Man Calls 911 Over Comic's Middle East Joke

It 'really bothered me,' man told dispatcher
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2019 2:41 AM CDT
Man Calls 911 Over Comic's Middle East Joke
Ahmed Ahmed.   (Wikipedia/David Shankbone)

"I don’t think anyone has ever called 911 because they were offended by a joke," says Florida comedy club owner Brien Spina. Well, apart from on Sunday, when an audience member called 911 over remarks comedian Ahmed Ahmed made at Spina's Off The Hook club in Naples, Fla., the night before. The caller said Ahmed asked the audience how many Middle Eastern people were there, and "a whole bunch of people raised their hand," WBBH reports. The caller said Ahmed then said: "That's great, we could organize our own terrorist organization." "And I don't think that was right," the caller said. "And that really bothered me." Police turned up and spoke to the owner, "but the cops were even like 'WTF?'" Ahmed tweeted, attaching video of the encounter. The 911 call can be heard here. Ahmed says police were "super professional and very kind."

Ahmed—whose family moved to the US from Egypt when he was a month old—says the caller must have misheard the joke. "What I said was, 'Are there any Middle Eastern people here tonight?'" he tells the Naples Daily News. He says after a few people clapped, he said: "That’s great, there's a handful of us here tonight. But hey, it only takes one of us ... to tell a joke. It only takes one Middle Eastern person to tell a joke, no, but seriously, lock the doors." Ahmed—who has been invited back to the comedy club for another show next week—says to show there are no hard feelings, he'll give the caller two free tickets and "a big old jolly American hug." "I'll buy him a shot," he says. "Terrorists don’t buy people shots ... of tequila that is." (Read more comedian stories.)

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