Riaad Moosa has come to the defence of fellow comic Joey Rasdien, who has been slammed for making off-side jokes about an important figure in Islamic
The comedian asked mense not to get “carried away” about comments Rasdien made at the Ilm Arts Festival and Marriage Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday.
According to Moosa, comedians are not always able to censor themselves on stage.
He posted on Facebook: “Joey Rasdien is one the funniest men I know. When we’re up there it’s sometimes very difficult to censor and edit ourselves quick enough. He’s a good guy, a genius comic and a person who brings joy to many people. He apologized. Let’s not get carried away. Allah knows best.”
His post was liked by more than 1 100 people and had nearly 300 comments, most supporting him and Rasdien.
Riedwaan Hendricks wrote: “I like Joey [Rasdien]. So he made a joke and offended some people, but if he apologised then all is well. Hopefully he learnt from his mistake and move on. And hopefully everyone else does as well. (sic)”
Many others were not amused, like Sahbnam Mohamed who said: “I find it hard to believe tht you actually justifying his wrong doings! Riaad there are many things to joke about! Religion isn’t one of them! And to make fun of our Prophet Muhammed and the Sahaba! Seriously he needs to have his head checked! And I’m thinking mayb * need to do the same. (sic)”
Joey, aka Yusuf Rasdien, made Muslims in the 3000-strong audience kwaad when he referred to Abu Huraira, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a “bra” and questioned how he could’ve written more than 40 000 sayings of the prophet in two years.
Angry audience members shouted at him to leave the stage and about 15 minutes later, organisers asked him to get off the stage.
On Sunday Rasdien tweeted an apology and hours later he released a longer statement, asking for forgiveness and saying he will try and be a better Muslim.
He also undertook to learning more about his religion and its leaders.
“As a Muslim comedian I hold myself to the same set of standards expected of a Muslim in any other walk of life. And while humour is a necessary part of our humanity, I understand as well, that the best way for us to humour is to encourage better behaviour from all of us,” he said.
Muslim scholars like Moulana Ebrahim Bham and Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat have also slammed Rasdien for his remarks and said in statement: “We would like to bring to the notice of Joey Rasdien and all Muslim comedians that humour that lampoons, caricatures and satirises the Divine, religious symbols and all that is sacred, should be avoided at all costs.”
In 2011, Moosa upset Muslims by doing a parody of Osama Bin Laden aired on the LNN Show on e.tv.
In a rehash of the “I’ll Be Missing You” video by Diddy in commemoration to his friend Notorious B.I.G, Moosa pretends to be an Al Qaeda operative lamenting the loss of his comrade Osama.
The Faith Evans parts were played by a man wearing a burka.