He’s the Iraqi-born comedian and actor who is set to star in the new romantic comedy Ali’s Wedding.
And Osamah Sami, who wrote the film in which he plays the son of a Muslim cleric, has lashed out at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, calling her a d**khead.
Speaking to The Fix, the 34-year-old said while he was dismayed by a recent spike in anti-Muslim sentiment, illustrated by Pauline’s recent burqa stunt in Parliament, it was something that had been going on for ‘decades’.
‘Pauline Hanson has been a d**khead for as long as she’s been Pauline Hanson,’ he said. ‘And I remember when John Howard was prime minister, he said, ‘We will decide who comes to this country.’
‘And Tony Abbot said something about Jesus not helping everybody, so that’s been going on for decades as far as we’re concerned.’
Osamah added that Australia’s Muslim population had myriad things to offer the country culturally.
‘It affects us, but it doesn’t determine our destiny,’ he said.’We write our own stories. We are part of the Australian narrative – the Pauline Hansons of the world don’t believe we are, but we are and we have been for a very long time.’
The film, Ali’s Wedding, which Osamah also wrote, follow’s the titular character who tries to please his cleric father by lying about getting into medical school and agreeing to an arranged marriage he doesn’t want.
Osamah, who told the publication that he hoped the film would give non Muslim Australians an insight into the culture, added that being able to see Muslim stories on the big screen helps foster a sense of inclusion.
‘It goes a long way to finding a sense of belonging,’ he said. ‘Because how can you assimilate when you don’t see yourself represented? You can’t because you feel like you don’t belong.’
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016, Osamah said he hoped the film would help blaze a trail for other minority groups to tell their stories cinematically.
‘It’s history making, the first Muslim rom-com, so it’s hopefully going to pave the way for many other similar stories,’ he said.
‘Not just from the Muslim community but from other communities and minorities as well.’