The comic documentary “The Muslims Are Coming!” reveals the core of its approach to cultural relations in its first two minutes. It kicks off with a wave of sound bites culled from television talk shows saying Muslims are threatening everything from the imposition of sharia law to Thanksgiving turkeys somehow tainted by their touch. Then, a snappy lounge jazz tune about how Muslims are gentle and friendly and huggable plays over a credits sequence with lots of happy colors and dancing shapes. The idea is to face hatred with a smile.
The film follows a group of Muslim-American comedians on a stand-up and public-relations tour who try to win over those skeptical of Muslims, one audience at a time. The film’s directors and stars, Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, gathered a few funny friends, stuffed them into two rented cars, and played free shows at cafes and function rooms in places where Muslims might not be terribly popular. That they head to the South and to Middle America may speak to their own prejudices.