Muslim Student Association hosts comedy show


Julia Martins de Sa

Standup comedian Danish Maqbool performed a comedy routine on Tuesday, April 10, in the Gilmer Room in Founders Hall. // Photo by Julia Martins de Sa/The Guilfordian

“I drove down from New Jersey for this, so be dope,” said standup comedian Danish Maqbool.

Maqbool, who has been doing standup for three years, performed a comedy show on Tuesday, April 10 in the Gilmer Room of Founders Hall. The comedy event was hosted by Guilford College’s Muslim Student Association.

“I definitely want to use this (event) to make a statement that we can have events like student panels and movie discussions about very dramatic movies and their impact, but also it’s like we’re people, we can have fun too,” said MSA member senior Rashad Clark, an organizer of the event. “We can put on events that are enjoyable.”

Despite the comedy aspect, Clark hoped Maqbool’s show could relate to MSA’s purpose as an organization.

“The goal is to not deviate too much from the mission of the club, though, because the mission has always been education and engagement about Islam,” said Clark.

Throughout his show, Maqbool connected his content to experiences as both a Muslim and Pakistani American.

“For my introduction to show business, I used to make the nightly announcements at Staples,” said Maqbool. “Like if you came to Staples in Oak Ridge, New Jersey in 2007 on a Thursday or Friday between 8:30 and 9, you saw the potential.”

Maqbool recalled that the announcements were done on a black phone installed in the store, similar to the phones that were used for announcements at his high school. After attempting to give his own announcement at school, Maqbool was arrested.

“They got me on terroristic threats, post 9/11 obviously,” said Maqbool. “It was messed up man, I got arrested. I got suspended for five days. I couldn’t go to prom.”

Maqbool also addressed the negative terms others would use toward him.

“I had a dude call me a terrorist at 9 a.m.,” said Maqbool. “That’s a little early right? I will say though, he meant that because 9 a.m. thoughts, those are some fresh thoughts.”

Connecting Maqbool’s experiences to broader societal issues was a primary goal of the event.

“Of course, I knew that he was Pakistani, so I knew that he could talk to that experience of identity and discrimination because of identity and things such as that,” said Clark. “I wanted to get engagement in terms of him giving his observations and his analysis of certain things in a way that engages the audience, that makes them think.”

Students such as sophomore Mariame Meite attended the event to see how Maqbool’s identity would relate to his comedy show.

“I just wanted to see what a Muslim comedian would be like since I am Muslim and to see if he would throw in Muslim jokes and see what his perspective on comedy was,” said Meite. “I think it was funny. There were definitely some stale moments, some of the points were a little controversial, but it was fine.”

Students such as first-year Amy Mejia found some of the show’s content to be hard to laugh at.

“I definitely, from my perspective, felt like some of that stuff was ‘Oh, that’s not funny,’” said Mejia. “That’s the stuff I fight against, but it’s okay.”

Despite differing viewpoints, the event sparked dialogue among attendees, particularly students, through the medium of comedy.

“I think (comedy) can be used,” said sophomore Fletcher Brooks. “I think it’s kind of hit or miss. You can try to tell a joke and it could really resonate with someone and then some other stuff just goes over people’s heads, but I think it can be used for positive change.”