What is the best way to counter extremism? For Iraqi news anchor Ahmed Albasheer, the answer is comedy. After an eight-plus year career in news correspondence, Albasheer decided to leave the news desk to combat corruption and fight Islamic terror through humor.
“I thought now is the time for me to choose another way to deliver my message,” Albasheer said in an interview with the BBC. He emphasized the importance of the world coming together to fight the Islamic State. “We make fun of every extremist in Iraq–Sunni or Shia. … As a comedian, I have to fight them with humor.” Iraqi officials reportedly cannot even escape the grips of Albasheer and his team’s comedic critique.
All filming is conducted in Jordan, and despite death threats via social media, he and his team still push forward.
He told the BBC that his production team is ethnically and religiously diverse and consists of Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians, and they are seeking a Yazidi representative to join them.
Iranian-born Kurdish pop singer Helly Luv has also taken on a unique role to combat ISIS’s destructive spread through music that both documents and encourages Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they fight for their lives against ISIS.