Hasan Minhaj’s appearance at IGNITE’s Real Talks event on Thursday left student Simrit Bajwa in tears of joy.
The fourth-year University of Guelph-Humber student broke down crying when she got the chance to meet and greet Minhaj after the show.
The Daily Show senior correspondent has slowly made a name for himself over the years, through all the gigs he’s worked through, and now is preparing for his new show on Netflix.
Bajwa was among the full house of students who attended the event at Humber’s North campus. The anticipation to see and hear Minhaj started early with a long line of eager students waiting to get in.
“Ever since Donald Trump became president, I think we’ve known and witnessed the extent of extremism and racism, and not that it didn’t exist before, but that it has given these people a platform,” Bajwa said. “That’s what he (Minhaj) said at one of his older shows.
“To have a person like that to talk about everything related to those issues, I think it’s amazing, and the kind of comedy he does and the way he talks about it, it’s so passionate and you can see why it’s so important,” she said.
Minhaj put on a show sharing his comedic views of his common topics, from racism, people of colour, and politics. The show thrilled students who responded with a never-ending sound of clapping and laughter.
Along the way Minhaj also inspired a few students to speak out about their beliefs and to follow the path the choose.
“I was a speech-and-debate kid in high school, and I didn’t know much about comedy until I got to college,” Minhaj told the audience. “Comedy is an amazing tool to use simile and metaphor to help explain things, and you just present an argument in a funny way.
The comedian raised many issues and backed up his points with statistics, videos, photos, and even graphs. He told students of colour in the audience to stay empowered.
“There is an assumption Muslims are more likely to be radicalized,” Minhaj said. “I want to know is that true?
“Does Islam have a monopoly on violent extremism?” Minhaj asked his the audience. “No, jeez, some of you guys were nodding. No, absolutely not, but it’s complicated.”
The audience left the building feeling happy, empowered, and more knowledgeable, just like Meera Patel, a media studies student.
“I love Hasan Minhaj, I loved his show and seeing him up there and representing brown people and talking about things that matter and knowing someone’s talking about this stuff is really inspiring,” she said.
“He brought up a lot of things that you don’t see anywhere else and I feel like he’s using his culture, upbringing and who he is as a platform to talk about these things and reach an audience that normally wouldn’t be reached out to,” Patel said.
The show, which was followed by the meet-and-greet session, allowed students to meet the comedian one-on-one.
“There are many reasons why I love him,” she said. “He’s not bluffing around, he knows what he’s talking about and I’m really proud of him for that.”