Friday 10 Apr 2020 | 01:20 | SYDNEY
Friday 10 Apr 2020 | 01:20 | SYDNEY


Sam Roggeveen


1 June 2008 15:55

On Sunday mornings our multicultural broadcaster, SBS, airs repeat screenings of its new Islam-themed panel/comedy show, Salam Cafe. I caught it for the second time this morning and was again pleasantly surprised. The hosts are smart and funny, and the program has some political bite. I guess the show is intended to demistify Islam to Australians who have developed a jaundiced view of it since the 9/11 attacks. I doubt it will succeed on that level — they're preaching to the converted on SBS — but what's encouraging is that the show's touch is so light. There's no hint of preachiness or condescension towards allegedly racist mainstream Australia (a tone SBS specialises in). In fact, if anything, the program leaves the whole multiculturalist agenda behind. It suggests that anti-Muslim bigotry is not a sin to be condemned, but an eccentric quirk to be made fun of. Racism and bigotry, Salam Cafe says, is just so yesterday.

The same goes for the show's treatment of terrorism. It's long past time we Australians stopped quivering in the face of terrorism and began to mock it. Salam Cafe's shows how.