The Latest: 38.3 | Humour

Bruce B Lawrence is enthralled by Sufi satire, Robert Irwin enjoys old Arab gags, C Scott Jordan is astonished that comedy and news have merged into a single entity, Shanon Shah is impressed by Arab political humour, Ziauddin Sardar defends the integrity of put-upon pigeons, and Deena Mohamed’s superhero Qahera.

David Mamet has defined satire as ‘a type of wit that is meant to mock human vices or mistakes, often … to expose political missteps or social inadequacies in everyday life, sometimes with the goal of inspiring change.’

The twelfth-century Syrian warrior, poet and memoirist, Usama ibn Munqidh, found the liberty that the Franks of the Crusader principalities allowed their women quite extraordinary.

Let’s start with a distinction. It is not essential but it would clarify a common mistake. The distinction is between parody and satire.

If you haven’t seen this already, type ‘Egyptian police parade 2020’ into YouTube. Don’t be surprised if the auto-search function suggests ‘topless Egyptian parade 2020’.