By Guest Contributor Princesse de Clèves, islamogauchiste, originally published at Muslimah Media Watch
Have you ever noticed how minorities—and oppressed people in general—lack a sense of humor? Lately, there have been plenty of jokes about Arabs and Muslims. So why aren’t we laughing?
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux recently felt his joke fall flat after this year’s summer congress. One of his traditional supporters, Amin Benalia, asked if he could take a picture with the minister. A woman in the crowd jokingly introduced Benalia to the team as someone different because he “eats pork and drinks beer”. Ah, a meeting of old friends and politicians united under the banner of pork, beer and the finest French jokes. The Minister explained about Benalia:
“He doesn’t fit the prototype [of an Arab Muslim] at all. Not at all. We always need one. When there’s one, that’s all right. It’s when there a lot of them that there are problems.”
This moment of free expression had been launched on the website of Le Monde and raised lots of questions, reactions and criticism. But the merry minister did not apologize. He simply said it was a joke, and most journalists gave it legitimacy by saying the minister was “very laid-back”.
David Gee, the author of Shaikh Down—a very “funny” novel about the Arabs (again)—claimed he “spent six years in the Gulf and never met an intelligent woman”, ignoring the fact that intelligent women had better things to do than meet up with a poor so-called satirist.
In Shaikh Down, Gee writes:
“Nayla was tall, olive-skinned, voluptuous, at twenty-six two years younger than her brother Ibrahim and exactly half her husband’s age, a feminist intellectual in a society that tended to ignore women and mistrusted intellectuals .”
Exclusively focusing his attention on the body of Nayla, the author completely ignores the role that high-profile women play in the Gulf. The “feminist intellectual” is at some point described as if she was either a prostitute or a commodity: by the size and the color of her “voluptuous” Orientalized body.
Read the Post Your Joke is Not My Joke: Racism and Sexism in Jokes and Satire