Muslim comedian speaks out in defence of BBC comedy sketch ‘Real Housewives Of ISIS’

The controversial clip satirises US reality TV shows like 'Real Housewives Of Orange County'

A Muslim comedian has spoken out in defence of a controversial new BBC comedy sketch called The Real Housewives Of ISIS, saying “being offended is very popular these days”.

The BBC has come under fire for the sketch, which satirises US reality TV shows like Real Housewives Of Orange County and Real Housewives Of Atlanta. It appears on new BBC 2 show Revolting and follows a group of British girls who have travelled to Syria to join ISIS and marry terrorists.

In the first episode, one of the characters is seen showing off her new suicide vest after complaining that “it’s only three days until the beheading and I’ve got no idea what I’m gonna wear”. Another bemoans that her husband “won’t stop talking about his 40 virgins”. Watch below.

After some critics described the sketch as “disgusting”, comedian and writer Shazia Mirza has told The Guardian: “The rightwing press might be offended, and maybe the leftwing liberals, but Muslims aren’t offended – it’s like they want us to be offended but we aren’t. We’re OK, thanks”

Mirza continued: “There’s a long history of people from different religions mocking themselves – Christians, Jews, Catholics – why can’t Muslims make jokes about themselves? If we are going to continue that proud tradition of satire that has to be allowed.”

The sketch attracted a heated response online. One Twitter user wrote: “BBC have absolutely outdone themselves with Real Housewives of ISIS… Constructing an image of Muslim women as oppressed and fond of terrorism at a time of widespread gendered Islamophobia is deeply sinister.”

However, others defended the BBC, with one viewer saying: “Satire like this highlights the absurdity of those that recruit and get recruited for ISIS”.

Comedian Heydon Prowse, who works on the show, has defended the sketch to the i newspaper, saying: “It’s important not to pull your punches in satire. You have to be fearless or it undermines your credibility. You can’t go after David Cameron for five years like we did and not go after Islamic State.”

Fellow star Jolyon Rubinstein added: “The target is online grooming. It’s about people who are vulnerable to these kind of approaches… this is actually happening to women here.”