In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

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Life Imitates Art

Whenever I think of Islamic art work, my mind wanders off to exotic locations in Turkey and the Middle East. I envision bearded men wearing austere expressions, working on their craft in quiet corners of bustling cities. I also envision them working under the tutelage of a particular Master from their chosen art — guiding his students like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Needless to say, my knowledge of Islamic art is elementary – and some may argue – fantastical at best. Though in reality, one of the rising stars in the world of contemporary Islamic art is a young, local Sydney artist who looks nothing like the aforementioned Middle Eastern-Wizard I had concocted in my mind. Peter...

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Fear of a Funny Muslim Returns

In part two of his Conversations with Asme Fahmi, Melbourne comedian Aamer Rahman talks inspiration, achievements and hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Oh – and Ninja Turtles. How much does your faith mean to you? It’s the core of my life. The driving force behind everything I do, creatively, non-creatively, politically. It’s the centre of my life. Would you say your faith shapes your comedy? Does it set up certain parameters that limits the scope of your act? Absolutely it does. It makes me say certain things and it stops me from saying certain things – which is good, because comedy or any type of expression without parameters could lead you to saying or doing things that are...

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Fear of a Funny Muslim

Over the years I’ve seen many a stand-up show staged by some of the world’s most renowned comedians. I’ve squirmed in my seat as they predictably began the smutty portion of their act with jokes about women in uncompromising situations and carnal appetites big enough to make me lose my appetite. But then the ‘Muslim jokes’ inevitably surface and I end up contorting in horror. So much so that I consider auditioning for Cirque du Soleil. Jokes about 70 virgins, terrorists and suicide bombings (boom tish!) are aplenty. So are my personal favourites: camel-spitting sounds. (They’re meant to be the comedians’ impersonations of the Arabic language apparently [cue laughter]). It’s fair to say...

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