devex – Why more groups are calling on comedy to counter violent extremism

Comedy has long been the medium of choice for people to broach otherwise taboo or polarizing topics. Saudi Arabia’s Hatoon Kadi has become known for her satirical videos about women’s and family issues in the country, and Indonesia’s Sakdiyah Ma’ruf, one of the world’s first female Muslim stand-ups, regularly takes on domestic violence and arranged marriage on stage. Both have amassed major social media followings as a result.

East India Comedy, too, has emerged as a social media influencer with the kind of young audience that an increasing number of groups, including governments, want to reach with alternative narratives as a means to counter violent extremism.

But it wasn’t until Priyank Mathur, a former counterterrorism officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, founded Mythos Labs that the idea to “fight terror with comedy” took off.

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