Allah in the Family

  • Aired:  02/17/11
  •  | Views: 170,565

Aasif Mandvi hopes to change America's perceptions of Muslims by starring in the Qu'osby Show. (5:46)

WELCOME BACK.

MUSLIMS ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE

FINDING THEIR VOICE USING SOCIAL

MEDIA BUT DOES A MORE

TRADITIONAL FORM HOLD THE KEY TO

THEIR SUCCESS?

AASIF MANDVI HAS MORE.

>> THE REVOLUTION IN EGYPT HAS

LED MANY AROUND THE WORLD TO SEE

ISLAM IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

LIGHT.

BUT IN AMERICA, MUSLIMS STILL

HAVE A SERIOUS IMAGE PROBLEM.

FORTUNATELY, A SOLUTION MAY BE

AT HAND.

>> "THE COSBY SHOW" DID SO MUCH

TO CHANGE ATTITUDES ABOUT

AFRICAN AMERICANS.

>> RIGHT.

>> MAYBE WE NEED A MUSLIM

VERSION OF THE COSBY SHOW.

>> YES, AMERICANS HAVE

HISTORICALLY TURNED TO

TELEVISION TO SOLVE OUR MOST

VEXING SOCIAL ISSUES.

FROM WOMEN'S RIGHTS ALL THE WAY

TO GAY MARRIAGE.

BUT ERADICATING ISLAMOPHOBIA

WOULDN'T BE EASY.

I NEEDED A MAN WHO KNEW A THING

OR TWO ABOUT GETTING MUSLIMS ON

T.V.

>> IMAM PHIAL IS RAUF IS THE MAN

BEHIND THE PROPOSAL TO BUILD THE

MOSQUE STEPS AWAY FROM GROUND

ZERO.

>> PERFECT.

>> I THOUGHT KATIE COURIC'S

SUGGESTION FOR A BILL COSBY

STYLE COMEDY SHOW IS A WONDERFUL

IDEA.

BUT THE SHIFT OF PERCEPTIONS

ABOUT MUSLIMS WILL REQUIRE MORE

THAN JUST A BILL COSBY SHOW.

BILL COSBY SHOW WILL BE A VERY

IMPORTANT FACTOR.

>> ALSO LIKE A MUSLIM

"JEFFERSONS."

(LAUGHTER)

>> UM...

>> AND NO ONE KNOWS BETTER HOW

TO CREATE A MUSLIM COSBY SHOW

THAN ALVIN POUSSAINT, THE HIGH

VARD PSYCHOLOGIST WHO SERVED AS

A CONSULTANT ON THE ORIGINAL

COSBY SHOW WHICH CURED RACISM

AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE.

(LAUGHTER)

WHAT WOULD THE MUSLIM COSBY SHOW

LOOK LIKE?

>> WHAT YOU WOULD WANT TO DO

WITH A SHOW WITH MUSLIMS IS JUST

HAVE THEM BE LIKE EVERYBODY

ELSE.

WE'RE ALL BASICALLY AMERICAN.

>> SO WE SHOULD PORTRAY MUSLIMS

AS GOOD PEOPLE?

>> YES.

>> GENIUS, GENIUS.

BUT IT WON'T BE EASY TO CHANGE

AMERICA'S PERCEPTIONS OF MUSLIMS

FROM THIS INTO SOMETHING THEY

COULD FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE

WITH.

(LAUGHTER)

HOW MUSLIM CAN WE GET AWAY WITH?

>> WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "HOW

MUSLIM"?

>> SHOULD WE GET RID OF THE

BEARDS?

>> WELL, SEAN CONNERY HAS A

BEARD.

>> OKAY, SO WE KNOW WHO WOULD

STAR IN THE MUSLIM REMAKE OF

"FINDING FORESTER" BUT WHAT

ABOUT THE MUSLIM COSBY SHOW?

>> I DON'T KNOW A MUSLIM BILL

COSBY.

>> ANYBODY COME TO MIND?

>> NO.

I DON'T...

>> JUMP INTO YOUR HEAD.

>> NO.

I WOULD... I KNOW THERE ARE

MUSLIM COMEDIANS.

>> RUDY!

>> BUT THAT COULD BE MY

IGNORANCE.

>> JELL-O PUDDING POPS, ANYBODY?

>> YOU COME TO MIND.

YOU'RE MUSLIM, RIGHT?

>> ME?

ME?

(LAUGHS)

YOU GUYS!

SEE, I COULD DO IT.

SO WE SHOT A PILOT AND ASSEMBLED

A TEST AUDIENCE OF THE KIND OF

PEOPLE WE WOULD HAVE TO WIN

OVER.

AVERAGE AMERICANS.

>> ISLAM IS REALLY SHOWN TO BE A

VIOLENT RELIGION, A HOSTILE

RELIGION.

>> IT'S NOT REALLY A RELIGION.

IT'S MORE OF A STRUCTURED

GOVERNMENT ORGANIZED TYPE THING.

>> I THINK THEY HAVE GREAT P.R.,

I THINK THEY HAVE GREAT

PROPAGANDA BECAUSE IT DOESN'T

MATTER WHAT THEY DO.

>> IT WAS TIME TO WIN SOME

HEARTS AND MINDS.

(LAUGHTER)

I HAD THEM RIGHT WHERE I WANTED

THEM.

SOMEONE MADE SNACKS FOR HIS

HARD-WORKING KIDS!

>> OH, THANKS, DAD!

>> TOMMY!

>> YEAH?

>> HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD

YOU NOT TO LISTEN TO YOUR IPOD

WHILE YOU'RE DOING YOUR HOME

WORK!

>> YOUR FATHER'S RIGHT, HONEY.

>> COME ON, IT'S THE NEW TOBY

KEITH ALBUM.

>> WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US?

WHY WHAT ARE YOU HOGGING IT ALL

TO YOURSELF FOR?

TURN IT UP!

♪ HEAD ON DOWN TO THE MAIN

ATTRACTION... ♪

>> SORRY, I DIDN'T REALIZE YOU

GUYS WERE PRAYING!

PRAYING!

NO, NO, UNLESS YOU MEAN PRAYING

TO THE GOD OF OKLAHOMA COUNTRY

MUSIC!

WHOO!

NOW, YOU GUYS GET CRACKING AND

DON'T FORGET TO DRINK YOUR PORK

JUICE.

>> YEAH, PORK JUICE!

>> YOU GOT A D IN ALGEBRA, WHY

WOULD YOU DO THAT?

>> DON'T BLOW UP AT HIM AGAIN!

(AUDIENCE REACTS)

>> WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?

BLOW UP.

I WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE

THAT.

THAT'S A VERY STRANGE WAY TO PUT

THINGS, ALL RIGHT?

(APPLAUSE)

WELL, IF THAT DIDN'T WIN THEM

OVER I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL.

DO YOU THINK THAT THIS SHOW

WOULD CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE

TOWARDS MUSLIMS?

>> NO.

>> NO.

>> IT'S NOT ANYTHING I WOULD

EVER WATCH OR BELIEVE OR THINK

FOR TWO SECONDS THAT THIS IS

LIKE A REGULAR MUSLIM FAMILY.

>> IF YOU'RE TRYING TO PORTRAY

MUSLIMS HE SHOULD TALK ABOUT

MAYBE ISLAM.

>> YOU WANT TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE

DO A KORAN JOKE IN THE MIDDLE OF

THE SCENE.

>> WOW.

I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN.

>> YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE THAT

CLOSET TERRORIST OR SOMETHING

YOU KNOW?

THEY'VE GOT TO KEEP HIM HIDDEN

BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT THE REST

OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO KNOW.

>> THE MORE JOKES ABOUT

TERRORISTS...

>> YOU COULD HAVE AN UNCLE RAHIB

OR SOMETHING WHO CAME OVER AND

HE'S BEDOUIN AND HE LIVES IN THE

BASEMENT WITH A SANDBOX AND A

GET TO.

>> RIGHT.

>> SO APPARENTLY THE BEST WAY

FOR A SHOW TO COMBAT MUSLIM

STEREOTYPES IS TO CONFIRM MUSLIM

STEREOTYPES.

>> NEXT TIME ON THE "QU'OSBY

SHOW," A SPECIAL VISIT FROM THE

PROPHET MOHAMMED.

>> WHAT?

NO!

NO!

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