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Joking about the Islamic State can be a dangerous matter.
A BBC comedy show featuring a sketch called “The Real Housewives of ISIS” has come under fire for trivializing the very real issue of Jihadi brides.
The sketch, lampooning the Real Housewives TV series and posted online Tuesday to promote the show Revolting, features four British women in hijabs discussing their new life in the Islamic State.
One scene sees one of the characters modeling her new outfit: a suicide vest. “Oh, babe, you look gorgeous!” says a friend, before telling the camera: “She looked massive. You’re gonna need a lot of Semtex to kill that one.”
Another shows a character explaining that it’s “only three days to the beheading, and I’ve no idea what I’m going to wear.”
Perhaps predictably, the response from social media was less than enthusiastic. Many said it was “distasteful” when there were many cases of British girls under the age of 18 who had been groomed online and lured to the Islamic State.
One Facebook user described it as having “all the fun of an off-base Amy Schumer skit with the same lack of awareness of anything other than itself,” adding that the humor was “only funny if you look down on someone else and enjoy seeing them unhappy because they are not white and Christian.”
But not everyone has been offended, with several Twitter users pointing out that the whole point of satire was to bring people down to a level.
“If you can mock something, you’re not scared of it,” posted one person. “ISIS want to be feared. Don’t give them that. And yes I’m Muslim, and a leftist.“
The show’s writers Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein aren’t known for pulling any punches. For their BBC satirical series The Revolution Will Be Televised, they famously dressed up as construction workers and told property owners near the Israeli embassy in London that their premises would have to be demolished to make way for an extension.
In response to the criticism of “The Real Housewives of ISIS,” they told the i newspaper that they were using comedy to tackle extremism.
“You have to be fearless or it undermines your credibility,” said Prowse. “You can’t go after David Cameron for five years like we did and not go after the Islamic State.”
See the clip here and below.
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