The British are known for their biting satire and outrageous comedy. They poke fun at stereotypes, add dark humour to their comments, and are irreverent about any and everything .
But even by those standards, BBC’s comedy sketch Real Housewives of ISIS has sent shock waves across communities. The show ridicules ISIS’s online recruitment of women through a parody version of the American reality show The Real Housewives.
The clip shows British women in hijab talking about how they were lured to Syria by Islamic State. A character named Hadiya explains her exciting journey: “I’m so glad I moved over here. It’s everything those guys in the chat rooms told me it would be.” The scene then cuts to her scrubbing the floor.
The show intends to highlight the stories of women who have gone to Syria and have been reportedly turned into hostages for ransom, sex slaves or suicide bombers by ISIS.
The wives, eager to impress their militant husbands, behave and talk like the wives in the American show. They even compete with one another for the best outfit – semtex-laden jackets, for instance – and then pose for Instagram using hashtags such as “Jihadi Jane, Death to the West and ISIS emojis”.
The video clip released on Facebook page of BBC Two has received mixed reactions – some have applauded the exposure of “stupidity” while others say that it is insensitive to the plight of women caught in the crossfire in Syria.
As for the American reality show, this is not the first time that it has been made fun of. Here’s a parody version of Disney housewives by Saturday Night Live.