

    Acolyte of Sagan/Mary2: when I was a kid, the Black and White Minstrels show was watched every week and the live show at the Victoria theatre was our Christmas treat. My only excuse is that living in south London and knowing lots of black people, I didn’t realise they were supposed to be pastiches of real black people. Once I learned, I was appalled. Once they did an item when the white blokes painted up to be cartoons of black blokes were pretending to be Native Americans. While still in blackface. People who moan about ‘political correctness gone mad’ might like to think about WHY things have changed.

  42. pink squirrel says:

    on the subject of parodies of racists- [south African in this example from the early 70’s]

  43. Mary2 says:

    Hey LindaR,
    I don’t think kids need an excuse to not get racist connotations – if only more kids didn’t understand racism we would all be better off. I was similarly naive as a kid. I inherited books from when my father was a kid and among all the Boys Own Annuals were some Little Black Sambo stories. I had no idea the ‘gollywogs’ in the pictures were a dated and offensive representation of real people – they were just fantasy like the stories of Enid Blyton. Then again, I had no thought that Noddy and Big Ears or Bert and Ernie might be gay, either. I think adults overthink this stuff.

  44. Mary2 says:

    Grumpy, don’t be disingenuous. You know full well that Islamophobia doesn’t mean ‘frightened of Muslims’ any more than homophobia means someone is actually scared of gay people. It really annoys me when people play pretend ignorant and insist on strict etymological definitions just so they can dismiss the idea behind the word.

    Islamophobia is ‘a thing’ just as insulting Muslims as a whole can be racism even though Islam is not a race. There is a difference between condemning an idea or an indiviual and condemning a whole class of people because they are connected by one trait.

    If you don’t believe the tv show is anti-Muslim, that is one thing, but please do not conflate that with a pretend disbelief that any such thing actually exists.

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Mary, talking of adults over thinking kids’ characters, it was funny when Putin denounced SpongeBob Squarepants as gay, but even better when the Khazak government described him as a narcissistic, self-absorbed bully. Of course he’s self-absorbed, he’s a fucking sponge! 🙂

    Regarding Islamophobia, whatever the word originally meant, it has been over-used as a debate-stopper and a method of deflecting criticism of Islam, both by Muslims and the regressive left; if it has a meaning now, it’s “Shut up!”.

  46. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Interesting take on Islamophobia and homophobia.
    I guess that makes me neighther, but I think you could call me a reliofoob…. (but at that, just a tad more islamofoob then xtiaofoob or jewofoob; knowing too little about the polytheistics to have an opinion on those).

  47. two cents' worth says:

    As for Bert & Ernie, I don’t think I gave any thought to their relationship when I was a kid, but if I had been pressed, I would have said they were brothers. After all, my two brothers shared a bedroom, had different personalities, and intentionally annoyed each other from time to time.

  48. pink squirrel says:

    re Putin denounced SpongeBob Squarepants as gay
    ignoring the anti Islamic ‘idolatrous image’ aspect of him being a cartoon
    Sponges have three asexual methods of reproduction
    so it would seem unlikely he would be either homo or hetero

  49. pink squirrel says:

    ‘jewofoob; prompted me to check = Judeophobia apparently

    The problem with islamophobia [which is reasonable and rational] is that too often it is mixed with muslimophobia [which is cultural denigration]

  50. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Thanks for checking.
    I made up both just for the heck of it; somehow jewofoob (jewophoob?) had a nice nonsensical ring to it.

  51. pink squirrel says:

    re xtainfoob-
    there are several phobias based around a specific mid winter festival

    Selaphobia – fear of flashing xmas lights

    Festivalisophobia – a phobia of the whole Christmas thing

    Krikophobia – fear of church services

    Cyssanophobia – fear of kissing under the mistletoe

    Teleophobia – fear of religious ceremonies

    Mythophobia – fear of myths

    I’m sure they will a bonus for players of a well known game based upon the recycled single-story writings of a 1920’s mysognist anti-Semitic racist

  52. smartalek says:

    @ Jim Jones —
    At first, I thought you must be kidding.
    But lo, there it is — an actual show called “Little Mosque on the Prairie.”
    Looks as if it could be amusing.
    (And though my favorite pirate site doesn’t have it, my fall-back site does. Oh, wait, did I type that out loud? Disregard that, pls, thank you.)
    Thank you very much for the education.

  53. Catty says:

    ‘Islamophobia’ is a term that was invented by Ayatollah Khomeini’s propaganda department specifically for the purpose of shutting down criticism of Islam – however reasonable – by conflating it with (thus applying the stigma of) racism and xenophobia. I’ve read the Quran several times and have seen many polls regarding opinions held by Muslims, and so concluded that there is no such thing as Islamophobia. In fact there’s too little fear of Islam. But unfortunately it seems that if an ideology comes under the definition of ‘religion’ it gets judged in a very different way from an equally horrendous and baseless non-religious ideology.

  54. pink squirrel says:

    an equally horrendous and baseless non-religious ideology.

    that one was also religious Catty
    Any ideology, in which a central tenant is proclaiming a death sentence on the
    followers of a specific religion, IS religion based.

  55. Anonnynonnymouse says:

    I prefer timorislam to islamophobia. Real fear, not an irrational one.

  56. Markywarky says:

    “Love thy Neighbor” and ” In Sickness And In Health”, great shows which my father-in law still believes support his racism!

    I think above all with prejudice we suffer from double standards, because it seems to make a difference where your prejudice comes from. If I object to having a gay couple staying in my guesthouse, I’m homophobic, but if I object to a christian objecting to the same thing, I’m the discriminatory one still! Funny eh?

    Unlike Citizen Khan, which is not even a little bit funny.

  57. Mary2 says:

    Catty, I don’t understand comments such as yours. Sure we should fear the opiniins fo SOME Muslims but most are exactly like most Christians I know: they go to mosque/church for weddings and festivals and spend the rest of their time paying bills like the rest of us. To suggest that somehow all Muslims are evil supporters of mass-murder and forced sharia is just plain nonsense. Have you never read bits of the bible? That religions calls for all gay people to be put to death, all those who are not virgins on their wedding day, and unruly children. No one would suggest that everyone who professes a belief in Jesus would desire a literal following of the holy book, so why do we do it with Islam?

  58. Markywarky says:

    I notice that Ms Huq also understands British comedy so little that she also thinks Love they Neighbor was racist! Sometimes I just want to resign from the human race.

  59. Markywarky says:

    @Mary2, you’re right. I’ve recently spent quite a bit of time travelling in the Middle East (Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain), and have found that nearly all of the people I’ve met are just the same as the rest of us. Some use Islam as a framework for living a good life as many Christians do, ignoring the various calls to evil in their respective good books, some just do the weddings and holiday’s thing as you say. All, so far, are horrified by things like Charlie Hebdo. All, so far, can’t see why we shouldn’t all just get on. All, so far, have a sense of humour. And all, so far, have a range of opinions regarding Syrian refugees that mirror those held in the west.

    These are not perfect societies, any more than ours are, but they are just ordinary people trying to get on with ordinary lives. When you travel and actually talk to people, it’s the similarities that strike you, not the differences

  60. Markywarky says:

    Just to be clear, I meant horrified by the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, not by the magazine.

  61. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Glad you clarified that bit about CH, Markywarky.
    I spent much of my childhood in the Middle East and young adulthood in other muslim countries and I have to agree with you. However it is their governments and Immams that are letting them down these days. Yet again I read that in Bangladesh they blame the victim of a machete mob.
    More recently I was in the UAE and soon found that it was easier to allow it to be presumed that i was a christian than to suggest that I believed in none.
    On that note, did you profess a faith of your own on your Gulf travels?

  62. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Mary2, (it has been wonderful to see so many old regulars dropping in to the C&B recently, myself included)
    Anyway, that was a stalwart, no-nonsense explanation of islamophobia inasmuch as it can often, if not necessarily, be an excuse or cover for otherwise blatant racism. However it has become already a tired expression that is more often than not used as a way to silence criticism – and indeed in this very instance it was being used to silence satire. As AoS (helloo to you too) says, it so often means “Shut up” and with a method that can make it very difficult to respond.
    If there is anything left to say in favour of the term it does at least make one think carefully as to whether the accusation has validity.

  63. leweclectic666 says:

    csjm: Get use to it as a majority of working class white people in the U.S. are racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, etc. Where would the likes of Cruz, Trump, and Paul Ryan be w/o their support?

  64. Shaughn says:

    The human race as a whole is racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, etc. and not ‘gods gift to mankind’. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here at the C&B.

    Praise the beer, peace be upon it.

  65. hotrats says:

    If I object to having a gay couple staying in my guesthouse, I’m homophobic, but if I object to a christian objecting to the same thing, I’m the discriminatory one still! Funny eh?

    Objecting to homophobia is not discriminatory, quite the reverse. I can’t tell if you are being serious, or if you are, what point you think you are making.

  66. Mary2 says:

    Walter, hello old chum. I wonder if there is a cultural difference in the frequency of the use of ‘Islamophobia’? I don’t remember if you are from the UK but most of the commenters here are, and it seems to be quire common for Brits to say the word is an excuse to end discussion. As this is said by people whose opinions I value, I have to accept this as true even though it doesn’t mirror my own experience. I’m not sure whether the expression is used less in Australia so doesn’t have the same baggage or maybe I just live in a part of the country where people rarely bother to counter racial generalisations at all.

  67. pink squirrel says:

    Is what you ask to find out if someone is vegetarian or not.

  68. Markywarky says:

    @Hotrats, exactly the point I said I was making; that there are double standards applied when deciding what is and isn’t prejudice. If my reason for being prejudiced is that I simply don’t like the idea of gay sex, then I’m judged entirely at fault (rightly), but if my reason is that my sky fairy told me to hate them, then anyone criticising ME is dreamed prejudiced (wrongly), because they are attacking my firmly held beliefs.

    For me there is only one standard – I don’t care WHY you hold prejudice against someone, if you do then you are wrong, full stop. My point is that society in general doesn’t appear to see it that way, giving the religious a free pass to hold prejudices that wouldn’t be tolerated in the non-religious. In the UK we even write that principal into law!!!

  69. Markywarky says:


  70. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Deemed! 😉

  71. Markywarky says:

    Good point well made AoS!!!

  72. hotrats says:

    Thanks for the explanation, and I’m reassured of your sanity. It looked as if you were holding one of those attitudes, instead of offering a comparison. Ambiguity is a bitch, eh?

  73. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Going back to Love Thy Neighbour, there’s another layer to racism that the programme showed, and it’s one that I’ve noticed again with a lot of people – specifically men – moaning about East European immigrants. They will endlessly carp on about the ‘bloody foreigners’ whilst ogling the women. I have heard more than one man say that we should send the men back but keep the women.

  74. Someone says:

    “I have heard more than one man say that we should send the men back but keep the women.”

    A common attitude held be men over the course of our entire existence.

  75. pink squirrel says:

    Clearly -the “men’ saying that we should send the men back but keep the women” were not xians, jews or muslims.
    because the bible and quran instruct :”kill the men but keep the virgin pre-teen girls”

  76. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Mary2, that’s about the state of things. While a (caucasian) racist would be naturally islamophobic as it nicely reinforces such prejudice for obvious reasons, it does not follow that an islamaphobe is necessarily a racist. However if one wants to silence – indeed ‘no-platform’ – someone who critises Islam itself or perhaps particular behaviour of some adherents of Islam, it has become de-rigour for apologists, be they fundamentalists, the regressive left or anywhere in between, to accuse that critic of islamophobia, which as you pointed out, amounts to being called a racist.
    There have been determined attempts to change that particular narrative, with some success, and, as I said, for my part if I come across accusations of islamophobia I asess carefully what was actually said and make my own judgment.

    As for location, I alternate between Mid Ulster and South East Queensland. Frankly if you think the conflation is not happening yet in Australia take a second look as I’m sure you will find some of them to be equally disingenuous.

    Having said that, Australia is alone to use the GFC TLA so who knows?

  77. Last Hussar says:

    Its not about Muslims, its written by someone of Pakistani descent about people of Pakistani descent. Its like saying ‘Desmonds’ is an insult to Black people, because the people you were laughing at were black, or Father Ted was insulting to Cathoics.


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