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.