It seems the only time we get to hear the words “Muslim” and “joke” here in Middle Tennessee, it involves a shitty joke directed at Muslims by unfunny not-smart Islamophobes. (Have you heard the one about the Muslim who gets “winked” at? By a redneck taking aim with a shotgun? Hilarious! And posted to Facebook by a county commissioner, no less!)
It is in this sometimes embarrassing-to-decency context that we welcome the opening of The Muslims Are Coming! — running Oct. 19-21 at The Belcourt. The tour documentary follows the exploits of a group of Muslim stand-up comics, among them Dean Obeidallah, Negin Farsad and Omar Elba, as they go on a comedic charm offensive that includes a stop in Murfreesboro — or try “setting themselves up to be killed,” as one fan says in an email. They get some strange looks. They give hugs. They answer openly hostile questions. It’s almost like they’re normal people or something — and Farsad even makes jokes about sex stuff!