The Muslims Are Coming! is a road movie that follows a comedy tour of middle America. A traveling band of comedians visit big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural unincorporated villages and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia! They'll perform, meet the locals and take the pulse of real Americans.
Islam has been unduly tarnished by the mainstream media and the serious approach to repairing the political wedge hasn't worked. We are so many years out from 9/11 and Musliim fear-mongering hasn't dissipated. Whether it's the mosque at Ground Zero, the perceived threat of Shariah Law, the NYPD survellience of Muslim groups or heated discussions of Muslims during presidential elections, the idea that Isalm is somehow antithetical to American culture just won't go away. The Muslims Are Coming wants to change the discourse by unleashing the power of punch lines in reaching out to middle America! If all you've ever heard of Islam is that it is a dangerous religion, that women cover themselves, and that those shifty eyed Muslims have evil ulterior motives, this movie wants to give you a new stereotype. Yeah, this movie is going to convince you that Muslims are just a bunch of hillarious people. By the end of this movie, you're gonna love the pants out of Muslims.
In every town the comedians perform, using the stage as a sounding board not only for punchlines but for social commentary. Oh, and those shows are free - there are no barriers to entry with this gang. Each tour stop asks a particular question and examines an issue. The film is peppered with commentary from pop culture icons like the Daily Show's Jon Stewart, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Lewis Black, Rachel Maddow, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, Ali Velshi and the Young Turk's Cenk Uygur as well as business tycoon Russell Simmons and even US Representative Keith Ellison.
This group of Muzzie comics is dispatched not only to perform standup at each tour stop but to create ridiculous interventions in unsuspecting town squares, like the classic, Ask a Muslim Booth. Downtown Birmingham was treated to a game of "Name That Religion" where contestants are presented with quotes from major religious texts and asked to "name that religion". The comedians break bread with locals, invite fine southerners to Bowl With a Muslim, and even shoot guns at the neighborhood range all in the name of bridge building and communal laughs.
The goal is to interact with people from a wide range of perspectives on the issue of Islam and highlight the various similarities between the major religions. At the end of the day, we all have daddy issues, all have too much credit card debt and are all captivated by Instagram. Jeremy Lin, and Olympic curling. The only differences are on the margins, like yay or nay to pork. The ultimate goal: present an Americanized face of Islam, create awesomeness between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans of all stripes, and get these crazy kids to fall in love (crazy kids being Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere)! Rest assured you've never laughed this hard at a Muslim!
I hope to see you there.
Blessings and Peace,
Susan A. Minasian, D.Min.
Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003