Katie Couric: Maybe We Need A Muslim Version Of The Cosby Show

Cropped headshot of Katie Couric

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The problem with Katy Couric’s logic is two-fold.  The Bill Cosby Show did not reduced racial tensions in our country, witness the past three years. 

Secondly, Muslims view their religion as the foundation of their life.  How will Islam  play out on a sitcom?  Not very well, I’m sure…

Meidaite

As 2010 comes to a close, the media industry is taking its annual breather to reflect upon all the things it had to cover in the past year. Katie Couric, in her CBSNews.com review of 2010, highlighted the controversy surrounding the Park51 project. “The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface,” she told her panel. In that media narrative, she saw “a seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims,” which she theorized could be remedied by another, more lighthearted narrative: “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”

She came to the situationally comedic solution after offering this take on American Islamophobia:

I also think sort of the chasm between, or, the bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn’t enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong—and so disappointing.

So could funny Muslims in even funnier sweaters be the answer? “I know that sounds crazy,” she said, “But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t understand—like you, Mo.” She was referring to Daily Show veteran and NPR regular Mo Rocca, who was present for the discussion. A Harvard alumnus, Rocca shamefully confessed that despite having attended “really fancy schools,” he knows basically “nothing about Islam.”

The two then “totally agree[d]” that “religion should be taught as an academic subject in public schools.” A funny solution, given that Rocca had just admitted-slash-joked that even his expensive private schooling had been insufficient.

But not as funny as a Muslim Cosby Show! Of course, there would be one catch: we’d need a Muslim Bill Cosby. Do we have one, America? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: Aziz Ansari would make a great Theo Huxtable.

11 comments

  1. What’s funny (or maybe not) is that so much of America needs to be persuaded and conditioned NOT to look upon huge segments of its own population with suspicion, if not hatred. Meanwhile, most Muslims, African Americans, Asians, Latinos and Native Americans are already pretty good at distinguishing friend from foe in all ethnic groups even without the use of sweaters and jokes.

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    1. Hey jean-phillipe, Happy New Year!

      Looks like “Little Mosque on the Prairie is in its fourth season. That means success in any culture. However, I wonder if “comedy” is the correct medium to address a seriously islamophobic western culture?

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      1. Happy new year to you :)

        I firmly believe that comedy is the best medecine for any phobia.

        I just hope his country is going to overcome the massive melanophobia and gnosiophobia plague. (black people and knowledge)

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    2. At first I thought “The Little Mosque On The Prairie” was a joke, but it’s actually a real show. I have to figure that one out. I hope it’s a good faith, but edgy attempt to lighten things up. Any feedback on the reaction of the Canadian Muslim community?

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      1. I don’t recall anything. I guess if it’s still on, it’s because people didn’t protest too much.

        Canada tries to sell this open multiculturalism spirit. It works well because Canadian nationalism is weak and we don’t have a border problem.

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  2. And why is Canadian nationalism weak? Is it just because you don’t have a border problem or does it go beyond lack of fear of immigrants from below the border?

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    1. My theory is that the cultural imperialism of America gives us the impression we don’t need a Canadian culture… We’re the nice guy hanging out with the bully.

      We don’t have enemies around… It either the pinguins and the polar bears from the North or the United States. If America invades Canada, we’ll just go on our knees and ask for mercy… :)

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