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Why Ramy Youssef saying "Allahu akbar. Thank you, God" during his Golden Globes speech is a big deal

  • The Hulu Ramy star won the first Golden Globe of the night for best actor in a comedy series. After a funny, self-deprecating speech, Youssef said: “I would like to thank my God. Allahu akbar. Thank you, God.” As Aymann Ismailit explains Youssef said it "gently and redundantly—praising God in first English then Arabic, so as not to cause alarm at the Beverly Hilton Ballroom—but that made the world of difference for us Muslim fans watching from home. The phrase 'Allahu akbar' is a normal one for Muslims all over the world. We say it when we do our daily prayers, when Mohamed Salah scores a goal, and at weddings and funerals. It’s as common as 'Thank God' and as complex as 'Aloha.' But for me, Youssef sneaking in that phrase is political, easy to read as a deliberate protest against the ways non-Muslims have been programmed to believe “Allahu akbar” is a threatening war cry. Hearing him say it, in his fancy suit alongside beaming actresses like (Reese) Witherspoon and (Jennifer) Aniston, was his way of thrusting his uncompromised identity into the Hollywood elite diaspora."

    TOPICS: Ramy Youssef, Hulu, NBC, Ramy, Award Shows, Golden Globe Awards, Muslim Americans and TV