Comedian Maz Jobrani on the 10 things you should know about Muslims

1. We’re not all really that religious.
I mean, I was born in Iran which is a Muslim country but I don’t practice the religion. You could say I’m Muslim-ish. I drink, I don’t fast during Ramadan and I don’t pray 5 times a day. The only time I pray is if I’m almost in an accident and then I yell something like, “OH JESUS CHRIST!” Which as you can see isn’t very Muslim at all!

2. We’re not all terrorists.
If you watched enough film, tv and news, you would think every Muslim or middle easterner you knew belongs to a sleeper cell. I have never met a terrorist in my life. Not even accidentally. Never been home one night and gotten a call, “Hello! Hassan! It goes down tomorrow at midnight.” “Who is this?” “Oops. Sorry. Wrong number!”

3. We’re not trying to bring sharia law to the U.S.!
Some people fear Muslims because they think Muslims want to bring their laws to the U.S. I have no intention of doing that. I swear I prefer laws that let women hang out in their bikinis on beaches rather than having to cover up in burqas. I also prefer laws that let me have a nice bottle of Cabernet at the end of the night rather than having to sip tea all day. And even if Muslims actually DID want to bring sharia law to the U.S. the fact that there are so few Muslims in America would make it impossible.

4. We love Star Wars just like everyone else.
(That one’s self explanatory.)

5. We probably, as a group, prefer soccer to American football.
That’s mostly because we don’t have time to sit through all those commercial breaks. I never can understand why a one hour game takes three hours to play.

6. We actually respect many other religions.
Though some Muslim countries persecute people from other religions (like Iran with the Baha’is), most of the Muslims I know are accepting of other religions. As a matter of fact Jesus and Moses are both accepted as prophets in Islam.

7. Our women can be pretty bad ass!
Anyone who saw the Green Movement in 2009 when there were protests against the election results in Iran saw a population of both men and women protesting for their votes to be counted in Iran. Many of the people leading those protests were women who took to the streets to demand their rights. If you’ve forgotten about it find some footage on YouTube and you will see. The regime ultimately squashed the protests but it was inspirational to see a population demand their rights in the way Iranians did at that time.

8. Many Muslims come from countries where the west has had a hand in messing up their past.
Whether it’s the U.S. leading a coup of a democratically elected leader in Iran in 1953 or England colonising India for many years, you can trace a lot of the problems in these countries back to actions by the west many years ago. So in a way, we have helped create the quagmire we find ourselves in today. This includes Bush Two’s decision to go into Iraq after 9/11.

9. We love kebabs and hummus.
(I mean, who doesn’t?)

10. We really don’t want to harm you.
I swear to God (whichever God you believe in) we just want to go to work, provide for our families and if we’re lucky, maybe have enough energy to make love to our wives at the end of the day. Oh, and also eat ice cream!

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