Sacha Baron Cohen's «Who is America ?» exposes Islamophobic comments in Arizona

British comedian Sacha Baron Kohen, going undercover in his new show Who is America ?./Ph. Screenshot
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British comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen is back again with a controversial episode of his new show «Who is America ?». The actor, who goes undercover, to interview people, meet personalities and sometimes locals, headed to Kingman, Arizona where he told a group of people that a new multimillion-dollar mosque will be built in the city.

In the episode broadcast by Showtime, an American premium cable and satellite television network, Cohen appeared speaking to the inhabitants of the town (population 28,068) and announcing the fact that their city would host the «world's largest mosque outside of the Middle East».

The reaction of locals sparked controversy in the US as they refused completely the idea, making some Islamophobic and racist comments. «To me, when I hear the word mosque, I think of terrorism», said one of Kingman's inhabitants, protesting against the project.

He was joined by other voices as another man argued saying : «Is there a need of this (mosque) in Kingman».

Cohen went further with his prank, indicating that the mosque will be funded by the Saudi government and the Clinton Foundation, an NGO established by former President of the United States Bill Clinton.

Racist comments made by the group of people in Baron's show have pushed the city of Kingman to issue a statement on its Facebook page, denouncing the way in which some of its inhabitants reacted.

«Every city has resident voices that challenge respect and dignity for others. They are wrong and unfortunate. That was no exception on Sunday's Who Is America? show on Showtime in which an actor baited purported residents to vociferously oppose a fictitious, supersized mosque in our city», stated the city.

«Another in the audience also stated negative feelings towards African-Americans. No matter the instigation or that numerous 'focus group' participants don't even live in Kingman, the show's characterization in the words of one member of our Kingman City Council 'broke her heart».

The city of Kingman

«Who is America ?» is a seven-episode television show that «explores the diverse individuals who populate our unique nation, and features Baron Cohen experimenting in the playground of 2018 America», wrote Showtime on its website.

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