Why are we so keen to be offended?

Shazia
Shazia
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People just love to take offence, says award-winning comedian Shazia Mirza.

She doesn’t know why, but they do – and it’s one of the key threads in her most successful show ever, The Kardashians Made Me Do It.

“I did this show last year from February to May, and the whole tour sold out. I am now doing the extended dates. It is something that has never happened to me before.”

She plays Brighton Komedia on Thursday, March 2 (08452 938 480).

Inspired by three girls who left Bethnal Green to join ISIS, and an unrelated radio piece Shazia contributed to the BBC which subsequently received a record number of complaints, the show tells of the confusion it caused as she looks into the nature of offence.

Shazia looks at the dangers of politically-correct liberalism versus the sinister and terrifying intrusion of ISIS into the lives of young British Asian women and explores the phenomenon of jihadi brides.

“The show is about four things really, and one of them is about people being offended. It is the new national pastime. Everybody is offended. Some people don’t know why they are offended; other people are offended on behalf of other people; and some people are offended because other people are not offended enough. I don’t know why!

“A woman wrote to me and said ‘I came to see your show and I was very offended, but I can’t remember why.’ She asked which bits might have offended her, so I suggested some of the topics. I was thinking ‘This is great! I can use it in my show!’

“I just don’t know why so many people are offended by so many things. I don’t get offended really. As a comedian, you hear a lot of stuff and people say a lot of stuff to me, but really I can’t remember the last time I was offended. But the rest of the show is about ISIS. It is so ridiculous what these girls did.

“After these girls left, their families were called before the home affairs select committee and were asked why these girls went to Syria. The sister of one of them said ‘I can’t understand why she went. She used to watch The Kardashians.’ I thought ‘Oh well, I am going to do some comedy about that!’ And it is very funny. People are loving it. It’s a subject that people never thought they could laugh about.

“I give my opinion as to why I think they have gone. I have done a lot of research into this, and it is a long, long routine. That part is 25 minutes, and I do explain why I think they went. I do say that if you look at their life, their family, their parents… These girls didn’t feel they fitted in… There are various factors.”

Comedian and columnist Shaziz has appeared on various TV and radio shows including Have I Got News For You (BBC), NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Beautiful People (BBC2).

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