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01 Don’t let your critics be your CEOs
Channel: The Baba Ali Show
File Size: 49.56MB
Special guest Omar Regan joins Baba Ali in discussing:
- what it takes to be a Muslim comedian
- what happens when nobody laughs
- the differences between Muslims do and Islam teaches
- dealing with critics and criticism
- some of the challenges behind making his new film, American Sharia.
Episode Transcript ©
Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate and at times crude. We are considering building a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system. No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.
Bali Show Episode One. Don't let your critics be your CEOs. This podcast has been brought to you by half our deen.com a Muslim marriage website designed for those who want to find that other half privately because the only people that should know you're looking to get married or people who are looking to get married. Try half our Deen today. In today's show we have a special guest actor, comedian, director and the man behind Hollywood productions. Yes is Omar Reagan himself. He's gonna be joining us to discuss what it's like to be a Muslim comedian, and what it takes to entertain Muslims. Plus, we're going to talk to him about this upcoming film American Sharia and what kind of
drama comes with making such a film? Stay tuned. This is gonna be interesting show. Trust me. You don't want to miss this one.
World War cultural Muslims have confused the masses, and speakers are forced to be politically correct.
voice changed everything.
Hey, man, why y'all serious? This is just a podcast.
Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Bob alley. Wow, what a way to kick off a podcast. For those who are not familiar with my style, I don't generally talk about the same subjects that other Muslims do. In fact, epic topics are often taboo within the Muslim world. It's a subject that everyone's thinking about, but nobody's talking about. It's the big huge elephant in the room that everyone is conveniently ignoring. So let me give you some background about myself. I am a Muslim living in America, which makes me a Muslim American. So back in 2006, I started this video blog series on YouTube called the reminder series. And it became really, really popular in fact, I never knew is
going to become popular. I tell people, if I thought people are going to be watching this, I'd actually dress nicer. If you watch the old videos, it looks like I'm in my sipping clothes because I am in my sleeping clothes. So the videos originally sent just to a few friends and those friends sent to some more friends to send some more friends. So a few 100 became a few 1000 became like 14 million video views, which was like huge back in those days today. Because YouTube's popularity, millions of views is no big deal. But back then, when YouTube wasn't that popular, it was a huge deal. So because of that, that led me to get invites to go perform. And I did live performances, I
think nearly 200 shows all around the world as audiences as big as 40,000 people, yes, in one indoor arena. 40,000 people and then the following week after that, I think I did like an audience about 25 people. So what made this project very, very interesting for me is that this whole adventure of being Baba Ali has allowed me to meet a lot of cool people even like the comedian side of things. There's only a handful of people that know how to do stand up comedy for Muslims and get paid to do it. It's not easy at all. Can you just imagine taking a bunch of people in a room, oftentimes, they don't never heard of comedy, some of them don't even know you're doing comedy, and then trying to
make them laugh. And this is a culture where they say please, please, please brothers, respect the man he is speaking don't anyone laughing could be very inappropriate. You know, it could be insulting. So they're trained not to laugh, and you try and make them laugh. And the acoustics of the rooms are usually really kind of messed up. The people are like sitting really far away from you in roundtables, exact opposite setup of what a comedy club will look like sometimes no one's paying attention.
makes it more difficult. But nevertheless, there are a handful of Muslim comedians who are very successful at making people laugh. And one of the people I'm going to bring in today is going to be one of those Muslim comedians that and he's very similar to myself, because he's one of those comedians who really cares about doing things within the boundaries of Islam. You know, sometimes these audiences they laugh, and sometimes they don't when they laugh, that was great stand up comedy, when they don't laugh. Oh, that was a very nice speech. It's kind of like one of those things. Yeah. Anyways, I'm going to bring in our special guests today. And my guest today is from
Detroit, Michigan. He started off as a rapper and his group opened up for people like Method Man, Wu Tang clan, Cara swan. These were some very famous people in the 90s in this generation, you like, Who's that? And but they were really big back then. In 2001, he played Chris Tucker's double and he ended up doing the rush hour films. So it looks a lot like Chris Tucker, especially when he does his impression. He has his impressions down to a science right, so much so that it's like the rumor went around saying that Chris Ducker became Muslim is because Omar Reagan, the guest today he's Muslim, so they think Omar is Chris and Chris is Omar. Looks like they're two different people. Anyways,
shortly after he started doing some stand up comedy and found himself on the mainstage at the Comedy Store. And from there he decided to say okay, I want to start doing some
Hello comedy I want to do like the mainstream comedy more because it felt more religious and says I want to do things the right way. And you know, when he was doing the things, we'll have him share his story, but his career really, really went huge after he decided to do things the right way. And he's been traveling all around the world. In fact, I think he's traveling gonna be traveling this upcoming week, but he's been in England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, China, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Dubai. Yes, I said, Zimbabwe. They do comedy, some Bobwhite. Bro, they do comedy, I think everywhere and Muslim humor is, is there. It's just, it's just a very new
thing for a lot of people. He ended up doing a bunch of films, and something happened, he decided to start Hollywood productions. And this is something brand new for him. He wants to do the same way. He took comedy and tried to do things within the boundaries of Islam. He's trying to do the same thing within the film industry. So he went to the film industry, he realizes there's a lot of corruption within it. And not corruption, but there's a lot of direction they want to do things are very different than what his own values are. So he wants to do things his way. And so he started, he figured the only way to do that is to start his own production company. And his first film, which is
called American Sharia is just around the corner, and it's gonna be available for people to watch. So with all that said, this is Baba Ali's show, and this is our guests, Omar Reagan. So without any further ado, let's have our guest, Omar Reagan. Assalamualaikum. Welcome to the show. Why descansar Baba Ali, how you doing? 100
I'm really proud to have you as my guest. And you said yes. Which is really really cool. Man. I'm happy that you called me to be a guest, man. I've made me feel special. Mashallah, bro. Tell me you stand on stage. You say some funny stuff. People laugh, and you get paid for it. Tell me how cool that is. Man. I'm grateful man that's like, hey, but you know, you got to think about the days when they don't laugh.
Sometimes they don't laugh. And that's happened to me many times. Tell me if you remember any specific. You don't have to say where it was. But any type of specific show that that people didn't laugh? Yeah.
Tell me about it. I had several.
I know what I'll share my first story. Okay, so you can share your story if you like as well. I was invited to do a show for a friend. And it wasn't really a show. He was getting married. He said I'm a doctor. My wife is a doctor. My dad is a doctor. And a lot of people at our wedding is gonna be are gonna be doctors. This was gonna be a wedding thing. And I told him listen, Bro, I don't do weddings. People don't really listen to people who are speaking at weddings, especially comedy. And this is why it sounds like a good idea. But it's not a good idea. He's like, No, no, bro, please. I never asked you for a favor. This is the only favor I'm asking you. I know you for 15 years way
before your bow Valley, please. This is the only favor I'm asking you. I'm like, Okay, fine. And I agreed to it. And I went there. And I realized
that it was really, really like a standard wedding where everyone's like, really, really serious. Is that more of a Indian Pakistani wedding. Right. So right before I got up, the father, which was a doctor got up and said before the next speaker, I would like to thank a few people who've come tonight. And he said, Dr. Han, thank you very much for coming in. Dr. Han will say Oh, yes. And you know, they do that like wave, and and Dr. so and so and then that person would be saying fantastic. And then there'll be clapping and the next person Dr. So so they will clap and the doctor doctor. And then he said doctor so many times, I realized like most of the people at the wedding were
doctors. And I think one of the few that was not a doctor right there. I thought something very funny to say I said this is gonna be so funny that the rest of my jokes are gonna be fantastic. I got up on stage. I say with all the doctors that are here. Who's at the hospital?
Yep, bro. They weren't laughing
at each other. And what do you who's at the hospital? And I'm like, Whoa, do you think I'm the announcement guy? Like the guy who gets after Juma and no one's paying attention to and then they stopped paying attention to me, I guess. And then no one was laughing. It got to the point that my daughter walked up to me and said she was at that time she was about five years old. She walks up to me she pulls like my pants and says, Baba, I'm like What are you talking to? Oh, no.
I'm like I'm being heckled by a five year old. And right there hit me. I'm like, dude, she's my ticket out of here. I'm like, What? Oh, you know what, guys? I looks like my daughter needs me. I have to go. Thank you very much. everyone have a great night.
Whoa, that was like the last wedding I ever did. I ironically, I was a I did a wedding too. But
I was I was so much into my head. Like, I didn't know what to talk about. I got maybe only three laughs and wedding. The other one I was I got invited to this guy and he
Even, and they're all Muslim, but I didn't know any guy and ease.
Oh, man, we look the same. But we had totally different coaches, man. And it just was it was like, What are you talking about? Ha. I was like, wow, this is the time when I had all these out of jokes.
We're not, we don't even really know anymore. I was like, man, where are the artists in the crowd?
So what happens afterwards? I mean, do you get sick skin after a while, a Sunday to laugh off? No.
Embarrassing, I'm still thinking about that. I feel. I feel self conscious. Even I was just in Chicago. And I was all in my head about oh, I don't want to do the same jokes, as I did the last year. And I was like, oh, SubhanAllah. So the first joke I taught was really funny, because it was a joke I just wrote.
And everybody laughed. And then the next two jokes was not funny. And everybody kind of gave me the courtesy like, oh, haha, right. So then I said, maybe they didn't notice. But do you know, at the end of the show at the night, that one of the sisters was like, Yeah, I was a little worried about you and your first jokes. But you pulled it together, you put it through. I was like, oh.
And I like the honesty but it's almost like a stamp on your forehead. Like the expectation that you gotta be funny every time. You know, and we try course, but so panela man, we get tested too. So let me ask you how hard it is to be a Muslim comedian because most people don't have any idea. Let a comedian is one thing, but a Muslim comedian is a whole different thing. You want to touch upon that a little bit? Yeah, well, it is it me and our is really tough one Alhamdulillah I'm really grateful. I mean, in in, you know this yourself to that we actually, we we put a lot first. So we're more concerned about a last one on the aisle and us doing our best to be funny. Yeah. So that that alone
is like it's so different from a comic because they don't really care. They just want to make people laugh. But our focus, we want to make people laugh, but we don't want to just please our Lord at the same time. So yeah. And then to the line of making sure that you'd be honest. That's tough. And then sometimes you just can't find them funny in some things, or Honestly, I really like some things. It's funny that Muslims do.
Muslims do some funny stuff. But it may come up as extra offensive, you know. And so then, and then when you have them scholars sitting in the front row, like oh, my god, these scholars are sitting right here and they're looking at you with their arms folded like,
for me, bro. Sometimes even the scholar sometimes it's just one guy who's been dragged into the event that does not want to be there. I think his wife told him, I need someone to drive me I don't want to go he is you are going fine. And he goes there. He I have his his arms are crossed, his legs are crossed. And he's staring at me. And when I can see the entire audience laughing after a joke, except for that one guy, and I try not to look at him, right. But I keep looking at him and I look away.
Or I see him light on his face. Yeah, he doesn't go away. He has he's locked in laser focus on me. He doesn't have blinking.
And then for some reason, I like that guy multiplies.
Yo, man, it's tough. Sometimes it's we do comedy in a way that no non Muslim comedian has ever done. I'll give you an example. Well, sometimes you perform, and some more conservative crowds will have a divider between the men's side and the women's side. Have you done any of those shows before? Yes, I do. Let me tell you this show was so weird. Well, I don't want to cut your train of thought. No, no, go Go. Go ahead. But I I was in I was on tour. Right. And then we were in the UK. And we're in a place called I believe it was Sheffield. And they had they had a barrier up right? Yeah, brother side and the sister side. What was messed up was that the stage was on the sister side. Oh.
So it wasn't okay for the brothers to sit with their wives or their daughters or their mothers. But it was okay for the brothers who are not Muslim to be standing in front of them to make them laugh. I didn't understand it. It felt so weird. It felt wrong, do you The hardest part for me is bro I'm standing on stage and to stage a temesta divided walks comes all the way to the top to like to the stage and like if I take one step
If this way, the sisters can't see me, I take it one step this way the brothers can say me. And I'm always like, super paranoid of making eye contact. Because for stand up comedy, you want to, like, talk to the audience. But why are you looking at the sisters too much?
Like, no, I'm not looking, I'm just gonna make normal eye contact. Just to so I'm engaging the people, I don't want to ignoring them that out of respect. But like, it's so hard to do it and it just comedy itself. I mean, for you, like, how do you come up with your content? Well, I like usually, I'm, I have been on this quest of the showing the difference between Islam and what Muslims do. This is that and then the things where Muslims do is generally funny, but what Islam is usually warm and loving. Yes. So I've been I try to come up with ways where I want to, cuz I'm hard and I can hear my papa in my head, like, you have to be a benefit. You don't want to just do anything be a
benefit to mankind. And these are the ones who get the get the reward. So I tried to find how can I re educate myself and Muslims, about Islam, and anybody else who's willing to listen, but generally because my audience is Muslim, I think like they don't even know some of these things. Like that joke that I was writing about Hadith. And how it means story.
Those how I was trying to be strategic and he only know Ali, you only know if the joke work when you said in front of the crowd, the audience you only know Yeah, that's the only time you know, most people don't understand that. That's another big difference between most of comedians and non Muslim comedians. non Muslim comedians didn't go to open mic night. There's no open mic night. open mic night is when you're doing the events. Yeah, right there. You're gonna find out Hey, that joke i thought was funny. It's not funny. And then he was staring at you.
Like, oh, man, this is gonna be downhill from here or Oh, where's my daughter? Pull my pants again? Where are you? Are you you know how you feel. People don't know. When you tell a joke. That doesn't work. You know what that's like in front of 300 400 500 people let alone if you're at econo or anything where it's like 5000 6000 people and everybody just looking at you like Okay, what else?
That's the key word. What else? What else you got? Brother? That's it. That is good. Oh, man.
Oh, man, they're looking for the back of the receipt to see if it's if it says no refunds. Right, right. Right. Right. And it gets interesting, man, but then on the other side.
It feels so good to see Muslims smile and Muslims laugh. Yeah. You know, for I don't know where we lost that because, man the prophets like Selim, so many Howdy, where you would see the prophesy Salaam showing us his molar teeth, his back teeth? Laughing where he means his mouth was wide open with laughter. Yeah. And I mean, they I don't know how the people have lost that the Muslims have lost that they've been we've been taught that that that's not lawful to laugh. I remember when I first started, they were saying that comedy is haram. I had a brother actually say, that did
not even funny that he asked me that. He was like, you know what comedy is wrong? Like, why? Because I didn't do comedy. And I was like, What are you talking about? The prophets lie. Selim has reported that the Prophet told a joke. He was like, Yeah, but he didn't do it for a living.
What do you do for a living? Because the profit didn't drive tactic while living but all the Muslims driving taxi? Yeah, unfortunately, sometimes you get people with a different frame of thinking. And sometimes it doesn't really make logical sense. I mean, they look at they think that being more pious is being more rigid. And that is as if that is the Prophet Psalm was the most pious man ever. Therefore, he was the most rigid man ever. Not necessarily. There was a time he was serious into the time he left, but the way he joked was within the boundaries of Islam. And I think that's the part that I think even some Muslim comedians don't get. And yeah, I think we talked at this conversation
offline before where there's a lot of comedians who happened to be Muslim. And there's a few Muslims who happened to be comedians as a very big difference between because you'll see people on television Oh, I think he's Muslim. But then you see his content is like whoa, yeah. vulgar. Yeah. You know, it's it's it's a different thing. It's not easy. And I think that's why we You and I, if you like our schedules and give you a quick plug on my Reagan calm you can see his he tours all around the world and his schedule, you'll see that there's no shortage of events and events are not just okay right here in Southern California, but it's everywhere. And I mentioned even in the
introduction before I brought you on
How many places around the world you've been in? You're actually traveling again. Right? Where are you going next? Yeah, man, I spent a lot. I'm going to South Africa. I leave in a couple of days to do jokes, man. It's a halau cruise. Is that funny? Wow. See, this is so cool, because it shows you that the need is there. Yes. But there's not enough Muslims willing to do that. Hello, aspect. They think that if you go towards the health part, it's no one's gonna book you. No one wants that stuff. There's no need for it. And you know, you know, I think that is the one thing that's so humbling to me, because I was so focused on like, as a youngster, I wanted to, I wanted to be into
entertainment. I mean, first of all, for all of the listeners, this thing that's happening today, I've been here already where everything is haraam. And when we first my mother first took Shahada and I was five years old. It Islam it became who was teaching you Islam. They taught us that everything was hot. And they taught us that you isolate yourself from the outside world. They taught us that, as Muslims, they taught us to be judgmental people who didn't wear a fob or didn't wear a beard, or they taught us they taught us to be judgmental of all these things. When I was little, if it wasn't from our fathers upon the law to continuously study the Prophet Muhammad, he can say, Man,
this is wrong man. Like we we isolated ourselves from my aunties from my grandma from everybody who was not Muslim inside of the family we cut ties it clearly violation of the last one of Allah in the Quran by saying Do not cut don't cut the ties to the family. But Allah I don't know how we were taught all of this. And as we continue to grow, and my father continued to study, the prophet SAW a solemn, he began to re educate himself, but also us to say, I was wrong here, you got to do this. I was wrong and be engaged with the people. How is anybody going to know Islam and the beauty of Islam if you're not around them, and if you're giving them a bad impression of me, you know, I always
frowning and so I was like, at that stage, I wanted to be in entertainment, because we was, you know, me, I grew up without like, I didn't have a lot. We didn't have a lot and there was a lot of us at 13 siblings hamdulillah. And I was like, wow, I want to do this. So I left Detroit. I went to LA I was focused on the whole Hollywood thing and it would they offered me homosexual roles so that I could be a star. I'm really grateful. Awkward.
They told me it is funny story, but
Oh, Omar, you got character come dressed in character. I said, Okay. And then they sent a note what the character was, it was a transsexual, Oh, wow. I was like, Wow, that was they was like this your last chance. We're gonna offer you all this money. And you don't want to take it but you're going to be on three shows the show was called all of us girlfriends. People know them show back then. And Eve. And it was like I had a reoccurring role as a download brother. And I'm grateful. Allah blessed me with the strength to say no, I don't want to do that. Even though I needed some money, but I'm grateful. And then they offered me that transactional role. I'm grateful. Allah bless me. I didn't
do that. And then the one role I did, except I was playing a crackhead in the in the movie with Kerry Washington.
I did accept that role. Because the guy he didn't commit to doing all the harm everybody else was doing. So I was like, Okay, I can always do that. And then I did another movie. And it was at the point man I made Hi, I'm Lila and I was really confused because I just was like, man, I want to do this, but I don't want to. I don't want to lose myself. And I looked at so many people losing myself. I looked at all the the other guys that came in dressed in character. Yes. transsexuals. I was like, Man, it's so bad. So file. And I'm grateful because after going to the Hajj the second time and they interviewed me on Al Jazeera about the Chris Tucker thing. And I was like, Hey, I'm on
about Alisha, what are we doing? I'm gonna buy Bali, maybe the toony right. I did the impersonation and somehow love people started looking for Omar Reagan. They said Oh, my Reagan took Shahada. I mean, Chris Tucker took Shahada and change his name and Omar Reagan.
How it spreads rumors so quick. Oh, man, it's crazy. But that's when I'm so Panama. Man. I went, I went 100% Hello. And then my manager was like, Omar, you're doing the Muslim crowds. That's, that's cool. But you're so funny. You could be the next Chris Kroc, I can get you on Comedy Central. I can get you everything. You just got to be dirty baby. That's what he told me.
I was like, I'm gonna keep doing my Muslim. I don't want to do that. I want to do it.
Want to do it as Muslim crowds and a last one with Allah is amazing because because of that he blessed me so much. I'm on my second passport. I haven't been to every I mean, I've been every continent except South America.
And I'm like, wow, um, some places they call me back. Um, I be friends some of the good Muslims out there that's entertaining like yourself and monitor Zane and Zane be good. Do you know these guys that have lost $1 blessed to use their talent for good that benefit to people? And then you know what a lot of so kindly give me this idea. I was fasting this day of hamdulillah. Right? And the idea of
Hollywood, like, it was in Hollywood, a lot man, these young Muslim students had I went to an event to do comedy. And they had they named this show Hollywood. I was coming. And it was like, yeah, we named to Hollywood. I was like, Hey, can I have that? I got permission. I was like, Yeah, I was I was like, cool, cuz that's my story. I'm leaving Hollywood. I'm going Hollywood. And some have told what that means. Tell us what Hollywood means. Like, even your whole comedy. What is when you do it when you say you're doing a Hello, and I the same path, Bro, I when I do my comedy. It's Hello. I don't really do care about it. And you're one of the very few Muslim communities that I've met that
really does care about. And that's just one one of the reasons we connect it. But tell tell everybody else what is hollow and Hollywood and hello comedy mean to you? When I say I want to commit to Hello, hello means that I'm doing no profanity, right? No sex. I'm not about to sell sex or, and I'm not. I don't want to be offensive to anybody. I want to respect the honor among creation. And I want to put a logical medalla First, I want to have good intentions. So I want to keep it Hello. And then even in Hollywood is the same we want to do. We're doing movies, we're doing no men and women touching. We're not doing sex. We're not using profanity. And we're not being
vulgar. And this is how we want to keep all of our films pG 13 because we do have some violence in the movies. So for the standards, it has to be pG 13 but they're always family movies that will cater towards families. And so that's how we do our best to keep everything Hello haraam is showing men touching all over women
showing would you call this parts that that's not that the exposing the chastity of men and women? We don't even want to get into that to make people see that. Instead, we always want to give Dawa we want to put a message inside of the films we have a purpose for the film like the first film is Islamophobia. Our next movie is a focus on social change. Our third movie is an interfaith film, our fourth movie will be a halaal romantic comedy. And then the fifth would be an action packed film. Wow. So like so you have everything you have it all lined up in your head, my show. So let me ask you about this first one that you're working on since is a recent thing you decided to call the film
American Sharia. I imagine that when you're calling the guy you say wow, this would actually be probably caused some controversy, especially all those people who watch fox news are scared to death of anything of Muslims or Islam because we're always portrayed in a very negative way. And you probably have caused a bunch of controversy ruffle some feathers. But you didn't get anything from non Muslims. But instead you got all the heat from Muslims, and they didn't get you heat because of the name of the film. They got you heat for two reasons. One is because they watched the trailer and two because of calling your company Hollywood productions but the trailer itself for a lot of people
who are not familiar with it, the way this trailer was filmed is very different than most films were filmed. Other trailers were filmed I mean, so basically in a nutshell, they when a movie is done, the the they take the movie, they take it to a person and he cuts out pieces of it and makes it into a trailer and that trailer is supposed to cause curiosity. It's like a teaser to make people to go actually go watch the film without giving the entire film away. But Omar the way he did it is he basically did the trailer first so there was no film, there was a trailer first and Omar already knows beginning to end what the whole entire film is going to be about. But the trailer pieces are
supposed to give you enough information to make you give me an idea that this is gonna be a very interesting story. So come on, watch it to find what happens. But what happened was, yep, show the trailer and tell us what happened. Oh, my goodness, man. I got along, man. I don't even know how can anybody come to the conclusion of watching a three minute trailer. They were like all Muslims was like they put tuck fear on me.
They call me They call me Kapha. They called me mocking Islam. Everything
was, it was horrible. They had one brother out of the UK who really attempted to shut down my Kickstarter campaign. Wow, by by having an army of people post his link, like this guy when it made a 34 minute video on put it up on YouTube to bash me. And I tried to communicate with him like Sonic him. Like I thought I thought that honestly he was genuinely genuinely concerned about Allah and Islam. Okay. However, it turns out that he was he was concerned about a lot of profit, but maybe not in communicating with me. So what happens when you try to communicate? I tried to talk to his brother man, like on the Facebook, say something like, Oh, you know, I sent him a message. And then
he didn't reply. And then I just kept posting on his Facebook wall, which I posted on his Facebook wall, he deleted it.
Oh, that's the kind of communication times three times now to be deleted, your trailer was watched 106,000 times. That's quite a bit for a film that has not been made yet. And for a person to make a 34 minute video, rebuttal. And breaking down the trailer about what this whole movie is about is very interesting, because they're talking about what the whole movie is about. And you haven't even revealed what the movies about. Tell them when it was about yet to be made. That time when the movie came rebuttal video, which was January 24, he made there was no film made yet you are doing opposite you cut, you made a trailer. And now you're going to make the movie, right? And now the movies
actually made, you know, now everyone else is going to see those pieces that they cut up and they dissect and say, Oh, this is this. And this is this. And this is this. It was complete nonsense, because it took it all out of context. And it took everything out of context. But it was I mean it and then you know what, somehow it was messed up. Because what I found out was, the brother was more he was, and May Allah bless him because he was passionate. He was just looking at everything the wrong way. He was passionate about the brothers and sisters over in Syria. So he was saying in Syria in Gaza, he was saying why would you donate to make a movie, as opposed to donating to help me help
the brothers in Syria in Gaza? Well, he didn't know. So analyze that I have already done for tours, that we raised millions of dollars. I'm grateful about permission on the last one data for the aid of the brothers and sisters in Syria and Gaza. We buy aid you mean people who are suffering and people who are suffering the foot need all of the needed people that are hungry, I'm grateful that the that they got the food in that we raised the bags of rice, and they got it to the to the refugee camps for the Muslims that are suffering. So I'm really grateful just to be involved in like three or four different organizations who are consistently raising funds for Syria, Gaza. So I was like,
is it not fair for me to be able to do what I want to do to at the same time, is am I not supposed to find a way that I can benefit the Muslims with my talent and my skills? Or maybe this movie would actually help stop a war? Make people remind them like, this is my source of doubt that I want to go out and give. So do I cut myself off?
And it was just, you know, I mean, people couldn't really answer that question. You know, because they don't know what you're doing. They don't know everything. But instead they sit back and they judge and you know, they make it seem like you're doing something so bad because Oh, are you trying to raise $115,000 for a movie? I'm like, yeah, and the reason why I'm trying to do it for a movie because the youth today is watching movies, watching TV, and my children, watch TV and all even the cartoons all have so much haraam and insinuating inviting them to do so much bad things that a loss will not die I don't like and it's programming. So I want to benefit my people, first my children,
my people, all of the Muslims and just people in general with giving them something that's beneficial for them to watch because everybody's on all social media and everything. So we need an alternative and Ollie. The other part is they always make Muslims the bad guy and they continuously put this hate and program in the minds of the people to hate Muslims and to make it hard for for Muslims and it brings the confidence down. Sisters feel uncomfortable in hijab and it makes the youth not know what they want to tell people that their name is Muhammad and instead they say my name is mo because they don't. They don't want to be associated with Islam and I want to do my best
to do something to uplift the confidence for people to you to say I am Muslim. I am Muslim and give them something that they can be happy and it can be proud of it sad
that you mentioned that whole Syria thing when people say okay, there's a doing a fundraiser for Syria anomalous, maybe listen to this podcast doesn't understand that there's two types of people, you know, there's two people who are, quote unquote fighting with each other. And there's a war going on between, you know, all this stuff that happens within the Middle East. And then is there's 99% of everyone else. And these are the people who just happen to live in Iraq, or happen to live in Syria or happen to live in Somalia, or wherever part of the world is that they're just pawns in the whole thing. They don't want war, they don't even care about the politics. All they do is want to
take their kids to school, they want to education, they want to live life, happily, they don't want to be involved in all this fight. They don't even take sides in the war, right? And then these people are unfortunately, just the people who are suffering. And so No, my hearts go out to all these people out there all around the world, Muslim and non Muslim, who are just caught in between all these different things. I mean, even from the non, from the Muslim world, sometimes they see quote, unquote, America, and they say, oh, all Americans are have the foreign policy of this. And they believe in this and believe in this. And while reality is a lot of people from Middle East may
not even know what the average American is like. I mean, you and I both live in America, right? We're happily live in America, we call ourselves Muslim Americans, right? I think a lot of people don't understand the importance, as you said, of how much of an impact these films make. It was not a coincidence in the 40s and 50s, where a lot of the people who are bad guys were were Germans, right? And then the Germans eventually became Russians because of the whole Cold War. And then now is you see, every Muslim is like, he gets a roll. He's a terrorist, right? Or people who are acting like Muslims are terrorists in his films, this is not a coincidence. It's just, we're the bad guys
of this generation. And the reality is, there's five to 8 million Muslims living in this country. And if really, Islam taught us all this bad stuff, and we're supposed to be doing these bad things and hurting people. Why are five to 8 million Muslims doing absolutely nothing. And that's because Islam doesn't teach us this stuff. It teaches us to be part of the community to help to be contribute to help the needy, as you said, when you're going through these events, you're, you're raising money for the needy, not just Muslim needy, there's also non Muslim need that we help, you know, so it's out there. But the problem is, we'll never be able to explain that to the world,
because every time they put a microphone in front of a Muslim, is because he's crazy. And he's talking nonsense. And he makes great ratings. Right now this is I think it's kind of interesting. Because you're Muslim, you're a comedian. You make people laugh, you're making movies. In fact, you know what, I was talking about this for a second. You're a comedian. You're an actor. And now you're a director. Which one's your favorite? Wow, you know what, it's funny, because I wasn't even supposed to direct this film. But I I actually like, directing. Wow. I like it. Because I have this. This feeling where I don't I honestly man, I like I like in front of the camera too. Because I like
to live out something, you know, I mean, an idea like, Oh, I want to live it out.
But I don't mean to be 100% honest, I don't want to be the only one doing that. I want to see somebody else living out there. Like I really have wanted a mom's Rajma Hodge or suhaib Webb to be in the movie. Because I know as scholars, sometimes they want to live something else out. And I had this idea that I wanted them to be playing basketball. And because it's Hollywood, right? Oh, like, because it's Hollywood, right? We can, we can show them actually dunking, like boom, because we would get the trampoline, we will have the match, nobody would get hurt, you know, and we have a stunt man. And then boom, right. And then we shot him dunking and like they're commies and ortho,
and it was just gonna be so funny. But of course, I needed a bigger budget for that. But I want that I don't want to be the only one I want to direct that. Because I feel like that if they're always like, I remember my father like at home, Mr. Milan mercy on him that he he would like to play to but everybody would always be asking him so much questions about fifth about the probabilities telling them about what and it's timing, you know, that they never really get a chance to live out anything, they just always have to be a scholar and or a chef and nor any Mom, you know, all the time. And the only time they are down is when they're at home. You know, but sometimes when they out, they just
want to be a regular person. And I was like, man, if I can create that avenue for the scholars, where you can be a regular person in a halaal environment. And I can direct that oh my god, that that makes me feel good. Like, because I know it'll make you feel good too, because I know how I feel. Yeah, I'm actually planning to bring because I'm hoping to bring some different guests here on this show. And plan to bring Muslim scholars who are actually very famous scholars on this show and talk to them about what it feels like when they're not the scholar when they're just at home and they're chilling. So those are my podcasts.
Hoping just like yourself, you know, most time they're interviewing you. Oh, tell us about your film. And tell us about your last joke. And for me, I'm really happy that you came on board because I get to listen to and people get to listen to the guy behind the microphone, the guy behind the jokes. And you're really interesting person. I, you know, a lot of people don't know when we are hanging out. I mean, oh my i have done many, many shows together. We have more fun offstage. Oh, man. Oh, man, you got those games, Ali would have was up at three o'clock, four o'clock in the morning. And we'll be making sure all the games man that I like it, it really makes you a brain like
I never knew about the game world, until you brought it to my day, you taught me
a mirror of fun right?
After being him or done performing, we are so much fun, we just enjoy just being around each other. And this is the part of I think is my favorite part of this whole genre of doing touring Muslim comedy and stuff like that, I really do enjoy the company that you're around. And this is, I think a lot of people don't really get to experience that. And that's, I think I'm very grateful hamdulillah for being being in their shoes, I get to be bubbly. You get to meet all the cool people like Omar Reagan and all these other people I've met across the world. It's really, really fun. You know, I'm gonna ask you one more question. I know, I've taken up so much of your time. You know, though,
Hollywood, even there, you have controversy? Yeah. Why do you think the word Hollywood is starting controversy not because of non Muslims, but because of Muslims.
What because Muslims are like,
they're really critical of any and everything very critical. And I respect that, you know, because they want to make sure that it's, you know, that nobody is just mixing something together trying to you know, you have, you have the other side in the in the people's defense, you have, you do have a group of people who would make something together and make it and call it like halau, or call it a like Muslim. So, you know, like some slaughterhouses do. And maybe like some comedians we were talking about earlier, some singers and stuff like that. So they become very critical of passionate to be able to protect it.
But at the same time,
I'm on here, let me come in your defense for a moment. A lot of people they feel that as soon as they Hollywood, there's going to be you're going to be as perfect as an angel, you will not make any mistakes. They forget that you're a human being that you know, when the Quran itself in the second Surah, where it says that this book, basically I'm paraphrasing, that this book is perfect, right? No author, in any book will ever say my book is perfect. Why? Because no matter how great the author is, he always like second guesses himself. He always says like, if I could do it again, I'll do it better this way I would change. Maybe this was a mistake here I would have done this different. So
human beings, this is the nature of the human being, we no matter how much we strive for perfection, we're not perfect. In fact, we are as every religion will tell you when we commit sins and we make mistakes. So if they are expecting for you not to make a mistake in this film, and in the future films, this is just craziness and what what's sad is that you if you are spending your time dissecting everything this person is doing down to the tee and looking for every mistake he does. What does that prove all it does prove is this person's human being now, you know, they make the excuse aleyda Oh, because you're you're you're doing you're advertising it to the public Yanni.
Okay. Any speaker is advertising to the public, every speaker Muslim who's giving a speech and his thing is being recorded and it's being broadcast every every Friday Prayer that's being broadcast. Want me to sit down and dissect where his errors were, what his words he said, What were his sometimes even your intention, you are trying to say something but it can be misunderstood in a different way. And how many times people get up there every time you make a lie, or you lead to prayer and you make a mistake in the prayer? Oh my god guy who's Hafiz will oftentimes forget an ayah. Now are we looking for the perfect human being? Even the prophet SAW some was the highest
level but he was still a human being. If we were supposed to be perfect and Allah would have sent angels rather than human beings to be prophets for us. But we were told by example, that sometimes Yes, the human being will get angry. Sometimes they get sad, sometimes they laugh. And sometimes, you know, they make mistakes. Yeah, and the reality is, no matter what this is for our listeners as well, if you're going to spend your time trying to dissect and say I want to prove that there is going to be a mistake in this film, and all you're doing is proving that wrong.
Mr. Reagan is a human being. And at the end, you have to ask himself is this guy's intention to deceive people to to do propaganda to hurt Muslims, you know, to show him in a negative light? No, he's not. He's doing one of the very few. He's one of the very few people out there who are actually trying to change the image of Muslims. Because every time you flip on the TV, as you said, you see, there are some negative light of the way they show Muslims. Either he's a terrorist, or the girl is being oppressed. You know, this is not our reality. This is the messed up part about it is they would rather come after me, as opposed to going after Bill Maher. Or as opposed to going to talk to
you. I mean, talk to Fox News. Well, why don't why don't you go and talk to Bill O'Reilly and Megyn? Kelly, why would you come and attack your own brother This is that's unfortunately, like, you see, what I'm doing is very clear what I'm doing. But you would still rather bash me for me not to do it at all. And these people are on they're literally saying that Sharia is hate shediac kills and Islam is a religion of a woman is oppressed, and they use you let people say everything that's so far, and then you will pick a scene and say, I'm free mixing because I'm in a store. Whereas a Muslim sister,
crazy dude, just seen a mark referring to is a pleat in his character, he's actually speaking to a female. And the way he's speaking to a female is not necessarily the way that we Muslims are supposed to be speaking to the opposite gender. And in Islam, we have rules for everything. So what people did in that trailer, they see that scene. And what they did is say, Oh, this is what the film is teaching. And this is the film, they don't understand that you're just taking a scene from a trailer from a movie from a trailer. And this and this is what this is going to happen in the film. And just what happens before this, what happens after this is so ignorant, because you can't take
things out of context. And for those who do this, you can't be mad at non Muslims, who take a verse out of context from the Quran and say, This is what Muslims believe in. Because this is exactly what you're doing. You're taking a verse out of context and say, This is what the whole thing is about. While a person who's intelligent, who's enlightened would read what happens before will read what happens after or even consult a scholar or a person who's behind this and find out what what this is all about. So if at the bare minimum, contact Omar Reagan yourself and say, I saw this scene, I was kind of concerned what is going on here, before going out there and putting him on blast, and not
knowing anything. And I think that's,
this is unfortunately, the reality of the Muslims. But that's what Allah says to do in the Quran is say, jump to conclusions. He said, Why don't you go and ascertain the truth? You and then they talk to everybody? Except me.
They go and get Oh, because this one brother said, that's what it is. And he's a scholar to them, then that's what it is. This guy is bad guy. This guy is a bad guy. This bias. And then No, none of him or none of his followers ever deal with a lot of set and then came and asked me directly. Nobody. Well, unfortunately, Omar decision sometimes the problem was with the Muslims, it's not just your film, it's there's a lot of people they have their own, like American Sharia, and their project could be poetry, or their pottery is anything sometimes when someone does something new or different, there's 10 people to pull them down. There's 10 people to to put negative thoughts in
after him and stuff like that. Unfortunately, reality just a lot of people drinking haterade Yeah.
They say Bismillah.
But yeah, Omar give you a chance, give me what message you sent to all the other people who are trying to do something different within the boundaries of Islam, not just took me different, but within the bounds of a song. And they are thinking about doing something new, and somebody is going to help Muslims but they're worried about all the negative criticism that's going to come, I would tell them you have to you got to tell you what my father told me you want to do something you want to do it for last month, I'll get up in the middle of the night and pray and ask the Lord to guide you and support you and it's in what you're doing. And if as good
as the last $1 increase you in it and if it's not pleasing to a lot and ask the Lord to reframe your or direct you in what you can do that in a way that is pleasing. And then you got to keep moving, and you got to put your ear muffs on or something and you got you got to make sure that you keep your intentions and keep renewing your intention and stay focused man because because shaitan is real he'll whisper to the most prominent scholar and they will come and bash you But no, I won't say that because anybody that lost $1 blessed with some good knowledge that's a friend of Allah Spano Allah, they will not they will not disrespect you they won't degrade you
You can always tell who is who, by the man the knowledge, the knowledge that the person is having, by the way they communicate and by the way they talk to you and by the way, they offer advice. If anybody just jumps up saying what you're doing as long as what I'm into there, then these people are not following the knowledge that they have.
And I stand firm on that because I stay I'm been studying to publicize them. And the purpose of this alarm is reported to never speak from anger, and never even to say a word of
when he was upset, then his face you would see it on his face. But that was that was it man hamdulillah and the even anticipate medic by the law one who said that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam and never attend gears, he was around the Prophet. This is amazing. That 10 years and he said he never said a word of
own to him and even though Quraysh to create always loved the profit, they were gonna kill him, but they loved them. They was only gonna kill him because he was bad for business and he was messing up the economy because he said one God and they was slinging 360 guys, so it was like, hey, but we'll give you the key to the city. We love you, Mohammed, everything about you. But you talking about this one God thing, this is a problem for us. It's gonna mess up our money. We trade God, that's what we do. And that was the only problem unfortunately, Muslims are so critical on each other and everybody else, that they're just miserable individuals and the knowledge that they have melasma
dalla turn it to be more like the prophets. Why Selim Where's always warm. It's always loving. It's always kind. It's always sweet. And that's Islam. Yes. And in a nutshell, and this is the name of the podcast as well. Don't let your critics be your CEOs.
Don't let your critic speak your. Oh, listen to Baba Ali. All right, Omar, we've taken so much your time and you have really really shared some amazing amazing words with us. I just
want to give you a quick plug. You have your film coming out tell us where people can watch it and where we can find you. Well, I'm the law I'm really grateful. So the film is out. in UK we're going to start in the UK and Sean then we're going to come back and do some things here in the States. Then we go to go to Australia in May inshallah. So February the 11th to March the 11th. We're all in the UK doing a 22 city tour. inshallah we actually in the first few days, we're going to have our dear beloved Baba Ali, and maybe you'll hear Live podcast while he's on the tour, which will be amazing. So look for that and sha Allah, and then
look for a stay tuned. hollywood.com for screenings here in the States. hollywood.com that's hllywo.com and if you want to find me on my on my reading.com and Sharla shukran jazzy Lin, thank you to Bubba IE on the podcast and don't let your CEOs be your critics. Fantastic. Okay, just about everybody for listening. This is Baba Ali and this has been the Baba Ali show. Please make sure to go to Baba Ali show.com leave your comments. We want to see what you guys think about this podcast. And that way hopefully she'll I may actually respond to some of your comments in the future podcasts. All right, to talk about fair Omar Reagan and for everyone listening as salaam alaikum