Humor is under threat in the UK, and certain topics are being deemed off limits by an increasingly hypersensitive public outraged by politically incorrect jokes.
A comedy sketch called “The Real Housewives of ISIS” aired on BBC2 was met with ire of the easily offended, upset by its portrayal of Muslim women.
A petition to cancel the show has drawn over 37,000 signatures complaining about Islamophobia — equating ISIS with the religion as a whole. Weirdly, the petition seems to think the concept is a full-blown comedy series rather than a one-off skit.
“IT SHOWS WOMEN IN FULL ISLAMIC WEAR AND This is a mockery of the muslim woman and insults those whom are held the highest in Islam,” [sic] reads the petition.
“Does much need to be said of u have seen the clip” [sic]
The skit is part of a new comedy show called Revolting, and depicts a group of women in full burka recruited to the jihadi cause. It pokes fun at the violent extremists of ISIS. In the show, which stars multiple women of Arab descent, the characters take selfies, tweet out phrases, and ask each other if they look attractive in suicide vests.
It appeared once on the January 3rd episode, and BBC sources tell us the idea was a one-off and the show never planned to develop it any further.
Like Chris Morris’ 2010 movie Four Lions, “The Real Housewives of ISIS” lampoons jihadist culture by depicting its characters as being just as vapid and materialistic as the cast of the actual Real Housewives shows.
“Ali bought me a new chain, which is eight-foot long,” says one of the housewives. “So I can almost get outside, which is great.” She is shown chained to a stove.
The creator of the petition claims that the show “COULD cause people in the street to throw jokes at covering women whom are nothing like this programme shows and could cause various future issues within our communities.”
“This is an act of terrorism against Muslim women,” the petition declares. “Showing them in this light is not safe.”
Comedy has rarely strayed from making light of difficult topics, and skits like “The Real Housewives of ISIS” are great ways to address real-world issues and challenge our fear of terrorists. In the Arab world, comedy shows have made a laughing stock of ISIS and other violent extremists for far longer than the West.
Saudi comedian Nasser Al Qasabi famously said in 2015, “Warning the people about ISIS is the true jihad [struggle], because we’re fighting them with art not war.”