Comedian Joey Rasdien has apologised to the Muslim community after receiving backlash for comments he recently made about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad at a show in Johannesburg.
The comedian’s comments drew sharp criticism from Muslims, scholars and the organisers of the Ilm Arts Festival on Saturday.
In a statement on social media, Joey said his comments had been purely satirical and he did not mean to offend. He did however acknowledge that what he had said was wrong and apologised.
“As a Muslim comedian I hold myself to the same set of standards expected of a Muslim in any other walk of life. It is our character and behavior that must be unimpeachable. And while humour is a necessary part of our humanity, I understand as well, that the best way for us to humour is to encourage better behaviour from all of us. I failed to do this,” he said in a statement.
He said that he had sought forgiveness from Allah and asked his fans to join him in prayer.
“I am deeply disappointed in myself and endeavor to do better. I humbly ask that you join me in beseeching the most merciful, to accept my repentance,” he added.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE just days before the event Joey said that he was aware that people were sometimes unhappy with comments he made about Islam but said that he wanted to push the boundaries of what is taboo.
“I enjoy cracking jokes about Islam. I enjoy pushing the boundary because you can’t take everything at face value. You have to ask and push the boundaries,” Joey said.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) July 23, 2017