Angry Reader of the Week: Zahra Noorbakhsh

"I try to make people uncomfortable, but most of the time it's just funny."

Hey, folks. How's it going? It is time, once again, to meet the latest Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Zahra Noorbahksh.

Who are you?

Zahra Noorbakhsh here, Feminist Muslim Iranian-American comedian and co-host of the #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast. But, if you feed me after midnight, I creep Sharia and take jobs away from Americans.

What are you?

Metaphorically, I am a Gremlin.
Symbolically, I am an anchor baby.
Spiritually, I am the one.
Politically, an opportunist with a heart of gold.
Culturally ambivalent.
Sexually attractive.
Conspiracy theorist.
Married to an infidel.

Where are you?

SF, LA, NYC - pay me and I will live there.

Where are you from?

I went to a different elementary school for every year all over California and my parents were part of the Iranian diaspora, so no place really felt like "home" or the place I was "from." Then, one day when I was 14 years old, my dad came by my room and said, "we're staying." I had to watch a lot of VH1 to figure out high school. By then, we had settled in a WASPy suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up thinking that calling someone a racist was really mean and that I was White, but just really bad at it. The Persian community I grew up around claimed European heritage and said that once upon a time, we were all blonde haired and blue eyed Aryan warriors roaming the Orient on horseback, building an empire. But, that didn't really sound like things my grandma said she did as a kid. I'm still learning what it means to be Iranian.

What do you do?

I try to make people uncomfortable, but most of the time it's just funny. I like muddying the waters and adding tertiary complications to binary discourse. I perform a one woman show, called, "All Atheists are Muslim." It's about moving in with my whitey-white atheist boyfriend and telling my Iranian Muslim parents about it -- and that he wasn't converting. It's just your everyday story of boy meets girl meets thousands of years of cultural heritage and religious doctrine. Every show I convert the audience to Islam. I mostly do it for the heaven points, but also because I love seeing people's "aha" moments when they realize, it's not up to me, or anyone else for that matter. FOX News decides.

What are you all about?

Long term, I'd like to see myself in charge.

What makes you angry?

Mental math. And Muslims! Not Muslim people. I mean the actual word, "Muslims." I'm sick of hearing people say, "Muslims [fill in the blank]." I'm sick of Muslims speaking #OBAM (on behalf of all Muslims). I'm sick of getting questions like, "How do Muslims feel about your work?" and having to do the math for everyone to explain to them why and how it is impossible for me to know what the median response of all kinds of Muslims everywhere is to my work?? At the same time, however, I do appreciate their trust in my authority. I think it might be a double-edged sword... Or, like looking a gift horse in the mouth? Idioms make me angry.


angry archive