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28th Jul 2018

Sacha Baron Cohen tells American town about a new mosque and the reaction is pure chaos

This is causing huge controversy in the US

Alan Loughnane

This is causing huge controversy in the US

Kingman, Arizona is the latest target for Sacha Baron Cohen’s social satire program on Showtime’s Who Is America?.

In the segment, Cohen, posing as an uber-liberal, calls a community meeting in Kingman, where he introduces plans to build a massive mosque in the small town in a multimillion dollar project.

The gathering of 21 people learn about the new plans as Cohen, dressed in disguise, explains to a room which grows increasingly volatile and anxious.

Video via SpoilersTV

The city of Kingman responded to the video with a statement on the town’s Facebook page. They wrote:

“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.

“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.’ Why? Because our community has made great strides to erase previous perceptions. We do have a mosque. We do have a robust Latino community. We do welcome tourists from all over the world, especially more and more from Asia fascinated by our Route 66 history. We do have African-Americans applying for leadership positions with the city. This is the Kingman of today, not of yesterday.

The statement continued to say:

“Shrugging this off is not going to be us. We’re going to use this opportunity to keep moving our community forward with the help of many community stakeholders including the Kingman Interfaith Council.”

Kingman Mayor Monica Gates also told The Washington Post that she “didn’t recognize a soul in that video.”

Speaking to the publication she said:

“The comments in the show, fairly or unfairly, show that we still have more work to do. So here are additional steps we are going to be taking as ours is a community like too many others in America that still encounter such issues. For the first time our City Manager will be bringing to the City Council a resolution in support of National Hispanic Heritage Month, beginning on September 15th, in honor of our significant Latino community. We intend to invite Phoenix Pastor Warren Stewart to help us honor Martin Luther King Junior Day in January. Stewart admirably and courageously led the fight for the State of Arizona to honor the fallen civil rights leader. We also plan to work with our Interfaith Council to develop the community’s first Diversity Commission that will be charged with expanding what our city and community does for people of all types and persuasions that have contributed, and will contribute, to this great country.”