(LOS ANGELES, CA, 12/3/08) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to thank the Fox television network and the creator of "The Simpsons" for a recent episode that used comedy to challenge Islamophobia.
The episode, which aired Sunday evening and is titled "Mypods and Boomsticks," highlights anti-Muslim sentiment by featuring a young Muslim character named Bashir and his family who face prejudice after moving to Springfield. In the program, Homer Simpson wrongly suspects that Bashir's family is involved in a terror plot. Bart Simpson befriends Bashir and defends him from bullies.
To view the entire episode, click here.
CAIR's Greater Los Angeles Area office (CAIR-LA) sent a letter today to the show's creator Matt Groening thanking him for challenging anti-Muslim prejudice.
The letter said Sunday's episode "brought to light how Americans can work toward mutual respect and inclusion by getting to know their neighbors." It went on to state: "The episode also builds on the values that have made America the great nation it is - a nation in which citizenship is about finding common ground and building a better society. American Muslims have been doing just that by making daily contributions to our society that often go unrecognized."
"Because of its acceptance in popular culture, comedy is often one of the best vehicles for challenging stereotypes and intolerance," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Fox and Matt Groening are to be congratulated for tackling the disturbing phenomenon of Islamophobia."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org