EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — This is no joke: Arab-Muslim stand-up comedy is flourishing more than a decade after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Of course, humor within the community didn’t begin with those tragic events. But it served as a turning point, when Arab and Muslim comics found themselves thrust in the spotlight along with the rest of their community.
The small stable of comics in the years since has swelled, along with the rise of high-profile gigs such as the “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.” During that time, Arab-Muslim comics say they’ve been trying to do more than merely lampoon themselves or their people for easy laughs.
Dean Obeidallah is one of several Arabs currently touring the country. He says his community “pushed us a little bit” beyond telling only airport jokes.