Tag Archive for Dean Obeidallah

US-Backed “Comedian” Dean Obeidallah Is Now A “Muslim-American Leader”

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Dean Obeidallah, in his own words, has gone through a dramatic evolution in the past decade.  As if being “white” before the September 11, 2001 attacks and waking up Arab the very next day wasn’t traumatic enough, there was the issue of religion to negotiate. Religion is evidently a bit confusing for Obeidallah, who became the butt of long-running family joke by proclaiming he was a “Catholic-Muslim.” Several years ago he began professing Islam as his sole religion, eking out a fairly lucrative career by being the token Muslim serving as a US government mouthpiece on overseas “comedy” tours. Obeidallah had lived and identified as an Italian-American and Roman Catholic for the first 40 years of his life. It was only after 9/11, when the US State Department began looking for Arab-Americans and US Muslims willing to participate in propaganda campaigns to help “improve the US image abroad”, that Obeidallah discovered his Arab and Islamic heritage. Since then it has always been embarrassingly obvious that for Obeidallah “Muslim” is merely a convenient label for a government-sponsored “comedian” pursuing a career on the margins of American pop culture in post-9/11 America. The Muslim label has also been useful in securing invitations to participate as a prop at theatrical events where the American regime presents itself as tolerant, welcoming of diversity, and hospitable to Arabs and Muslims while it slaughters Arabs and Muslims abroad. The Muslim label has also been exploited by Obeidallah to claim some sort of native legitimacy as he goes around sharing his expert insight on Islam and Arab world politics. Yet, with the exception of Ray Hanania, another one of the self-described “comedians” (although not backed by the US regime) who once explained the Ramadan fast consists of consuming only bread and water during daylight hours, it’s difficult to find anyone more appallingly ignorant about Islam and the Arab world. Fast forward to February 2015 and Obeidallah finds himself, once again, at the White House, but this time as part of an elite group of 14 “Muslim-American leaders,” invited to address growing concerns about “radicalization” and anti-Muslim sentiment in the West. With his sudden emergence as a “Muslim-American leader” Obeidallah’s evolution appears to now be complete. We’d like to wish Obeidallah much success in his new role and as he assumes the responsibility of a “Muslim leader” hopefully he remembers Muslims actually don’t worship Jesus and Mary.

Dean Obeidallah: A House Arab At The White House

Having recently converted to Islam in order to acquire some sort of native legitimacy in his mediocre comedic career, Dean Obeidallah has made “humanizing” Muslims a priority. Of course, this became lucrative after the 9/11 attacks; before, by his own admission, Obeidallah was just another white Christian guy from New Jersey. While this photo opportunity with U.S. President Barack Obama will go a long way in advancing his career, it illustrates that Obeidallah does not actually care for Muslims. After all, from 2009-2011, Obama ordered four times more drone strikes on Pakistan than President George W. Bush authorized during two terms, resulting in the deaths of 1,354-2,254 Muslims. This toll does not include casualties of Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan, collaboration with NATO in the bombing of Libya or adventurism in Somalia and Yemen. If Obeidallah sincerely wanted to “humanize” Muslims, he would refuse to attend a White House function in protest of the Obama administration’s wars on Muslim nations and continued detention and torture of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have been held without trial for well over ten years. If Obeidallah’s “comedy” was, as he regularly claims, infused with a social, moral, and political consciousness or if he had a minimal personal conscience, those imprisoned, tortured and murdered should merit his skipping a presidential photo-op. Then again, these Muslims aren’t “human” to Obeidallah:  “Muslim” is merely a convenient label for a marginal comedian pursuing a career in post-9/11 America.

Dean Obeidallah: An Insight

[Ikhras Note: Unsurprisingly alleged comedian Dean Obeidallah has failed to digest the irony of someone that launches a career as a nominal Muslim Arab on the far fringe of American pop culture dismissing the dedicated work of an American solidarity activist because she doesn’t share an Arab-Islamic heritage.   Ethnicity is a chance of birth and religious persuasion is a personal choice.  You don’t have to be a Palestinian, an Arab, or a Muslim to recognize and be part of the struggle against Zionism and injustice in Palestine.  Our  universal human values should lead all of us to accept and promote a shared global responsibility for fighting against injustice, racism, ethnic cleansing, occupation, imperialism, and war wherever it may exist.  In this special guest submission ikhras friend Tammy Obeidallah shares her personal experience with Obeidallah and makes it clear that Palestine is not a punch line for aspiring American comedians, it is a morally compelling cause that has enlisted people of conscience from all backgrounds.] 

By: Tammy Obeidallah*

In May 2007, I was working as a staff writer for the Daily Advocate in Greenville, Ohio. While the newspaper is a small-town rag if there ever was one, it served as a forum to write as much about Palestine as possible to a largely conservative “Christian” Zionist community.

One day a message showed up in my inbox at the newspaper’s account from Dean Obeidallah. He had contacted me out of the blue, asking if we were related. I informed him my then father-in-law and his father were first cousins. He offered me free tickets to the upcoming Axis of Evil show in Cleveland, Ohio. Only vaguely familiar with his name at the time, I agreed to go.

Just ikhras ya Dean

Ikhras informed readers last week, in a post titled Housies’ Appalling Ignorance, that Dean Obeidallah thought Muslims worshiped Jesus and Mary. His follow-up tweet didn’t make matters better. He tried deflecting by blaming his ignorance on Twitter and his audience’s bias.  Indeed, as the Arabic proverb goes, the excuse is more appalling than the offense. For our purposes, this makes us glad that someone this inarticulate works with the Department of State.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/khateeb88/status/142674052975304705″] [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Deanofcomedy/status/142715430782500866″]

 

Housies’ Appalling Ignorance

Arab, Muslim-American comedian Dean Obeidallah thinks Muslims “worship” Jesus and Mary.

Kristy Lonestar

luchadora41 Kristy Lonestar

@Deanofcomedy The Quran speaks of Jesus as only a prophet, not the Son of God. And Jesus never was a Muslim.

Dean Obeidallah

Deanofcomedy Dean Obeidallah
@luchadora41 Of course he wasnt- he was born before Islam. But he is still worshiped by Muslims as is the Virgin Mary

This statement conveys an appalling ignorance of Islam’s most basic teachings. It’s even worse than Hussein Ibish’s definition of Sufism as “squishy.”

“DJ Khaled” & The State Department

The State Department which promotes and sponsors Dean Obeidallah as a comedian is now also promoting a Palestinian-American rapper and radio show host.  The State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs which produced this video featuring Obeidallah (and likely facilitates and/or sponsors his Amman Stand-Up “Comedy” Festival) is now promotingDJ Khaled.” 

Dean Obeidallah’s Silly Worries

Dean Obeidallah is worried that Anthony Weiner’s recent sex scandal will reflect badly on Dean. Addressing Weiner, Dean recently wrote in the Huffington Post:

Your cheating is not just hurting your family, your careers and your country, it’s hurting me. How? Because you’re making it impossible for me to convince my girlfriend that all men aren’t cheaters.

Actually, Dean, your work for the State Department reflects far worse on you than Weiner’s behavior. Weiner probably doesn’t know or care about you, so the connection between Weiner’s behavior and your image is weak. But you deliberately chose to ignore all the US’s reprehensible foreign policy to enhance your own career, which has a greater influence on your image.

Your collaboration with the murderous US empire is not just hurting your image and your moral standing, it’s hurting all of us because you’re making it impossible for us to convince people under US occupation that not all Arabs in America are opportunists and careerists who don’t mind collaborating with their annihilators.

 

Dean Obeidallah: State Department Propaganda Tool

Why is Dean Obeidallah working with the State Department?  Commenting on a recent Ikhras article, he said his work is intended to

“help empower Arab-American comedians and artists”

He then went on to add

“My work for the last few years has been to inspire people in the Arab-American community – as well as Arabs in the Arab world with my work in the arts…”

Has the “Dean of Comedy” actually inspired anyone? And how does one inspire Arabs by producing US government propaganda videos?  This video was produced by the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs in June 2011.   Notice that like James Zogby, the only Arab-American pretending to find him funny,  Dean also pronounces Dubai as “Dew-Bye.”

Dean Obeidalla: CNN’s In-House Comedian

Politics aside, Dean Obeidallah is very lame.  Check out his latest appearance on CNN.  We refuse to pretend a comedian is funny because he happens to be an Arab-American.  He is very unfunny, and if he was a true anti-Zionist, and a courageous voice for the cause of Palestine he would not be a regular guest on CNN.  Is the “Dean of comedy” willing to risk his “good Arab” designation and early afternoon CNN appearances?

Let’s hear Dean describe Israel as an illegitimate,  racist, colonial project that has no right to exist in Palestine.  Or perhaps he might be willing to reject the terrorist label placed on Hizballah and tell his audiences this is a group of freedom fighters made up of Lebanese civilians dedicated to defending their homeland from the terrorist state of Israel which the US government supports. Dean can mock George W. Bush’s poor English, but can he refer to him as a war criminal that should be sent to the Hague and put on trial?

Other comedians, George Carlin for example, did not fear challenging the prevailing narratives or inserting unpopular, but truth-based, commentary into their routines.  Carlin was a courageous comedian who infused his entertaining performances with a progressive political and moral message.  We highly recommend his first live HBO show, Jammin in New York. That exceptional stand-up comedy performance came in the aftermath of the first US war on Iraq in 1991 and serves as an example of the genius stand-up comic’s ability to combine political satire with an ethically conscious,  social message.

Obeidallah and the other so called Arab and Muslim comedians have no satirical skills, they’re not ethically conscious entertainers advocating any legitimate cause either in the US or the Arab world, and their silly performances have no redeeming social value.  In the end, they’re just a handful of outgoing individuals exploiting their ethnic heritage, and current events (serious issues of war and peace) in the Arab world in pursuit of barely mediocre careers on the margins of American pop culture.

We won’t ask them to Ikhras if they don’t expect us to laugh.

James Zogby Too Radical For Hussein Ibish

Forget Dean Obeidallah, Ray Hanania, and Maysoon Zayid.  The self-appointed spokespersons and representatives of the Arab-American community in Washington DC are the real Arab-American comedians.  James Zogby is now the “radical”, “extreme” Arab.  His comments on the Obama speech were too harsh AND uncompromising for the more moderate, pro-peace Hussein Ibish.

Dean Obeidallah: The Father of All House Arabs By Tammy Obeidallah

Ikhras friend and Palestine solidarity activist Tammy Obeidallah* responds to “the dean of comedy” Dean Obeidallah’s May 7, 2011 appearance on CNN.  Obeidallah is one of the better known members of that pathetic group of lame and very unfunny Arab and Muslim American comedians.

The self-proclaimed “Dean of Comedy” is at it again, taking his lame attempt at humor to CNN where he gave Osama Bin Laden the title “The Father of Islamophobia.” According to Obeidallah (no relation to me), Muslims in America were not stigmatized until after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Well, Mr. Obeidallah (again, no relation to me), if you had actually bothered to hang out with some of us  at demonstrations in the wake of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, you would have known Palestinians and their sympathizers have endured the “terrorist” label long before the 9-11 attack brought down the Twin Towers. Oh, excuse me Mr. Obeidallah (let me reiterate, NO RELATION), I don’t expect you to demonstrate in support of any Intifadah against the Zionist entity and risk your career, how utterly obtuse of me.

After several minutes of ridiculous Just For Men cracks aimed at Bin Laden’s change of beard color and a disgusting quip about being relieved there was no “sex tape” found in the plethora of videos allegedly recovered from the Abbottabad compound, Obeidallah (no &@#$!!! relation) then presumes to speak for the entire Muslim community. Funny thing is, he does not even profess the Muslim faith; otherwise he might know that cheap sex jokes to a mixed audience are unacceptable.

Obeidallah (I swear, he’s no kin) launched into a defensive diatribe in response to a quote read by the CNN host, containing hackneyed accusations that Muslims are terrorists, violent and not accepting of other religions and cultures. Instead of going on the attack, perhaps citing real-world examples of how tolerant Muslim societies truly are, the Dean of Comedy begs everyone to “keep an open mind” because “we’re all Americans—Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist…we’re Americans first.” Instead of using the opportunity to take a jab at America’s foreign policy, he whines about his fears over the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11 but now believes the death of Bin Laden will give us all the chance to “work together” and take a stand against Al-Qaeda and terrorism. And perhaps his most outrageous and offensive statement:  his father left Palestine for America to find a “better life.”

Hey Dean, your father left Palestine because it fell under one of the most brutal military occupations the world has ever known. I’ve seen the videos and heard the stories of pre-1948 Palestine, and it looks and sounds like a veritable Eden. No one would have ever needed to leave there for a better life—in America or anywhere else—had it not been for Zionist thugs destroying lives, land, mosques and churches. So if your pathetic career demands that you not help Palestine, at least don’t hurt.

And Dean, I have another idea for you: if you’re so ashamed about being thought of as Arab first, American second, why don’t you change your name to Dean O’Baydell and pass yourself off as Irish? That would save me the trouble of changing my name because everyone thinks I’m related to you and frankly, it’s embarrassing as hell.

Finally, unlike you, I can safely say I speak for the vast majority of the Arab and Muslim community when I tell you “Dean Obeidallah (no relation), IKHRAS!”

*Tammy Obeidallah was born and raised in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from Eastern New Mexico University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She has traveled to 45 countries including Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Pakistan and lived for over a year in Amman, Jordan.