Laughter is the Best Medicine

Sakdiyah Ma’ruf: Comedy jihad – The Feed

Fearless and really funny, putting her life on the line… Diyah, the word “jihad”,
it’s pretty scary. Usually attached to crazy people
blowing things up. – I know, right.
– Should we be afraid of you? Oh, yes, you should.
Everyone should. I’m really, really scary.
Aren’t you afraid of this hijab? Oh, yeah. What’s strapped
underneath that thing? Well, breasts, for once, and several other things
that I might let you see. – That’s so good. Boobs not bombs.
– There you go! Today I have decided that
this is really my time to confront the extremist. I think in the eyes of many
Muslim extremists, especially men, anyone with breasts will be dangerous. The last thing I thought
my first conversation with a young, hijabi Muslim woman
would start with is a conversation about… – Breast and penis!
– That’s it! And penis! I mean, we talk about that a lot
behind “the curtain”. Girls in our community have lots
of jokes about how big the… dick of… of a… Arab men. It’s so big that
it’s almost like a third leg. I don’t know the vagina that fits,
though. And then… Indonesia, where Sakdiyah, or Diyah,
is from, has the largest population of Muslims
in the world. And fundamentalism is rampant. Many extremists have said
Diyah has a death wish, and she’s no stranger
to threats on her life. But even that’s not stopping her. A couple of years ago, a businessman tried to publish
Playboy magazine in Indonesia. 200-plus million people in Indonesia, and none of them every heard of
Playboy magazine until this Islamic extremist group rally against the publication
of Playboy. They’re not supposed to know
about this stuff. They’re supposed to study the Koran. They probably have these specific
divisions within their organisations filled with men
with the best jobs on earth, watching porn as part
of their devotion to Allah. – Isn’t that…
– So what you’re saying there is that they’re
a bunch of hypocrites. Yes. I know for a fact
that life is sometimes scary. Especially when you’re asking
for permission from your dad to kiss your boyfriend. I did kiss my boyfriend. Many times. Via text message. – On a serious note, though…
– Yeah. I mean, when you’re doing
your stand-up you’re not just talking about sex, you’re talking about
pretty explosive things, like Muslim extremism
and government corruption. Yes. Do you ever feel afraid? I’m accustomed to be afraid
of my dad. Something you said recently
really stuck with me. You said “The violence
never leaves your veins.” Was your father abusive? Seeing, um, him hitting my mum, it’s… very difficult
to talk about that. But I think being out there
as a stand-up comic I am doing what my mum would do
if she had a chance to, I guess. And so, this is me doing it mostly for my mum. Now I’m going to the ugly cry. Tell me what you’re feeling
right now. I don’t, I just, I just want
something BETTER for her. Is there something you want to say
to your mum right now that you might not have had a chance
to say to her before? Cos she may see this. Ah, oh wow. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not… for not being able to give
a better life to my mum. Do you think you’ll ever forgive
your father? I know I will! It stays in your blood.
That’s the problem. Does the stand-up and the work you do
as a comedian help? I’m feeling like
a totally different person when I’m on stage. I feel very much alive. I feel that I can finally be free. It’s my catharsis. How many of you are radical Muslims? The fact that you went through
such horrible violence as a kid, has that in a sense empowered you to stand up to much more violent
people in the world like these Muslim extremists
or the fundamentalists that tell you that you shouldn’t be doing
what you are? – Oh, yes. – That you shouldn’t be who you are?
– I’m thinking about their daughters. It’s always, it’s always women who are on my mind. If for one daughter of, I don’t know,
ISIS leaders, Hamas leaders, can grow up to be a comedian,
how amazing is that? Well, they’ve got a great role model
sitting right here. – I…
– You’re doing it. Right now. I… certainly hope so. You bravery and courage
is incredibly inspiring. – Thank you. It’s been really nice
to chat with you. – So nice to meet you.
– Thank you so much.

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