Critical Muslim 38
Critical Muslim is a quarterly magazine of ideas and issues showcasing ground breaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world.
American comedian and television personality Carol Burnett famously noted that ‘comedy is tragedy plus time’. Numerous other thinkers and artists have made similar claims about the opposing yet interconnected roles of comedy and tragedy. The ancient time-honoured symbols of Greek theatre, the sock and buskin, set the laughing and crying faces side by side. In these fragile and uncertain times, it seems more and more difficult to find things to smile, let alone laugh, about. Even satirists find their greatest ideas paling in comparison with the absurdity of social and political reality. This issue of Critical Muslim explores notions of humour in different societies, in Islamic history, and in a globalised world. Amidst the international tragedies that have defined the late second decade of the twenty-first century, humour reminds us of the continuity of our stories and the interconnected nature of our world. The hope is that, one day, the turbulent storms engulfing the world will clear, and we will once again find something to smile about. If we still have a sense of humour on the other side.
Ziauddin Sardar is an award-winning, internationally renowned writer, futurist and cultural critic. A former New Statesman columnist and Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, he has authored many books, including Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim; Reading the Qur'an; and Mecca: The Sacred City. He is editor of the influential quarterly Critical Muslim.