Sunday, October 28, 2012

Humza Arshad vs. Diary of a Badman Ex Crew thoughts

  Something interesting has happened lately with regards to the smash hit YouTube sensation Diary of a Badman, which stars Humza Arshad as the Badman. Some ex members of the Badman crew have now condemned Arshad and have joined in with an extremist organization to condemn him for among other things mocking Islam. I will analyze both sides of the situation and see who is indeed mocking Islam if anyone. I will also give other analysis with regards to the essence of Diary of a Badman so that the youth can truly see it for what it is.

          First off I would like to congratulate Mr. Humza Arshad for making the DOABM series. It has been a phenomenal success and other high budget British productions dealing with Islam and Muslims such as the "Infidel" and "Four Lions" have not had near as much success. Mr. Arshad is a genius and I do not use that word lightly, with nothing more then a really good camera and Internet software he has created something which has enthralled the masses, the Pakistani and Muslim masses, but Badman has millions of fans that are neither Muslim nor Pakistani, or Indian. Badman has cross over appeal. Humza has created a brand that is valuable and cool and trendy, and is a leader among the British Pakistani and greater Asian community. Badman is very progressive and super cool, and deals with themes and people who are normally associated with terrorism, polygamy or other negative things in society. Humza Arshad has given to numerous charities and I can imagine has put his blood sweat and tears into the making of DOABM. Personally speaking it's very hard to put yourself out there on YouTube because what you make lasts forever and its a huge risk because success is not guaranteed and massive Backlash's can occur. Mr. Arshad's success is nothing easy as there have been numerous Badman rip offs that have fallen flat on their face. Those involved with Badman should have been nothing but grateful to Humza Arshad for allowing them to earn some fame and possibly fortune through their association with Badman, however the opposite has happened and some members have turned on Mr. Arshad? Why and how could this be? To publicly accost you're Muslim brother after he had given you the ultimate platform for fame you could have never possibly earned yourself, seems very UN Islamic. Also we are to tell our Muslim brothers privately and sincerely when they are wrong, not in public tirades that will cause them UN ease and embarrassment. No one would care about the Badman crew if their was no Badman so to do what they did is grossly inappropriate to say the least. TO chastise Humza Arshad as they did was a terrible thing to do. I hope in the future they decide to apologize to Mr. Arshad and pray for forgiveness. Also they mock Arshad as seeking out money, In the Quran it says there is nothing wrong with wanting to have money or trying to be rich, in fact after the painstaking hard work Mr. Arshad has put into the Badman series, I would be the first one to wish him wealth and success. How can Muslim brothers be upset when another Muslim brother is creating wealth for his family and other Muslims?

     With that said I too thought at times Badman may have been inappropriate however nothing so significant that needed Abdul Jabbar to go on that scathing rampage. The contradictions of Abdul Jabber's rantings against Humza Arshad are too numerous to count. First of all. you are not allowed to judge others in Islam, while Abdul Jabber practically sentenced Humza Arshad to the hell fire. Secondly the Quran says the true and pious Muslims are soft spoken and kind, while Abdul Jabbar was seething with hatred and his tone was ultra aggressive. Also Mr. Jabbar decided he could re write the Quran and has thus given himself the right to judge other men when their haram is apparent? Mr, Jabbar me being a lawyer by profession, I am all too aware that judging immoral acts is a very difficult and an almost impossible thing to do with any real accuracy. What you think is apparent haram in Badman, may not be too millions of others. Not to mention the arrogance, and pride in the man's voice. Attacking another Muslim brother openly like that was the height of being judgmental, arrogant and self righteous. A vile sneak attack on a man who has never claimed to be a Mullah, nor an Islamic scholar of any sort but rather a comedian. Then the absurdity of bringing up the horrific massacres of Muslims in Syria? Is Humza Arshad being a British Pakistani Muslim to go and live in a cave and cry forever for the goings on in Syria? Are all Muslims of the world to cease any productive activity because of this? What's going on in Syria is sad and I am sure many Muslims think about it, however Humza Arshad is a comedian and powerless in the grand scheme of things, what the heck can he do about Syria? He's got a talent and that is comedy? It seemed manipulative and evil to try to flog Mr. Arshad with guilt about the atrocities in Syria. Finally Mr. Jabbar in a very manipulative way exclaims I say only what the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) says therefore I am abdicated from any critique and Arshad is wrong. If only it were that simply Mr. Jabbar, while what the prophet says is always wise, our interpretations of what he says are not. Unfortunately the versus of the Quran must flow through the human mind and be interpreted. You can not abdicate yourself by simply exclaiming you are repeating the Quran. I do not have too much time to critique everything however as Arshad says in his response video, the contradictions in Mr. Jabbar's speech are numerous.

      Now I am no comedy expert however I have been watching American and British comedies for decades and I have analyzed the greats. While Mr. Arshad is a proud Muslim and Pakistani he is also British, and that will come through in his sense of comedy. Please if you will try to understand that when it appears that Humza Arshad is mocking Islam and or Muslims he is really mocking himself. Remember the Badman character is not the perfect Muslim nor is that what Arshad intended with him. He is an exaggerated caricature of the British Pakistani Muslim Jafaican gangster wannabe. He is the comic relief, who acts grossly inappropriate, and has a somewhat messed up family life. So when Arshad pulls on a Muslim brothers beard, or mocks a Muslim brothers mother, Arshad is not saying this is good, or cool, what he is saying is that the Badman is a jerk at times albeit unintentionally, a good natured jerk. The way the Pious Muslims indulge his idiotic behavior shows them to be above all things civilized caring and decent. Badman is showing pious Islamic garb clad Muslims in a way no one has ever dared in popular culture except Maybe in Canada's little Mosque on the Prairie. He's showing them as the anti Jerk too Badman's jerk. He's humanized them way beyond the stereotype of extremist or terrorist and into the realm of pious soft spoken good guys who can tolerate the rude abrasive behavior of the moron Badman. There is no self hatred in Arshad's work only a profound sense of timing and comic understanding. The arrogant filled and proud may be aghast and say he insults Islam. However those who think deeply understand he is using a very intelligent form of comedy. I will explain. When an aggressive loud jerk is disrespectful to a nice soft spoken guy, the fool or the proud will say, look at the disrespect he is showing how dare he! However on careful analysis in today's world the ass whole or jerk is always to be the one being disrespected, Badman is the ass whole or jerk while the pious Muslims are shown as totally nice, reasonable decent and kind. Badman does these types a favor and yet they turn on him?

     Secondly to the mother, again not all mocking of your own culture or people is self hatred. Sometimes jokes are used simply because they are funny. Humza Arshad has humanized the Niqabi beyond Islamic baby making machine or terrorist loving Ninja. He portrays his mother in a Niqab as a caring loving mother and only a moron would take seriously her violence toward him. That's the joke, if some moron in your're school yard is mocking a Niqabi because of Badman then it's their fault for ignorance. However it's as if without Badman Niqabi's would be loved and cherished women in British society. Badman if anything has led to a net positive influence again humanizing Niqabi's as mothers, who may listen to music, cook and who struggle to raise moronic wannabe sons like Badman. Humza Arshad is real, some extremists tend to romanticize Niqabi's or Topi and beard clad Muslims to the point of no critique. While wearing a Niqab or a beard and topi in the west is brave and we respect those Muslims for it, we know they are simply human. They pass gas and swear and do haram. Because Arshad shows the reality does not mean he endorses it, again Arshad is humanizing people who are ever rarely humanized on screen. It is the vain pride of someone extreme who cannot tolerate anyone making fun of them. Someone who cannot lighten up and relax even when they know deep down inside the reality may be shown.

     One of the things Arshad also does is include an Islamic lesson in the show, this is revolutionary and usually the lesson is profound and powerful. These life lessons while from Islam seem to have a profound effect on non Muslims as well. Humza's light hearted and soft approach to Da waa has been extremely powerful and has garnered an interest in Islam from many non Muslims. Again Humza's aggressive talk in Badman when dealing with Islam sometimes is not to show that he is mocking the Deen or the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) but rather again he is showing Badman is a a young confused kid who does not know how to act properly or a jerk if you will, a well intentioned jerk who is trying his best to deal with the profound message of the Quran.

     Again while some of Arshad's stuff may go too far, all in all we have a very talented and special young brother on our hands who has profoundly helped the image and identity of British Pakistanis and Muslims. We should express politely and lovingly the places where we disagree with him and he himself has stated he will be far more careful from now on. What more can we ask of him. If every time any Muslim brother who does something productive is swamped with hatred and jealously how can we ever hope to progress? If you don't like DOABM, get a camera and make you're own thing and express what you have to say. Hatred is easy, creating something new is hard work.

Adnan Khan

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