The bravest coward

Sakdiyah tells the story of growing up in one of Indonesia’s most conservative communities and how she is really not at all brave. She may be Indonesia’s first Muslim female stand-up comedian and held up as a role model around the world, but she is not another Malala. She is just a woman who still needs to fight her own battles before having the strength to fight the extremists. So, whatever you do, don’t call Sakdiyah Ma'ruf brave.

Sakdiyah Ma'ruf is one of the first Indonesian Muslim female stand-up comics. Passionate advocate for freedom and equality, she juggles life behind the mic as a comedian and interpreter.

Producers have asked Sakdiyah to censor her own jokes, telling her that she is “too conceptual, theoretical, laden with message,” but the stakes are too high for Sakdiyah to stop. Having grown up watching U.S.-based comedians drive their points home, she decided to use the same medium to get people talking about issues plaguing her own country.

Sakdiyah received the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent at Oslo Freedom Forum 2015. She currently works with the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS): and the Moral Courage Project, New York University. She received her BA in English from UGM, Yogyakarta, and is working on her M.A.