Azhar Usman is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian and co-founder of the wildly popular “Allah Made Me Funny–The OfficialMuslim Comedy Tour.” He produced a documentary-concert film based on the Tour, which was released in select U.S. movie theaters in late 2008.
Formally trained as an attorney, Azhar has been touring as a full-time comedian since 2004, and has performed in over twenty countries, on five continents, and in multiple langueages (English, Urdu/Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic).
Azhar and the Tour have been covered by over 100 major world media outlets. He has shared the stage with many of his favorite comedians including Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan, Russell Peters, Todd Barry, and the late Mitch Hedberg.
Additionally, Azhar is the creator and star of his own Web sketch comedy show, Tinku’s World, a semi-scripted alternative web comedy show. He is also developing a television show and ahumor book project entitled Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Muslims but Were Afraid to Ask (No, Really Afraid!), which follows an FAQ format about Muslim culture and practices, with accurate yet light-hearted, humorous responses (expected in 2011).
In late 2009, Georgetown University’s The Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talaal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan, named Azhar among “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” on the planet. Finally, Azhar is scheduled to appear as a featured debater on the Qatar-based BBC World programme “The Doha Debates” this year.
Azhar is an artist and an activist and continues to serve as a co-founding board member of The Nawawi Foundation, an Illinois non-profit dedicated to contemporary Islamic research (www.nawawi.org). He also serves as an Arts and Culture advisor to the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago (www.imancentral.org). He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Minnesota Law School.