Aziz Ansari, is an American comedian, mostly known for his stand-up comedy and role in the shows, Parks and Recreation and his Netflix series, Master of None. What Aziz Ansari is not most known for is being a son to Muslim American parents. Ansari declares himself having no religion but he still chooses to speak out against ignorance and hateful rhetoric that we see spew from people like Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch. Especially Donald Trump, whose rhetoric has brought out a real hate in the United States. The rhetoric of Donald Trump has spewed hate crimes and attacks against Muslims in America, like the recent killing of Imam, Alauddin Akonjee, and his assistant, Thara Miah, in Queens, New York later last week.
Ansari puts all jokes aside to face this serious issue. If you know Aziz Ansari, he adds commentary to things in a comedic way, so it was nice to see him taking a serious tone.
On June 24, 2016 Ansari wrote an article for The New York Times. He called out Trump for his xenophobic rhetoric. That article went viral.
These days, being a Muslim in America connotes a negative stereotype. Ansari pointed out people in the U.S. do not see a Muslim as, “the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai” or boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, or “the kid who left the boy band One Direction” but rather they are seen as terrorists or “some monster from the news.” All thanks to people like Donald Trump.
Ansari, like any child of a Muslim in America, is worried for his parents’ safety. So naturally after the Orlando Shooting in June, the first thing Ansari did was text his mother to not go near a mosque and pray at home. Why did he say this? Probably because he was worried a hate crime could happen against his parents. Following the attack, Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats” when talking about Radical Terrorism. This is the comment that put the icing on the cake for Ansari. Ansari pointed out that the attack in Orlando is an event that Trump used to try and gain supporters instead of mourning the innocent lives lost.
Ansari mentions in his article, “the overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics.” Ansari called out Donald Trump to ask “his fellow white males ‘who the bad ones are (bad white people)’ or call for restricting white males’ freedoms.”
This xenophobic rhetoric from Donald Trump has brought out Muslim sympathizers, like Aziz Ansari. Ansari never spoke up against Muslim hate crimes or even defended Muslims after 9/11, ever though he was called a terrorist for just looking Muslim. The recent racist rhetoric has caused Ansari to speak up.
Aziz Ansari used his small connection to Muslims for good. He used his privilege, popularity, and his voice to speak out against hate. It is nice to finally see a famous person speak up for Muslims and have it make a difference. So what famous person with Muslims connections will speak out against Donald Trump next? Gigi Hadid? Dave Chapelle? Hoda Kotb? We are waiting…
This article is written by Kaya Gravitter