Actor and writer Aasif Mandvi’s sitcom parody web series, “Halal in the Family,” premiered this week on the humor website, Funny or Die. “Halal in the Family” stars Mandvi and Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards), with special guests Samantha Bee (The Daily Show), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (The Roots), and Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show).
Best known as the Senior Muslim/Asian/Middle Eastern/Foreign-looking/Brown Correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and author of the book, "No Land's Man," Mandvi created the four-episode sitcom parody to shift misconceptions and expose daily challenges faced by Muslim Americans with satire.
“Through my work on The Daily Show, I saw how satire can open people’s eyes and shift perspectives on controversial topics,” Mandvi said in a statement, “With Halal in the Family I had a chance to create an all-American Muslim family dealing with common forms of ignorance and prejudice, resolving them – in classic sitcom fashion – by the end of each episode.”
The initial version of the parody first aired in 2011 on “The Daily Show” as a sketch about an over-the-top all-American Muslim family. Mandvi revisited the idea after he was approached by Muslim, interfaith and civil rights organizations to create something that could help combat racism and bigotry towards Muslim Americans. Some of the themes addressed in the series include cyber bullying, surveillance, racial profiling, hate networks, media bias, and the exploitation of anti-Muslim prejudice for political gain. These topics were chosen in consultation with the project’s Advisory Council which includes Center for New Community, ACCESS/National Network for Arab American Communities, Muslim Advocates, Auburn Seminary, and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
A successful Indiegogo campaign helped build a broad base of community support across the country.