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Bono: Deploy Amy Schumer to defeat Islamic State

U2 singer tells US politicians that comedy can be as effective as air strikes in tackling the menace of extremism
No joke... Bono said Amy Schumer was an alternative to air strikes (AFP)

Bono has said laughs not bombs could help defeat the Islamic State (IS) group, as he urged US politicians to deploy comedians Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Sascha Baron Cohen as effective alternatives to air strikes.

Speaking in front of a Senate subcommittee focusing on extremism, the singer for U2 said on Tuesday: “Don’t laugh. I think comedy should be deployed. It’s like, you speak violence, you speak their language.

"But you laugh at them, when they’re goose-stepping down the street, and it takes away their power. So, I’m suggesting that the Senate send in Amy Schumer, and Chris Rock, and Sacha Baron Cohen, thank you.”

The 55-year-old told the crowd at the Dirksen Senate Office Building he was “actually being serious”.

Bono was joined by a number of diplomats at the meeting urging the US government to do more to help refugees from the Middle East.

Amy Schumer is known for her risque routines (AFP)

He said using comedy to tackle extremists was not new.

"If you look at national socialism and (IS), this is the same thing we've seen this before.

"They're very vain they've got all the signs up, it's showbusiness. The first people that Adolf Hitler threw out of Germany were the doubters and the surrealists."

Bono was invited to speak by Lindsey Graham, chairman of the subcommittee, Republican senator and former 2016 presidential candidate.

Social media users have run several mocking campaigns against IS - running photos of members striking angry poses alongside lyrics from 1980s pop songs for "IS karaoke," and replacing the faces of its fighters with those of rubber ducks alongside the hashtag #daeshbag.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who attended the Senate subcommittee meeting, said Bono's idea had its merits.

"Actually, that's not the first time I've heard experts on how do we counter violent extremism talk about that," she said. 

"It's one of the things that we're looking at."

Schumer responded to Bono's comments on Twitter.

Amy Schumer's reply on Twitter