Brown Pundits – Episode 7, Sarah Haider, Islam, identity, and the “public life”

The latest BP Podcast is up. You can listen on Libsyn, iTunes and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

The guest this week is Sarah Haider. She is executive director of Ex-Muslims of North America.

Sarah and I are friends so I switched into a more informal register. The contrast between her very polished speaking style and my own is pretty striking and unsurprising. Also, please note that an outraged two year old child kept attempting to take over my home office, and you can hear him now and then.

If you want to hear more from her, please check out her speaking on YouTube.

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6 Replies to “Brown Pundits – Episode 7, Sarah Haider, Islam, identity, and the “public life””

  1. Looking forward to listening. I have heard a ton of her content. In the future, it would be nice to be able to sent questions for future guests to answer. Am writing this comment as I am listening to the podcast.

    Honestly I would have loved to see Zach and her go at it with each other. 🙂 It would be nice to hear her think out load about deep intuition (buddhi) and deep feeling (ananda maya kosha) questions.

    For example:
    —“What is God?”
    —“What is love?”
    —“What is religion?”
    —“What is atheism?”
    —“What is secularism?”
    —“What is science?”

    Is it possible that the more religious someone becomes, the more spiritual, secular, atheist, scientific they become?

    What are her thoughts on Gandhi and Gandhi’s belief in the unity of all religions, loving and respecting all religions (including athiesm and anti-theism), believing that all religions are true and lead to the same truth. Gandhi’s statement that he was a muslim, christian, etc. This is a very popular perspective among the 10 darshanas of the east, Zorastrians, Toaists, Bon, Shintos.

    Her thoughts on what Islam shares with atheists, anti-theists and all other religions? Her thoughts on meditation, mysticism, Sufism, Irfan etc.

    Many ex-muslims (Farhan, Apostate Prophet, Veedu Vidz, Mimzy Vidz) have much in common with moderate muslims and mystical meditation muslims. Other ex-muslims less so. Where are Sarah’s thoughts on this?

    Pakistani and Bangladeshi muslims were among the most liberal in the world in 1919. Similar to Indian, Afghan and Iranian muslims. [Russian/Soviet muslims were not free and their perspectives in 1919 are unclear to me.] Why has Pakistani and to a significantly lesser degree Bangladeshi muslims become so much less liberal since 1919? Why are Indian muslims the most liberal large group of muslims in the world? Why have Indian muslims continued to become more liberal since 1919? [India might have 240 million muslims.]

    Need to listen to the rest of the podcast before writing additional questions.

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  2. 38minutes in, a comment:

    Indians are incredibly diverse and plural. The Shiva Agamas has 11 genders. Since no one can possibly read even 0.01% of the holy scriptures . . . . no one has strong opinions. Because they might be wrong! Everything goes because it might be right. There might be scriptures behind it. The eastern way is to assume we know nothing and search for the truth, whatever they might be.

    This is also why eastern philosophy lets people do whatever they want generally speaking, including letting LBGTQ do whatever they want. Who wants to read the Shiva Agamas on 11 genders? And then admit that they (or I) can’t understand almost anything about what the 11 genders mean, despite studying it for days? Better to just let everyone do whatever the heck they want. And look intelligent in the background. 😉

    All the scriptures, art, poetry, music is worth little without pratyaksha or direct observation. The goal of all “holy” books, art, poetry, music, religion is to facilitate someone transcending them. This is another reason people don’t care what others think and do. What is the point?

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  3. I am 64 minutes in. Love it!

    By far the best Sarah Haider interview I have ever seen (and I have seen most of her videos). Thanks for asking her real life questions. I admire and respect her more than ever.

    I love the way you both spoke the truth about the amount of Asian privilege (my preference would be to call it capacity, competence and merit) and how little equipped most but not all Americans are to deal with the rapidly evolving world. I am deeply concerned about the challenges of the global caucasian poor and lower middle class. Asians and Latinos need to collaborate to facilitate lower middle class caucasians helping themselves.

    Sarah Haider is a real person. She is going to deal with feminism! Wow. That takes courage. Way more than I have!!!

    Any true feminist would care about muslim woman. Any feminist that downplays or is neutral about the challenges of muslim woman are not feminists.

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