Wow, what an incredible month - we are super excited to have been invited to the All Things Considered Weekend Edition with Arun Rath. We had a great conversation which you can listen to at the audio below and be sure to read the article too (excerpt below!).
On challenging stereotypes and the pushback from some in the Muslim community
Taz Ahmed: I think that's one of the things that's so scary for other people to hear our podcast, because we're allowing people permission to think and have internal dialogue and to be challenging to themselves and that's part of the pushback that we've been getting ... from the Muslim community. ... People don't like that two Muslim woman have a voice and that we're just talking. The fact that it's out there is really intimidating and scary to people.
Zahra Noorbakhsh: I think that when a community is so lumped together and one person's actions across the globe who has nothing to do with you suddenly defines what your values are, what your community is and what can then happen to you, in acts of violence as a Muslim, is really scary. And so anybody, then, who comes out saying, "I'm a Muslim" — even for me, as a progressive liberal who likes to think she's smarter than that — we see them then as representative of the community and so I think that gets very scary.
On coping with the notion that Muslims can't take a joke
Noorbakhsh: I recently had to ask myself, is it safe for me as a feminist, Muslim comedian, who advertises herself as a pork-eating, alcohol-drinking, premarital-sex-having Muslim, to go to Iran? And it wasn't safe and I couldn't go. And, sure, I could turn around and say, "I wish they could take a joke and see it's satire." At the same time, there are major geopolitics at play here that are much bigger than my tag. You know, it's a much more complicated conversation.
Ahmed: What it means to be Muslim is just always so serious and I think what we can do with our podcast is bring a little humor to it. You need an equal dose of politics and pop culture to engage communities and engage people in actual conversations and I think that's what our podcast does.