Posted by on April 09, 2012 in Blog

For as long as they have been around, the Muslims are Coming Comedy Tour has been trying to supplant our traditional Gibran Awards ceremony with a Sharia-compliant program. This year they have finally infiltrated the Gala. But seriously, the comedy tour will receive a Special Recognition Award at this year’s Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala for their use of comedy to break down cultural barriers and for their efforts to dispel misconceptions about Muslims and Arabs throughout the country.

In 2011, Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah launched “The Muslims are Coming! Comedy Tour.” Making its way from the Deep South through the Midwest, the tour stopped in small towns and at college campuses, performing free shows and engaging locals in discussions about pop culture, social issues, and Islamophobia. Among the cities visited were Gainesville, Florida, hometown of notorious Pastor Terry Jones, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where a proposed Islamic community center sparked a controversy which received national attention. The Muslims are Coming was a brilliant strategy for addressing ethnic discrimination and Islamophobia. As AAI president James Zogby stated, “We all recognized it as soon as the tour was announced. And we were right — Dean and Negin were right. And the good that they’ve done for this community, and for America at large, just can’t be overestimated.” Dean Obeidallah will be accepting the award on behalf of the tour’s comedians.

See the special report on NBC's "Rock Center" with Brian Williams for a closer look into the tour. The segment aired on December 19, 2011:


Past “Spirit of Humanity” award recipients in this category include: Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, and The Youth of the Arab Spring. Launched in 1999 by the Arab American Institute Foundation, the awards focus attention on acts of leadership and dedication that promote the common good. Named for the renowned Arab American poet and author of The Prophet, the Kahlil Gibran Awards recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting co-existence and inclusion in all walks of life

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