Being held in New York this week, the Muslim Funny Fest aims to raise awareness of Islamophobia and racism by using humor as a weapon in comedy. The Muslim Funny Fest starts today and will continue for three days until July 23. Featuring 15 top comedians, the festival presents America's funniest Muslims. Some of the comedians appearing in the ongoing festival are Maysoon Zayid, Dean Obeidallah, Ramy Youssef, Negin Farsad, Aman Ali, Gibran Saleem, Feraz Shere and Sana Khan. Obeidallah, one of the co-founders of the festival, said in his statement to CBC News that Muslims are rarely considered as positive and funny people by American mainstream media. That is why all these comedians are attempting to change this perception in the U.S. and put together two words that are not usually seen together: "Islam and humor."
Additionally, Ali Hassan, the only Canadian performing at the festival, said: "This isn't just another comedy festival. It's a chance to break down barriers and show the world that there is laughter to be found amid the increasingly hostile attitudes toward those who follow the teachings of Islam." In the festival, all participating comedians are Muslim, but they come from a variety of different backgrounds and ethnicities. What they share in common is that they desire to change attitudes about Islam with humor. The comedians want to bridge a gap with laughter. For those interested, the shows available are "Allah Made Me Funny: Returns" on Tuesday, today at 8:00 p.m., "The Muslim Comedy All-Stars" on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. and "America's Funniest Muslims" on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.