By Suzy Byrne
A comedy clubgoer in Naples, Fla., called police to report that Egyptian-American standup Ahmed Ahmed told a joke about organizing a terrorist organization.
One day after seeing the comedian, the unidentified man called the non-emergency police line to report the “terrible” joke the comic said at the start of the show.
According to the call released by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the caller noted that Ahmed Ahmed is “you know, Middle Eastern” and said he asked the audience if anyone was from that region of the world.
“A whole bunch of people raised their hands and said, ‘I’m from Iraq,’ ‘I’m from Iran,’ ‘I’m from Pakistan,’ ‘I’m from here, I’m from there.’ And he said, ‘We could organize our own little terrorist organization.’ And I don’t think that was right,” the caller said. “It really bothered me. And I yelled out: ‘Yeah, and the paddywagon’s going to be outside to get all of you.’”
The man went on to note that there were about “25 Muslims” at the show, and wanted police to go to the comedy club to investigate.
“I just thought it was terrible. My wife and I looked at each other and felt very uncomfortable,” he added, and noted that he didn’t want his name used.
Needless to say, Ahmed Ahmed — who shared footage of his friendly interaction with officers who responded — was stunned.
“You can’t write this s***,” the funnyman said to police officers. “This is really happening.”
This happened to me last night @OTHComedyClub in Naples, Florida! An audience member called 9-11 on me because “they feared for their lives” over a joke I told on stage. That’s never happened to me or any comedian I believe. Fucking crazy man. The cops were even like “WTF”? 🤦🏻♂️👮🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/hQezwJPXhw— AHMED AHMED (@ahmedcomedy) May 13, 2019
While laughing, one of the officers said he couldn’t believe the received such a ridiculous call. “I think it’s the first time for everyone here honestly.”
Ahmed Ahmed later told the local NBC affiliate, “I don’t know if it’s fear, racism, ignorance, or Islamophobia, or whatever you want to call it. It’s unfortunate that somebody was very adamant about making a point to make a 911 call.” (Note, while Ahmed Ahmed and NBC referred to it as a 911 call, the dispatcher tweeted that it was “a non emergency call on the admin line, not 911.”)