Called “that rarest of things in popular entertainment, a sympathetic Muslim family at the center of its own show,” by The New York Times, web series Halal in the Family went live last week, showing audiences the lighter side of being Muslim in America.
Aired on website Funny or Die Halal in the Family was conceived of by actor-comedian Aasif Mandvi and his writing partner from popular late night show The Daily Show, Miles Kahn.
Halal in the Family follows an average American-Muslim family of four trying to fit in as they go about their daily life of school, groceries, work and socializing. Apart from Mandvi as the dad, the series also stars Sakina Jaffrey of House of Cards fame as the mom.
“We haven’t had it in America,” Mandvi told The New York Times. “Americans haven’t been ready to see an American Muslim family in a sitcom.”
In a separate interview with The Daily Beast, Mandvi said: “Actually I’m more culturally Muslim than religiously but being Muslim is an important part of my identity. I wanted to make this project because as Muslim, I feel it’s important to counter any form of bigotry, be it anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, etc. These forms of hate share a common denominator of misinformation and intentional fear mongering.”
From newspapers to entertainment websites, the series claimed a lot of attention in the US over the past week. Even author and academic Reza Aslan gave the series his stamp of approval.