Comedians Remind Everyone That Muslims Experience Terrorism Firsthand

Nov 17, 2015
Originally published on November 24, 2015 5:29 pm
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Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a constant problem for many Muslims around the world - they would rather not all be blamed for the actions of extremists, like the Islamic State. Muslims in many countries feel they're unfairly held responsible, and some young people in Pakistan want to correct the record. NPR's Philip Reeves reports on how they're doing that.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: On Facebook, they call themselves Pakistani Comedians. They say they're childhood friends who like making videos when they're bored. They also say they want to help create a more tolerant and better-educated world. So after the Paris attacks, they set to work.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We're from the part of the world called South Asia. And by the way, that's not the Middle East.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: And we would like to talk about...

REEVES: The two-minute Facebook video describes the Paris attacks as barbaric acts of terror. Yet don't expect them to feel apologetic, they say.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And here's why. We cannot possibly be held responsible for the actions of a few deranged individuals who somehow claim to be like us.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Let me just put that in perspective for you - that's like blaming all Germans for the actions of Hitler.

REEVES: They say they understand what the French are going through because attacks are common in Pakistan. Remember last year's massacre of more 130 kids at a Pakistani school. They also want to remind the world they're no different from anyone else.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And the only thing that we slice and roast is a good piece of juicy beef steak.

REEVES: The Paris attacks touch on some sensitive issues here, not tackled in the video. Pakistan's government's widely accused of covertly supporting Islamist militants in Afghanistan. Some violent Islamist extremists in Pakistan rejoice at the Paris atrocities. Yet the tens of thousands of hits this Facebook video's so far received suggests that plenty of people agree with these young Pakistanis when they say...

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We have the same fundamental problems that you have.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: We have the same hopes, dreams and visions as you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: And when we go to bed at night, we fall asleep hoping and praying to wake up to a better world for all of us.

REEVES: Philip Reeves, NPR News, Islamabad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.