Host of the award-winning podcast Islamophonic and journalist for the Guardian UK Riazat Butt takes a critical and witty look at the Muslim community beginning at home in her native Great Britain. Each month, the program deals with complex cultural and political issues in the news by tackling topics like marriage, extremism, secular democracy, and others.
Riazat refrains from making overarching conclusions about Islam without buffering them with humor. Also, the programs rarely deal with spiritual matters. Instead, Islamophonic tackles the difficult task of reporting the individual stories of living in Muslim world.
A New Method for Reporting
As she points out in an update with altmuslim, Islamophonic reports on “Muslims and Muslim life and sometimes this has nothing to do with Islam.” The programs simply ask Muslim and non-Muslim listeners to think from another perspective without oversimplifying the issues in terms of either religion or politics.
In bridging the divide between the two realms, Riazat presents a nuanced look at the social realities in countries with Muslim communities. Her commentary breaks with the stereotypes of radical extremism, religious violence, and secular politics to reveal the actual diversity of the Muslim world.
Riazat has also brought Islamophonic to other locations outside the UK. Have a listen to podcasts with her commentary about Muslim life around the world and interviews with progressive voices in Turkey, America, France, and Pakistan below.
Islamophonic Around the World
- Turkey: Islamophonic goes to Istanbul to examine the Gulen movement and the role of religion in a secular Muslim state. Riazat Butt interviews students, teachers, and parents at Gulen schools on education. She also takes a look at women’s fashion.
- United States: Riazat Butt is surprised to say hello in Arabic to a latino Muslim brother at a concert for a Muslim punk band in Chicago. She also interviews Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America, videoblogger and comedian Baba Ali (who also joined Inside Islam on “Young Muslims and the New Media“), and editor of altmuslim Shahed Amanullah.
- France: Islamophonic looks at the French fascination with Arab culture. Muslim and non-Muslims congregate in Mosques to enjoy the atmosphere. Riazat Butt interviews sociologist Amel Boubekeur, publisher Moufdi Bacahari, and journalist Dora Mabrouk.
- Pakistan: Riazat Butt interviews Omar Ali Khan about Lollywood, Irshad Ashraf on Karachi Uncovered, UK Guardian correspondent Lawrence Booth about cricket.
Browse all podcasts from the Islamophonic Series (UK Guardian)