Nasser al Qasabi branded an "apostate" over new show mocking ISIS, religion

Published June 21st, 2015 - 11:39 GMT
Scenes from Nasser's comedy show "Selfie." (News-sa.com)
Scenes from Nasser's comedy show "Selfie." (News-sa.com)

The Saudi and Arab community on Twitter has gone crazy over prominent Saudi comedian actor Nasser al Qasabi's satirical TV series "Selfie," but in particular over the episode in which he mocks ISIS, according to Al Quds Al Arabi.

Viewers of the show, which Nasser dubbed as a "social comedy with a message," were in two minds about the way he portrayed the terrorist group and made fun of their head-chopping antics, sex jihad, employing jihadists, amongst other things.

Since the episode aired on the second day of Ramadan, the Arabic hashtag " #" (#selfie) has been trending throughout the Middle East. 

The episode revolves around a father, played by Nasser, who travels to Syria in search of his son, who joined ISIS. When he arrives in the troubled country, he finds himself involved with the jihadist group, as well.

While many praised the funny man for his witty way of addressing the ISIS crisis - and mocking religious scholars in the first episode, others were much less impressed and bombarded him with cursing, and even death threats from ISIS,  along with being branded an apostate by a Saudi Imam - who has since apologised for his statement, reported Al Araby news.

Impressed with Nasser's bravery, @SultanAlQassemi tweeted, "Watching 's Selfie, a Saudi show based on comedy sketches poking fun at ISIS & Al Qaeda filth. Very brave & necessary."

loved the episode and said,  "Thank you very mush. You illustrated everything about for those who turned off their minds."
 
Meanwhile,  wrote, "Brave, smart and incredibly humane. I applaud you for such an honest and enlightening episode."
 
 thought that "There isn't any better way than comedy to deliver a thought and Nasir did that in a perfect way," while  agreed that this is "Showing terrorism at its finest thank you Nasser al Qasabi."
 
However, a tweep by the name of Jaleeb al Jazrawi sent a threatening tweet to Nasser, warning him, "I swear to Allah that you will regret everything you have said. The Jihadists will not calm down until your head has been chopped off."
 
This triggered a rival hashtag under the name "Nasser al Qasabi's head is wanted."
 
You'd think the 53-year-old comedian might be a bit concerned for his life by now, but nada! Instead, he calmly addressed his haters and 727K Twitter followers saying, "My Twitter is overflowing with people cursing at me, threatening me and hating on me. I'd like for them to calm down a little. Hey, it's only the first day of Ramdan!"
 
In an interview with Al Arabiya TV, Nasser responded to his critics, noting, "We are from this community not another planet and we are not here to present something unacceptable. As Saudi citizens, we're entitled to our own opinions, because we love our country and care about it. It's any Saudi's right to address certain issues.
 
"We have presented our ideas out in the open, but the problem is not with our work but with the way some people have received it. They've watched our simple idea and made it into something much bigger than it really is. It's a lot more simple than that."
 
He added that while many have judged his series to be of a religious nature, not every episode is religion-related. He promised that this black comedy would address different social topics, such as family and societal issues in the episodes to come. 
 
Were you one of the people who loved or hated Nasser's "Selfie"?

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