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In the Name of God بسم الله
Laayla

Muslims in the Entertainment World

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2 hours ago, BowTie said:

@Laayla .... @Murtaza1caught you there. 

I think, face it, you seem to think this show is interesting and you secretly like it. But you feel you should NOT like this show, so you promote it negatively in order to feel you're doing the right thing. full stop.

The show has nothing wrong with it, it says how the "Arab Muslim" or basically "Muslim" community actually is in the west and also in the Arab world. I don't understand why you feel people are selling their souls? I don't know what sort of illusions Muslims live in these days thinking the Muslim community is one big Amish island.

 

many Muslims in west are deviated but not all and we don’t need to idolize bad exemples among them.

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2 hours ago, BowTie said:

I think, face it, you seem to think this show is interesting and you secretly like it. But you feel you should NOT like this show, so you promote it negatively in order to feel you're doing the right thing. full stop.

900 IQ. Actually I like the . full stop. 942 IQ.

2 hours ago, BowTie said:

 The show has nothing wrong with it, it says how the "Arab Muslim" or basically "Muslim" community actually is in the west and also in the Arab world. I don't understand why you feel people are selling their souls? I don't know what sort of illusions Muslims live in these days thinking the Muslim community is one big Amish island.

 

Although I am inclined to agree most Muslims in the West are similar in mindset as the guy in the trailer (as I previously mentioned), it is still anecdotal and not totally fair to represent all Arab Muslims across the Western nations without raw stats that illustrate the vast majority are in fact like the guy in the trailer. At the end of the day people are different and there are thousands across america becoming Muslim and trying to be more religious. Trailer dude should make it clear it is his unique struggles, but as Laayla pointed out he is clearly trying to make it more a blanket representation of all Muslims. And this is done for more viewership meaning more money.

Therefore, in essence, he is weaponizing his beliefs and tossing his dignity in order to secure money (I.e. selling his soul). 

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2 hours ago, Mohammadi_follower said:

many Muslims in west are deviated but not all and we don’t need to idolize bad exemples among them.

 

2 hours ago, Mohammadi_follower said:

They try to normalize bad comportments among Muslims and that is the problem.

 

2 hours ago, dragonxx said:

900 IQ. Actually I like the . full stop. 942 IQ.

Although I am inclined to agree most Muslims in the West are similar in mindset as the guy in the trailer (as I previously mentioned), it is still anecdotal and not totally fair to represent all Arab Muslims across the Western nations without raw stats that illustrate the vast majority are in fact like the guy in the trailer. At the end of the day people are different and there are thousands across america becoming Muslim and trying to be more religious. Trailer dude should make it clear it is his unique struggles, but as Laayla pointed out he is clearly trying to make it more a blanket representation of all Muslims. And this is done for more viewership meaning more money.

Therefore, in essence, he is weaponizing his beliefs and tossing his dignity in order to secure money (I.e. selling his soul). 

No one mentioned everyone in the West is like that. But that goes on. Not in the West but in our communities in Muslim or Arab countries.

its hilarious how you live in denial.

 

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No good Muslim depictions in entertainment. TV broadcasts in general are full of cussing, intoxicants, sex and religious slander. The noise levels and anger even in breakfast talk shows is enough to make you snap.

That's why I don't have a TV licence and why I haven't watched broadcasted television in well over two years. Why should I pay close to £150 a year for that cheap and tacky garbage? I spend it on my kid's clothes and toys instead.

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@Laayla

Well, my cat blew up my TV fifteen or so years ago and I never replaced it. ( Blessed be the cat.) Don't worry, she went on to live a long and fulfilling life. So I won't get a chance to watch it. My old computer doesn't support Hulu, either, for some reason.

plus I have my "own Muslims" living here right by me so I'm not getting my  info from a TV show.

 

Maybe somebody here can help me out here, but isn't the horse out of the barn already regarding unusual or atypical portrayals of Muslim Americans on TV? When did " American Muslim" air? As I recall, it was about a Shia family who owned a bar or liquor store or something of that sort. That's about like portraying a conservative Southern Baptist family doing that. ( Not to mention the conservative Sunnis that weighed in, in print, about "Shia dogs" " Shia Pigs" and a whole bunch of other "delightful" commentaries on the show. )I think the creators might have wanted to send a message that " Muslims are just like any other Americans", but there are plenty of American religious groups that don't drink or do various other things. It wouldn't have hurt to have showcased a more typical Shia family. I'm sure most American Shia families get up in the morning and face and handle every problem their fellow US citizens do, without being completely sideways in the living of their faith.  If you're going to show a religion, show the religion. Audiences can handle religious differences. 

Maybe this is another attempt at " normalizing" Muslims in the context of American society?  Is it written and created by Muslims? That could be a real positive, but when I read the reviews in the paper, I was thinking " oh, heck, lots of Muslims aren't going to like THAT part." The clip was about masturbation. I'm no prude and I gave birth to enough kids to know the sexual issues for young humans ,but does that have to be a point of mutual understanding? Isn't that just assumed? So I was thinking maybe this is aimed more at the younger set? ( You mentioned GoT earlier...there is a lot of gratuitous sex and violence in the series that is NOT in the books...that's probably to draw in the teenagers,too, whether the creators admit that or not). This show seems to be one young Muslim's reality, but I think anyone who watches any shows on any religion or ethnicity has to use some critical thinking skills on whether it is a fair representation of that community as a whole.

I think American Muslims, talking to the ones in my family, especially those born in the US, will not tolerate being on the outside of US society and want to be respected and understood for what they are and included in the decision-making. They are being elected to office, promising to uphold the Constitution,working, going to school, helping out,  paying taxes, joining in community conversations,etc. They are here to stay. 

I don't know how the media will do them justice. Guess we'll see. 

Just my thoughts.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BowTie said:

No one mentioned everyone in the West is like that. But that goes on. Not in the West but in our communities in Muslim or Arab countries.

Blanket statements have implications, not necessarily precise definitions, I.e. we know it isn't explicitly mentioned all Muslims have the same struggles, however it heavily implies it.

4 hours ago, BowTie said:

 its hilarious how you live in denial.

 

Enlighten me, as I cannot keep up with your high IQ, what am I in denial of?

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13 hours ago, LeftCoastMom said:

Well, my cat blew up my TV fifteen or so years ago and I never replaced it. ( Blessed be the cat.)

Haha I had to quote your statement that's really funny. I'm guessing she thought it was a toilet :hahaha:

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Sunday Calendar Letters: ‘Ramy’s’ hookup culture too seductive

Re: “‘Ramy’ Steps in the Muslim Dating Pool” [April 21]: As Lorraine Ali’s article about the Muslim-oriented TV show from comedian Ramy Youssef indicated, those who fear U.S. culture being overtaken or “diluted” by Islam have nothing to worry about. Because self-indulgence, casual sex and instant gratification are so irresistible, everyone who comes here eventually gets assimilated. We always win.

David Macaray

Rowland Heights

Los Angeles Times

Ramy Youssef on making TV’s first Muslim American sitcom, Hulu’s millennial comedy ‘Ramy’

 
| TELEVISION CRITIC |
APR 19, 2019 | 7:20 AM
  
 
Ramy Youssef on making TV’s first Muslim American sitcom, Hulu’s millennial comedy ‘Ramy’
Ramy Youssef, star of the Hulu series "Ramy." (Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)
 

Sex outside of marriage. Sex inside of cars. Sex as a 24-7 preoccupation.

Hooking up, getting busy or whatever you choose to call it is central to Hulu’s new half-hour comedy “Ramy,” which wouldn’t be all that remarkable if the series wasn’t television’s first Muslim American sitcom.

Egyptian American millennial Ramy, who’s played by comedian and show co-creator Ramy Youssef, is an Allah-fearing Arab, but not the sort viewers are used to seeing on their screens. He doesn’t come with decimated war-zone scenery, a dusty keffiyeh headscarf or a Kalashnikov.

Ramy is a shaggy, unsure 28-year-old in a baseball cap, rumpled T-shirt and jeans who still hasn’t kicked a childhood habit of smothering whatever’s on his plate with too much ketchup.

 

When he’s not searching for his next girlfriend or hanging out with his wheelchair-bound bestie Steve (Steve Way), he’s looking for a comfortable spot between his parent’s old world (a pre-Arab Spring Egypt) and the new world in which he grew up and still lives (suburban New Jersey). The tension between the two makes for some of the best culture-specific jokes — and universal situation comedy — around.

The 10-episode series, which employs Muslims and Arabs in front of and behind the cameras, premieres Friday. It breaks ground like “Fresh off the Boat,” but with the raw, subculture-specific spirit of “Insecure” or “Master of None.”

Ramy Youssef and Steve Way in a scene from "Ramy."
Ramy Youssef and Steve Way in a scene from "Ramy." (Barbara Nitke / Hulu)

When the fictional Ramy tells his friend Mo (Mohammed Amer) he’s trying to abstain from sex during the holy month of Ramadan, Mo calls him out on it: “Dude, you’re really going to be one of those Ramadan Muslims? You can’t be jerking off all year, then, all a sudden, turn into Malcolm X.”

During a recent interview in Los Angeles, Youssef says, “There's this idea that when you say you're Muslim, that you're either all in or you're trying to escape it. I love the idea of gradations and levels, just like everybody else has.”

It’s the kind of TV that was missing from his childhood.

“The stories I always see about a first-generation kid trying to erase where they came from, or trying to just be white, I would watch those shows or movies and I was like, ‘I don't get this,’ ” Youssef says. “This isn't how I feel. I really respect this culture and this faith, but I'm not perfect and I'm struggling. I've drawn my lines, and yeah, I cross them. The best jokes and stories come from that conflict and guilt, and I've never seen that talked about on TV.”

“Ramy” is edgy and raw, too graphic for Youssef to show his own parents, but exactly the right temperature for a room full of his generational peers who recently watched a few episodes at a Hollywood screening. It was clear from the laughter that the audience, Muslims and otherwise, recognized themselves or their families in the people they saw on screen.

In a "Ramy" episode called "Do the Ramadan," from left, Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer and Dave Merheje.
In a "Ramy" episode called "Do the Ramadan," from left, Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer and Dave Merheje. (Barbara Nitke / Hulu)

Executive produced by Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”) and Bridget Bedard (“Transparent”), the semi-biographical series — co-created by Youssef, Ryan Welch and Ari Katcher — has its origins in Youssef’s stand-up routine.

Says Bedard, “Almost every episode was born out of some joke we just pushed deeper. We explored why it was a joke in the first place. What's the pain behind that?”

Youssef honed his stand up in small New York clubs, amassed a local following, then picked up national attention in 2017 when he appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Youssef now has a stand-up comedy special airing on HBO in June. Clearly, he’s come a long way since his first big break — a Taco Bell commercial and an ensuing gig as a regular on Nick at Nite’s Scott Baio comedy “See Dad Run.”

“I moved from New York to L.A. to be on the show,” Youssef says. “My mom was like, 'It's amazing. You're going to meet so many actors. Then, you can become a lawyer for actors.' Like this show was a networking experience for what would eventually be my future job.”

The fictional Ramy lives at home with parents, Maysa (Hiam Abbass) and Farouk (Amr Waked), and sister Dena (May Calamawy). They speak a mixture of English and Arabic, use Uber and shop at Costco. They aren’t particularly religious, though they do recite Qur'an surahs and use Islam when needed, as with the sex talk Farouk has with Dena.

After a few references to the importance of pious Muslim behavior, he compares a woman who loses her virginity before marriage to a bottle of Coke: It’s fresh when you open it; then, no one wants it the next day.

On the show, Ramy appears to attend mosque more than his parents, praying with a hole in one sock. It’s there, during one episode, that his friends notice a new face in the crowd. “He’s a spy,” comments one of them casually, referring to Homeland Security’s post-9/11 policy of placing informants in American masjids. Another lets out an exasperated huff: “Look at him. He’s Dominican. The FBI isn’t even trying anymore.”

That’s about as close as Youssef comes to what he calls “All Arabs Are Not Terrorists” humor.

“I didn’t want ‘Ramy’ to be a commercial, like 'Hey, Muslims are good!’ ” Youssef says. “We’re underrepresented, so the instinct when we get an opportunity like this is to show people that we're good, that we have the same shared values. What’s more important to me is showing that we have the same flaws. How do you show someone yourself in the most human way possible? You show them you're struggling to be good.”

The fictional Ramy tries to be upright and virtuous when he fasts for the Muslim holy month. But it’s not easy when everyone around him at work — his uncle’s Manhattan jewelry shop — is eating.

His stomach growls as he sees the bearded Orthodox Jews who own the surrounding stalls eating delicious, thick sandwiches for lunch. Then, the camera pans to another bearded man eating a turkey sub, only this time, it’s his Uncle Nassem (Laith Nakli).

“You’re eating too? It’s Ramadan,” says Ramy.

“Ramadan starts tomorrow. Any Muslim would know this,” snaps his bossy uncle.

“Everyone I know is fasting today,” Ramy says.

“That’s because they’re following Saudi. I don’t answer to Saudi Arabia. It’s the most corrupt country in the world.”

“I thought [you said] that was Israel?” says Ramy, using his uncle’s own bigoted words from earlier against him.

“They’re Jews. They don’t know any better. Muslims should.”

“My friends and I call that kind of behavior ‘Allah Carte,’ ” says Youssef. “It’s when people pick and choose the bits they want to practice.”

Concerns that “Ramy” might be too culturally specific for a wider audience aren’t, in fact, concerns for the folks behind its creation.

“When people watch it, they're not really going to see a culture clash, they're going to see it like, ‘Oh, wait, I see my family in this family,’ ” says Youssef. “I know people want to hear that this is an East versus West culture clash, but the reality is, we're all clashing with each other in our own homes all the time. This is no different.”

And awkward sex, like family dysfunction, is another universal that “Ramy” is banking on.

“There are a lot of parallels between ‘Ramy’ and ‘Transparent,’ ” says Bedard. “The [characters] are trying to find a comfortable place, but it's that discomfort that everyone can relate to. And that is also where so much of the humor comes. I don't think we ever wrote a good sex scene in ‘Transparent,’ like somebody comes away satisfied and the violins come in. That never happened.”

The violins don’t cue up for anyone in “Ramy” either.

“A big part of what I'm trying to do with this show is embrace sexuality and talk about it,” says Youssef, who focuses a lot on the subject in his stand-up as well. “That's something that Arabs do not do publicly. That is something that Muslims do not do publicly. We’re used to talking about violence, and we're used to dealing with it. But we don’t talk about our sex lives, and this show really does get into it … That sexuality can come out negatively and positively.”

Edited by Laayla

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Hollywood purposely wanted to make a show based on a Muslim identity.  BBC News in Arabic interviewed Ramy LA about the purpose of the show.  In English subtitles.  

 

Hulu has just released the first Arab-Muslim American TV show in the United States. How did that happen? Sam Asi talks to its creator, Egyptian-American comedian Ramy Youssef

 

 

Edited by Laayla

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Wether we like it or not, the reality is that Muslims today struggle with Ramadan, remaining virgins until marriage, and any number of things unrelated to demographic. People need to talk about these issues. Apparently, we haven’t done enough so our struggles are reduced to a comedy. If it’s enough to bring attention to everyday issues, then what’s the problem? So no one likes how the message is being delivered, so what? Would we all rather stick our heads in the sand and pretend that no one of the Ummah struggles with Zina, alcohol, etc.? 

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On April 28, 2019 at 2:37 AM, Murtaza1 said:

Haha I had to quote your statement that's really funny. I'm guessing she thought it was a toilet :hahaha:

Actually she had gotten muddy and escaped during the bath. It's a miracle she was not electrocuted. However, since " reality TV" was becoming a thing when she did it, your assessment of the TV becoming a toilet is pretty accurate. 

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8 hours ago, Laayla said:

Hollywood purposely wanted to make a show based on a Muslim identity.  BBC News in Arabic interviewed Ramy LA about the purpose of the show.  In English subtitles.  

 

Hulu has just released the first Arab-Muslim American TV show in the United States. How did that happen? Sam Asi talks to its creator, Egyptian-American comedian Ramy Youssef

Salam it's completely based on Hollywood doctrine that "Arabs are Muslims & Muslims are Arabs" they just are trying to move the Arab definition from "Barbaric Saudis " to "moderate Egyptian" but at the end they promote old idea of "Arabs are Muslims & Muslims are Arabs" & like as Judaism ,it's a racial ideology but moved from radical barbaric Saudis to Moderate Egyptians that Egypt shows more diversity & tolerance to other races & religions  but it still affected with Wahhabi/Salafi ideology .

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On 4/28/2019 at 3:11 AM, Mohammadi_follower said:

Salam aleykoum, 

I think this person really explained very well the problems with this show. 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2438072926411415&id=1594438427441540&fs=0&focus_composer=0

 

Yes he does. I only listened to about half but he made some good points. When we have a show like this that portrays Muslims as just as messed up as everyone else, it gives the message that Islam is not the answer to the problems humans struggle with. Muslims are supposed to have it figured out at least a little bit more than others... Otherwise how can we claim it's the key? I think that's the agenda. To show non Muslims that there's nothing to this Islam thing, there is no moral superiority, it's just as watered down as most Christianity these days. Seriously, what benefit does it do anyone to show that a supposedly typical Muslim indulged in every sin under the sun? That we have no self control, no obedience to God's laws, yet we are still "good?" Another effect is that Muslims who may already be on the edge of committing these sins will feel permission is given to them now because apparently Ramy says it's okay. There is a wisdom in Allah's telling us not to publicize our misdeeds. 

Sleeping with a married woman during the month of Ramadhan? Yeah don't given this show any of your support. 

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