I think Islam has been hijacked by the idea that all Muslims are terrorists; that Islam is about hate, about war, about jihad - I think that hijacks the spirituality and beauty that exists within Islam. I believe in allowing Islam to be seen in context and in its entirety and being judged on what it really is, not what you think it is.
'Halal in the Family' will expose a broad audience to some of the realities of being Muslim in America. By using satire, we will encourage people to reconsider their assumptions about Muslims, while providing a balm to those experiencing anti-Muslim bias. I also hope those Uncles and Aunties out there will crack a smile!
For my parents' generation, the idea was not that marriage was about some kind of idealized, romantic love; it was a partnership. It's about creating family; it's about creating offspring. Indian culture is essentially much more of a 'we' culture. It's a communal culture where you do what's best for the community - you procreate.
The great joy of doing 'The Daily Show' for me is that I get to sit on the fence between cultures. I am commenting on the absurdity of both sides as an outsider and insider. Sometimes I'm playing the brown guy, and sometimes I'm not, but the best stuff I do always goes back to being a brown kid in a white world.
If you don't acknowledge differences, it's as bad as stereotyping or reducing someone.
You can talk about and think about Muslims as you want, but you can't stop Muslims from building a mosque. You can hate Muslims from the comfort of your house or publicly, but when that becomes stopping Muslims from building a mosque or worshipping, then we are crossing the line into something else.
The average Indian doesn't care about Hollywood movies because they have far too many movies of their own to watch, to miss, and I hope a story like 'Million Dollar Arm,' that is actually about India and deals with these two Indian kids, resonates over there and makes people want to go and see the movie.