The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles, which is based in Anaheim, will bestow its 2011 Courage in Media Award to Indian-British actor and comedian Aasif Hakim Mandviwal.
He's better known as Aasif Mandvi, the hilarious correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Mandvi scoops up the award at the 15th anniversary CAIR gala "Making Democracy Work" Nov. 5 at the Anaheim Hilton, where the 2011 Freedom of Expression Award will be presented to Malek Jandali, a German-born Syrian pianist currently residing in Atlanta. His composition "Watani Ana" has served as a backdrop for the freedom struggle in Syria and beyond.
Keynote speakers are Sherman Jackson, the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture at USC, where he is a professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, and Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York, leader of the Muslim Alliance of North America and the first Muslim to offer the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives (back in 1991).
Daily Show contributor Mandvi's "comedic body of work has played a significant role in exposing anti-Muslim bigotry in America," reads CAIR-LA's gala invitation. (Call 714.776.1847 for more information on the event.) Here is some of his comedy now, after the commercial and Stewart's introduction, where Mandvi argues CNN is the most professional news outlet while counter-puncher John Oliver claims it's an organization that only wants to seduce goats:
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Very funny indeed. But Mandvi isn't just about the comedy. Here he is a few years back reading a statement from one of the unseen victims of post-9/11 politics, at "Reckoning With Torture: Testimonies From the `War on Terror" presented by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, with the profound assistance of WikiLeaks: