Just as Khizr Khan delivered the most passionate speech at the Democratic National Convention, many of our Muslim comedians, writers, and other cultural figures will do the same.
They will take part in a two-year series organized by PEN America, a NewYork-based association which “works to advance literature” and stands for freedom of expression while fostering literary fellowship. In doing so, PEN hopes to influence the Muslim community in the United States.
The series, “The M Word,” kicks off on September 21 and will be hosted by Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Also on stage will be “Muslim Comedians on the Right to Joke,” featuring, among others Hasan Minhaj who appears on “The Daily Show”. Mo Amer from the comedy troupe “Allah Made Me Funny”; and Negin Farsad, director of “The Muslims Are Coming!” and the author of his book entitled “How to Make White People Laugh.”
Future events for this project will take place in New York, as well as Boston and Washington. Project advisers include best-selling author Reza Aslan, the playwright Ayad Akhtar winner of a Pullitzer Prize for his work, novelist Zia Haider Rahman, and Sana Amanat, who worked on the rebooted comic book series Ms. Marvel, which featured the character Kamala Khan.
The series aims to present two events per year, with each event directed toward a different genre, whether it be writing, even script-writing, fiction, and punditry.
Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America, said that Khan’s speech enabled a Muslim-American father to take the “center stage in American political and cultural discourse.” She hopes the series will “deepen and amplify” essential dialogue.