CAIRO – Muslim student association in Texas A&M University will be hosting a standup comedy in which comedian Azhar Usman will challenge anti-Muslim prejudice through laughter and personal anecdotes.
“He uses comedy as his way to combat the negative stereotypes and Islamophobia that is present in the United States,” Marissa Salazar, psychology senior and director of on-campus programming for LTJI, told The Battalion, the student newspaper at Texas A&M University.
“He’s drawing from his personal experiences and what he’s seen. He is very knowledgeable of that comedic approach,” Salazar added, saying the program is meant to discuss an issue in a less serious fashion.
Usman will perform his standup comedy act, titled “Breaking Stereotypes,” in an event hosted by MSC LT Jordan Institute and the Muslim Student Association.
The show will focus on his experience with being stereotyped throughout his life and learning to fight those misconceptions.
Usman has done comedy tours around the United States in the past, collaborated with comedian Dave Chappelle and performed at comedy festivals like “Allah Made Me Funny.”
After the show, a panel of American Muslims will host a Q&A session that will be moderated by associate professor Rebecca Hankins.
Salazar said the program is important for the Muslim and non-Muslim community since it has a more positive tone, contrary to that of a lecture or workshop.
“I think it’s so important to have programs that are representative of your people that isn’t completely negative and is put on by your own community for your own community,” Salazar said.
“For the non-Muslim community I think it’s important to have a different approach to the stereotypes surrounding the community.”