Alhurra debuts a new documentary on fighting extremism with comedy

Alhurra Television is debuting an original documentary, Laughter in the Time of Terrorism, which tells the story of Arab satirists who are using humor to fight one of the most dangerous organizations in the world, ISIS. The two-part documentary highlights comedic Arab hosts who view ISIS’s ideology and barbarism through the lens of sarcasm and jest to expose the lies of the brutal organization.

The documentary centers on how these satirists challenge the barbarism of the Islamic State and highlight its hypocrisy. It examines how freedom of speech is constantly under threat from those espousing radical ideologies who seek to silence others with the threat of retaliation. It also emphasizes the bravery of the satirists who effectively diminish the influence of terror groups like ISIS by artfully exposing the contradictions between their ideology and methods. These comedians are committed to their mission, which they persist in pursuing despite the inherent dangers of provoking ISIS, an organization that has massacred entire communities because they hold different beliefs.

Through interviews with the hosts of some of the most incisive satirical news programs across the Middle East and North Africa, Laughter in the Time of Terrorism documents the satirists’ experiences with intimidation efforts. Although they constantly receive death threats from the terror group ISIS and other radical militias, none of the comedians have any reservations about continuing their work. Lebanese, Palestinian, Libyan, Tunisian, and Moroccan humorists explain how they believe that making people laugh at ISIS will help to cast their fears away and is worth the known risks.

“In the recent years, several important programs have been using satire to challenge the influence of ISIS, diminish the prevalence of sectarianism, and condemn political corruption in the MENA region. We wanted to document the resilience of these satirists and examine the challenges they faced as a result of lampooning the extremist ideology of ISIS with biting humor,” stated MBN President Alberto Fernandez. MBN manages and oversees Alhurra Television. “Laughter in the Time of Terrorism exhibits how important freedom of expression is in fighting the extremist ideology of ISIS. This is a theme that Alhurra is committed to exploring, expanding the knowledge and perspective of our viewers.”

Laughter in the Time of Terrorism will air on Alhurra Television on September 30th at 20:00 (GMT).

About MBN

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the BBG.

MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language radio network that broadcasts music and news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more than 370 newscasts per week.

Find out more

Contact Chams Eddin
Communications Specialist, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa