Cultural Arts Review: Achmed The Dead Terrorist

Posted on November 27, 2012 by


In 2008, the South African Advertising Standards Committee banned a ringtone featuring one of Comedian Jeff Dunham’s characters, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, because of complaints that the character stereotyped muslims and negatively portrayed and mocked them. Many muslims and arabs found his character to be offensive.


Achmed is portrayed by Dunham as an incompetent suicide bomber who doesnt realize he is now dead after crashing his plane. He is only a skeleton with a stereotypical beard and turban and big round eyes one may associate with a middle eastern or muslim person. He speaks in a mock arabic accent and makes several references to Allah during the skit. When the audience bursts out in laughter at one of Achmed’s antics on stage, he yells “Silence! I kill you!” 

Dunham has also received some praise for his character and for being able to stand up and mock a subject that is usually very serious and touchy for most people. Dunham claims that he is only poking fun of islamic terrorists, and that it shouldn’t be a touchy subject to most of his viewers.  Whether or not Achmed negatively portrays a Muslim is really up for interpretation by viewers. 

To see Dunham’s skit with Achmed the dead Terrorist, copy and paste this link:


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