A man called the police on a comedian because he said he was made to feel 'uncomfortable' by his jokes about the Middle East. Yes, folks, this is America and it's happened again.
Comedian Ahmed Ahmed, 48, who is of Egyptian American decent, had been mocking negative stereotypes about Muslims at Off The Hook comedy club in Naples, when he asked the audience:
How many people here are from the Middle East?
When a few people clapped in response, he said:
Well, it only takes one of us …
Then, after a break for laughs, he continued:
… to tell a joke!
He then added:
But seriously, lock the doors.
However, it seems that not everyone thought the joke was funny. The next day, a comedy club goer called the Collier County Sheriff’s Department in order to report that a 'terrible' joke had left him feeling 'uncomfortable', reports the New York Post.
He also said that he was worried that the comedian might be organising Muslims to commit terrorism. Speaking to the 911 dispatcher, he said:
There was a comedian. His name is Ahmed Ahmed and he’s, you know, Middle Eastern.
The caller, who refused to give his full name, said that the comic had asked if anyone hails from his part of the world, before adding:
And a whole bunch of people raised their hands and said, ‘I’m from Iraq, I’m from Iran.’ And he said, ‘We could organise our own little terrorist organisation.’ And I don’t think that was right.
I just thought it was terrible. My wife and I looked at each other and felt very uncomfortable.
In response, the dispatcher says that she will send a deputy to follow up on the call, however, she doesn't sound concerned, reports the Metro.
Two officers were sent to question Ahmed before his set that was due to start at 7pm on Mother's Day. He shared a video of the encounter to his Twitter account, which has now had nearly 300,000 views.
In the tweet, he said:
This happened to me last night @OTHComedyClub in Naples, Florida! An audience member called 9-11 on me because “they feared for their lives” over a joke I told on stage. That’s never happened to me or any comedian I believe. Fucking crazy man. The cops were even like “WTF”?
Speaking to the New York Post about the ordeal, Ahmed commented:
The club manager came up to me with an embarrassed look on his face.
I thought, is this a joke? I thought there might be cameras outside and Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and say, ‘You’re punk’d!
The deputies then 'politely' questioned him about the set, before leaving.
They couldn’t have been nicer. One of them said, “Don’t change anything, keep doing what you’re doing.” That was refreshing to hear.
The comic said he has no ill will towards the caller, and that actually he'd like to shake his hand and thank him for the phone call.
I want to say, `Thank you,' to him.
He got more publicity for me in that one phone call than ever. You want to talk about a blessing in disguise.