The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has generated a storm of controversy with s new comedy skit, titled ‘Real Housewives of ISIS’, which pokes fun at European women who join the Islamic State (ISIS). The skit was produced on the comedy show Revolting, and has garnered over 21 million views on its YouTube channel since it was posted on Tuesday.
Presented as a trailer for a fictitious television series, the video opens with hijab-wearing women taking selfies amidst overlays of automatic weapons. One woman complains, “It’s only three days until the beheading and I’ve got no idea what I’ll wear”.
“This is my sixth marriage. I’ve been widowed five times,” complains another ISIS wife.
“Ali bought me a new chain which is eight-foot long, so I can almost get outside, which is great!” says another, dragging her oven behind as she does housework.
One scene shows two women arguing because they’re wearing the same suicide vest for their Instagram photo shoot. The video previewed the next episode of Real Housewives with one distraught wife complaining, “He won’t stop talking about his 40 virgins”.
Though the video is undoubtedly funny, it has aroused the ire of many Muslims. The Guardian reported the critics saying the video was “morally bankrupt”, “insensitive”, and “Islamophobic”.
In a criticism of the critics, IBM Times asked the compelling question, “What should offend us more: the reality that there are women who endorse Isis’ patriarchy and its oppression of women – or a show mocking these women?”
The BBC defended the skit. A BBC spokeswoman said: “This show is satire, and the BBC has a rich history of satire.”