No Joke! Stand-Up Comedians Battle Intolerance

May 7, 2008

Author: Ralph Dannheisser

Source: News Blaze

A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu and a Sikh walk into a hotel ballroom.

The opening line of a joke?

No, but in this case it was the start of a full evening of stand-up comedy aimed - its creators say - at easing religious tensions through laughter "and a healthy dose of political incorrectness."

Titled "Make Chai, Not War," the event was the brainchild of two Indian-American comics, Azhar Usman and Rajiv Satyal. It grew out of a two-man comedy show previously mounted by the Muslim Usman and Hindu Satyal.

Usman says they conceived of that earlier show based on their concern over the "heightened tensions between those two religious groups in the [South Asian] subcontinent.... To bring Hindu and Muslim together for a comedy showcase, we thought, was a really good idea."