Humza Arshad is a comedian, a YouTube star, a British citizen and a Muslim. His hugely popular online series ‘Diary of a Badman’ combines all these qualities to create one of the freshest and, in recent years, most relevant comedy shows available. The series has always dealt directly and humorously with the trials and tribulations of being a British Muslim, but with the rise of groups like ISIS, Humza has turned his attention specifically to the issue of radicalisation. This is in part due to a sense of moral duty and in part due to his own tragic personal experiences relating to the issue.
Dealing with serious issues isn’t actually a change of direction for his videos. In an interview from 2015 he said that, “with diary of a badman – it was comedy but it always had a message at the end.” Those messages usually revolve around peaceful teachings from Islam; what he has called ‘messages and morals that anyone from any religion could relate to’, but now they often deal with much darker areas.
His video ‘I’m a Muslim not a terrorist’ featured his ‘badman’ character talking a friend out of becoming a terrorist. Though a funny video for the most part, it also had a clear and direct message of anti-extremism. The video went viral and caught the attention of the British police, who thought Arshad would be the perfect person to help them convince people to avoid a life of extremism.
Humza’s determination to convey this message comes from more than just a sense of morality. He has stated that he is friends with the brother of one of the three British girls who last year travelled to Syria to join ISIS. He says that being so close to the incident was a huge motivator to act. “I just didn’t want other people to experience that it gave me that personal motivation to do my bit and try to do something positive.”
Now Humza uses his public speaking and comedic skills to give talks to young Muslims and warn them in a frank, but friendly way, about the dangers of fanatical ideologies. He has recently been on a hugely successful tour of schools around the UK, where he has used his cheeky sense of humour to convey his important message. Regardless of your background, we highly recommend that you subscribe to this dude, for his great messaging and fantastic comedic instincts. You can visit his channel by clicking here.