Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Islamophonic - podcast at The Guardian

In an attempt to give Muslims a voice at the newspaper The Guardian has a podcast named Islamophonic in which host Riazat Butt explores Islam subjects in England and abroad. Abroad meant among others she went to Germany to get a taste of how Muslims are treated there, but it also meant joining up with the podcast Sounds Jewish (also by The Guardian) and discuss how the Gaza war affected English Muslims, Jews and their relationship. (Islamophonic feed, Sounds Jewish feed)

The Gaza issue was fascinating to listen to, especially to observe how everybody evaded the hot potato, that is, refrained from the faintest of inflammatory speech, to the extent there was even no hint of criticism. The Germany issue disappointed me as it just spoke of Turks, assuming all German Muslims to be Turks and all Turks in Germany to be Muslims. My warmest recommendation of a recent issue would be the one about Ramadan and Black Muslims.

The Ramadan subject delved into the practical question of how to cope with the daily fasting over the stretch of a whole month. A dietitian was invited to give good tips. The subject of Blacks took on the, I would expect to be controversial, issue of racism in the world of Islam. Whether overtly or not, the podcast claims there is a tangible hierarchy in which Arabs stand at the top, Asian Muslims (Pakistani, Malaysians etc.) follow. White Europeans seem to have an unclear, but surely favorable position, yet Blacks/Africans suffer being at the bottom. This affects the treatment in Mosques and on matters of intermarriage as is reported with examples.

More Islam:
Shia theology and Ahmedinijad,
Getting past current stereotypes on Islam,
The Sunni Shia split in podcasts,
Medieval Islamic Medicine,
Rumi.
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