Aatif Nawaz: a beginner’s guide to Islam
After sharing bills over the years with the likes of Patrick Monahan and Omid Djalili, stand-up Aatif Nawaz makes his solo Fringe debut with Muslims Do It Five Times A Day.
In the hour-long show, Nawaz sets himself the grand task of challenging Western misconceptions of Islam. But, in an attempt at crafting a broad and accessible show, he loses any nuance. As he repeatedly explains to the ‘non-Muslims’ in the crowd that ‘we’re just like you!’, his warm and friendly presence begins to come across as patronising.
Having said that, Nawaz is a fine gag comedian, and excels at interacting with the crowd. The confessional parts of his act nicely meld with his clear and genuine passion for his faith. As a kind of good-spirited beginner’s guide to Islam, it’s well worth a watch.
Christian Butler is a writer and musician based in London.