Chronological Listing of Shows

Click on show titles for additional information or simply click on the player to listen to an episode.

Islam and Democracy
Air date: March 15, 2012


The Arab Spring surprised many in the West who believed Islam is inherently incompatible with democracy. But the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya proved them wrong. Reza Aslan and Marc Lynch join us for this last program in our Inside Islam series.

The Afghan Women’s Writing Project
Air date: March 06, 2012


In a country where women have been told their stories do not matter, and have been threatened for telling them, women still muster the courage to write about themselves, even at the risk of severe punishment. The Afghan Women Writers Project is a US based organization dedicated to bringing their stories to light.

Green Faith
Air date: February 29, 2012


How does faith affect eco-consciousness? Is religion more focused on the after-life than on stewardship of the earth? Experts on Islam and Christianity join us for an interfaith conversation about faith and environmental activism. This show will preview an Inside Islam conference on Green Faith that will be held on March 6th at the Pyle Center at UW-Madison.

In a country where women have been told their stories do not matter, and have been threatened for telling them, women still muster the courage to write about themselves, even at the risk of severe punishment. The Afghan Women Writers Project is a US based organization dedicated to bringing their stories to light.

Love InshAllah
Air date: February 14, 2012


What’s your image of Muslim women—repressed, oppressed, submissive? Not according to a new collection of stories about love, relationships and dating, written by Muslim-American women. Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, co-editors of Love, InshAllah, join us to talk about the secret love lives of Muslim-American women.

American Dervish
Air date: February 07, 2012


Milwaukee-born writer Ayad Akhtar’s debut novel, American Dervish, is a coming-of-age tale with a twist. As he tells the story of Pakistani-American teenager, Hayat Shah, Akhtar presents a complex and deeply personal portrayal of what it means to grow up Muslim in America.

A Peace Maker in Syria
Air date: January 26, 2012


In her memoir, The Bread of Angels, Stephanie Saldana wrote about an Italian Jesuit who restored a tenth century monastery near Damascus, and then dedicated it to Muslim/Christian dialogue. Father Paulo was recently forced into exile by the Assad regime, but he’s back. Stephanie joins us with an update.

The Muslim Brotherhood
Air date: January 25, 2012


In the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square, many Western observers are dismayed by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Dr. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, joins us to talk about what the Brotherhood’s leadership means for the future of Egyptian democracy.

Abraham’s Family
Air date: January 24, 2012


Three principal members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s LUBAR Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions join me for a candid conversation about their own personal religious beliefs, how faith illuminates their lives, and what they have learned from one another.

Talking with the Taliban
Air date: January 19, 2012


The Taliban announced this week that ten years after 9/11, it is finally willing to talk with the United States. There’s only one catch: in return, the Obama Administration has to release at least five senior Taliban officials held at Guantánamo. President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner joins us to talk about prospects for peace, and the future of Guantánamo.

The Muslim Jesus
Air date: December 21, 2011


Jesus has a unique role as a divine figure in Islam. He is highly revered and esteemed as a super prophet, on a par with Mohammed, and in certain respects, even above him. An Islamic scholar joins us to talk about how two of the world’s greatest faith traditions differ in their understanding of one of the most important religious figures of all time.

The Barber Shop in the Tate Museum
Air date: December 19, 2011


When he is not making art, Faisal Abdu Allah runs a men’s barbershop/salon. In fact, he even opened a barber’s shop in the prestigious Tate museum in London, where he gave haircuts to visitors who ventured to sit in his barber’s chair. This unusual performance artist is gutsy and fun, and has a lot to say!

2011 Hours Against Hate
Air date: November 29, 2011
Featured on the US Department of State Website


Launched by the State Department, the 2011 Hours Against Hate campaign wants to stop bigotry and promote respect by getting young people to pledge to spend time in a community different from their own. The campaign has gained worldwide attention and momentum, picking up volunteers from Turkey and Azerbaijan to Canada and the US.

All-American Muslim
Air date: November 9, 2011


Are we ready for a Muslim Cosby Show? All-American Muslim, a new reality series that debuts on TLC on Sunday, November 13th, explores what it means to be Muslim in post-9/11 America as it follows the lives of five Muslim-American families in Dearborn, Michigan.

A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said
Air date: November 7, 2011


In 1807, Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy Muslim scholar was captured and brought to the American south as a slave. Late in life, Omar was persuaded by abolitionists to write down his life story which has been newly edited and translated by a Yale professor.

Songs of Kabir
Air date: October 24, 2011


Almost 500 years after his death, Kabir remains one of the world’s most beloved poets. His poems are full of passion and paradox, of mind-bending riddles and exultant riffs, and a new translation of his poems, by one of India’s most renowned poets, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, brings Kabir’s poetry to life like never before.

Bridging the Faith Divide: Eboo Patel and the Interfaith Youth Core
Air date: October 19, 2011


In 1998, Eboo Patel noticed that increased religious diversity in America was causing increased conflict. If religious extremists were recruiting young people, he reasoned, then those who believe in religious tolerance should do likewise, a realization that inspired the Interfaith Youth Core, an organization dedicated to service to others as a way of overcoming conflict.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Air date: October 18, 2011


In James Carroll’s Jerusalem, the city embodies the world’s greatest philosophies, and its worst impulses. It is a city of faith, wracked by war, a city constantly engaged in “a contest of life and death.” And yet, it is also a place of hope, resurrection, consolation, and holds the key to understanding world history and reimagining world peace.

Transforming a Nation’s Trauma
Air date: September 8, 2011


Nationally recognized citizen diplomat Sahar Taman and Rev. Robert Chase, head of Intersections International in New York City, are collecting and planning affirmative commemorations for the decade anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Beyond Islam, beyond terror, they see the anniversary as a time to deepen community and seek transformation as individuals and as a nation.

Sufism in the West
Air date: August 22, 2011


One of my most memorable interviews some years ago was with Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, then head of the Sufi Order of the West, a man who was hang-gliding in his eighties. His son, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan has succeeded him as the head of the Sufi Order International, an organization begun by his grandfather in the early 20th century to bring Sufism to the West. He joins us to talk about how he bends the mystic tradition and inter-faith work to remedy the world’s most pressing issues.

Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse
Air date: August 17, 2011


To help the Afghan people, Suraya Sadeed made many harrowing attempts to traffic cash and supplies under the noses of Iranian border guards, drug runners, and suicide bombers. She concealed an estimated $100,000 in U.S. cash by strapping it to her stomach and feigning pregnancy while slipping past the Taliban.

St. Francis and the Sultan
Air date: August 2, 2011


When St. Francis crossed enemy lines to meet the Sultan Malek el-Kamil during a Crusade, he fully expected to be martyred. Instead, he was embraced as a friend. Hear the full story when I talk with Muslim Sufi master Jamal Rahman and Gabrielle Uhlein, a Franciscan sister, who are teaming up for the Christine Center’s third annual interfaith retreat (to be facilitated by yours truly).

America and Pakistan: The First 60 Years
Air date: July 5, 2011


At the time of Pakistan’s founding a scant 60 years ago, it was the first and only democracy in the Muslim world, a country whose citizens would elect those who govern them. A Pakistani-American at the US Center for Citizen Diplomacy’s Summit drew fascinating comparisons between Pakistan and the first 60 years of U.S. history. Despite obvious differences between our two countries, there are striking parallels.

Hafez: Persia’s Provocateur
Air date: June 20, 2011


Hafez, the famous 14th century Persian poet, used the most gorgeous language to expose duplicity, irreverence, and corruption in preachers, scholars of religious laws, memorizers and reciters of the Qur’an. Why is he still one of the best read poets of Persian literature?

Whitewashing Tales from The Arabian Nights
Air date: June 14, 2011


In the original telling, Scheherazade’s story was wild and wicked enough to keep the Sultan awake for a 1001 nights. Reza Aslan and Andrei Codrescu uncover the libidinous side of the Arabian Nights as we talk about the seductive power of storytelling.

Laughter as a Path to Understanding
Air date: May 31, 2011


In keeping with the lighter spirit of our latest Inside Islam programs, we present Muslim Comedians: Tissa Hami and Dean Obeidallah, who use comedy to break down the stereotypes about Muslims and Arabs that have surged after 9/11.

Elif Shafak
Air date: May 26, 2011


The most widely read woman writer in Turkey today, Elif Shafak was accused of insulting “Turkishness” for mentioning the Armenian genocide in one of her novels. Throughout her life and career, Elif has tried to unify the wildly different aspects of her identity: woman, Muslim, Turkish, international globetrotter, writer, mother. For her, what holds it all together in the end is the power of fiction to overcome the politics of identity.

On a Wing and a Prayer
Air date: May 19, 2011


Could anything be crazier than a Muslim-American learning to fly a plane in post 9/11 USA? I met Monem Salam a few months ago at a conference in Bloomington, Indiana, where he told his hilarious and touching story of how he fulfilled his lifelong dream to become a pilot in spite of his bad timing, and lived to make a PBS award-winning documentary film about it.

The 99
Air date: May 11, 2011; Rebroadcast December 27, 2011


What power do superheroes really have? Naif al-Mutawa believes that they can change the world. That’s why he created The 99: superheroes inspired by the 99 attributes of Allah. Together with The 99, Naif is out to fight radical Islam and Western misconceptions about Islam. Ever since, The 99 have teamed up with Superman to fight for a better world, and President Obama has publicly recognized the importance of Naif’s work.

Benazir Bhutto
Air date: May 10, 2011


The premier of Bhutto, an Independent Lens film that airs on Tuesday night, gives us a reason to talk about the woman who broke the glass ceiling to become the first woman head-of-state to rule a Muslim nation.

I Speak for Myself
Air date: May 5, 2011


The media have plenty to say about Muslim women, but the day’s headlines rarely reflect the lives of the majority of Muslim women. And even less commonly do we hear the voices of Muslim women themselves. This week, Madison welcomes women writers behind a new collection of essays seeking to fill this void, I Speak For Myself: American Women on Being Muslim.

Syria: The Other Side of the Mirror
Air date: April 19, 2011


The protests in Syria are making our daily news, and the entire world is watching as Bashar al-Assad is trying to mollify the protesters. But does the image we get in the news correspond with the real Syria? What aspects of this country do we never hear about in the news? And what does that say about us?

The Green Path
Air date: March 24, 2011


Muhammed declared “The Earth is a Mosque.” Environmental Policy Advisor to the City of New York, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin makes a spiritual case for environmentalism in which humanity is compelled to care for the earth not just in response to scientific data, but because of a sacred duty.

Peter King’s Hearings
Air date: March 16, 2011


Assemblyman Peter King’s hearings began Thursday, March 10 for the purpose of exploring the extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community. The hearings are being compared to those instigated by Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy on un-American activities during the so-called Red Scare in the fifties. But, surprisingly enough, some prominent Muslims are in favor of them. What do you think?

Air date: March 14, 2011


A coming of age story based on the director’s real-life experience, “Mooz-lum” is a film that explores the trials of a young Muslim man brought up strictly who struggles through an identity crisis when he finds himself facing new freedoms in college amid the tensions of the 9/11 attacks. The film was shown in select theaters Feb. 11th with more theaters around the country.

What is the Qur’an?
Air date: February 23, 2011


What kind of a book is the Qur’an? Does it incite Muslims to violence? What are its core messages? What kind of God is Allah? We’ll talk with UW-Madison professor Anna Gade about the Qur’an and why it is so misunderstood.

Women Without Men
Air date: February 15, 2011


Venice Film Festival prizewinner Shirin Neshat depicts the life of four Iranian women in “Women Without Men” during the politically tumultuous summer of 1953. The movie catalogs political change through the personal stories of a prostitute, a rebel, a traditionalist, and an unhappy wife. We talk with Iranian-born visual artist Neshat about her movie and “Rapture” the video installation currently at MMoCA, Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

A Love Divine
Air date: February 14, 2011


When Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century Sufi Muslim poet, met his teacher, Shams of Tabriz, he was introduced to a deeper kind of love that would inspire him for the rest of his life. On this Valentine’s Day you’ll see Rumi’s poetry books in every bookstore. But what sort of love was Rumi really talking about?

The Butterfly Mosque
Air date: December 15, 2010


Why do so many women convert to Islam? You might think it’s because they fall in love with Muslim men, but in Willow Wilson’s case, conversion came first followed by romance.

Homophobia and Islamophobia: Is there a Connection?
Air date: November 30, 2010


Robert Wright in a recent NY Times op-ed discusses whether the significant rise of tolerance for gays in the US over the last generation is a road map for Muslims.

Reza Aslan on 100 Years of Literature from the Middle East
Air date: November 17, 2010


Regular Here on Earth guest and internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, Reza Aslan takes us on a literary journey through the Middle East. He’s the editor of the new Words Without Borders anthology, Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East.

Inter-faith, Inter-nation
Air date: November 15, 2010


What happens when you mix immersion travel and interfaith dialog? It was a life changing experience for participants of The National Peace Foundation’s Religion and Society Program, which brought delegations of community leaders from the Middle East to America, and vice versa. For her work directing the trips, Wisconsinite Sahar Taman has been recognized with a 2010 Citizen Diplomat award.

Listen to the Banned
Air date: November 10, 2010


Music is a powerful global language that speaks to all of us, regardless of social, political or religious divides. Yet censorship in music is alarmingly widespread. Deeyah, a courageous young musician and human rights activist, had to give up her own singing but keeps up the fight by making other voices heard. How many times have you listened to banned music?

Muslims, Mosques, and American Identity
Gabriel Award Winning Episode
Air date: November 02, 2010; Rebroadcast: May 23, 2011


What goes on in mosques in America? Are mosques a part of the tradition of religious pluralism in America? Can a Muslim be an American? Islamic Studies luminary Akbar Ahmed traveled for a year around the country, visiting over a hundred mosques to find out how Muslims are living every day in America. We want to know about the mosques in your hometown, whether you’re a member of the Muslim community or not. What’s your experience?

Europe’s Anti-Muslim Politics
Air date: October 21, 2010


Starting with the ban on minarets in Switzerland, Europe has been swept with a wave of overt anti-Islam sentiment that has found its way into the political mainstream in the past year. From Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in the Netherlands to the book written by one German politician that blames Germany’s “downfall” on immigrant Muslims: Can the debate still be saved by reason?

The Sheikh’s Batmobile
Air date: October 6, 2010


Pop culture commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual mission: to find out what happens to American pop culture – Hollywood sit-coms, shoot-’em up video games, muscle cars and punk music – when they collide with the Muslim world.

Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade
Air date: September 28, 2010


Jews and Christians call it the Temple Mount, Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary, but for the new book, Where Heaven and Earth Meet in which scholars from all three religions write about the site’s history and significance, it’s given the name “Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade.” We’ll talk with Jewish scholar Benjamin Kedar and Islam scholar Mustafa Abu Sway about the book and Former Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, joins us to talk about his work in creating a “Universal Code on Holy Sites.”

Mosque Madness
Air date: August 25, 2010


The proposal to build an Islamic Community Center that includes a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City has roused a hornet’s nest of controversy. Nine years after 9/11, what does it tell us about the state of American values, the purpose of a public monument, and the level of Islamaphobia?

The Rise of A Middle Class in the Middle East
Air date: August 24, 2010


A force for change is welling up in the Middle East – the rise of a mobile middle class of entrepreneurs, investors and consumers. Although almost invisible to the West, our guests see in this newest of social movements the key to tipping the scales of power away from extremism.

Mullah Nasruddin: Islam’s Holy Fool
Air date: August 18, 2010


In his interfaith congregation in Seattle, Jamal Rahman, a Muslim Sufi minister and one of the Interfaith Amigos, usually opens his sermon by quoting his favorite Sufi visionary teacher: Mullah Nasurddin: “I am getting sick and tired of this lousy cheese sandwich,” complained Mullah repeatedly. “Mullah, tell your wife to make something different,” his co-workers advised. “But I am not married,” Mullah replied. “I am the one who is making these sandwiches.”

Turkey’s Tomorrow
Air date: July 21, 2010


The recent attack on an aid flotilla carrying Turkish activists off the coast of Gaza has widened a painful rift in Turkish/Israeli relations. Turkish Jewish philosopher Seyla Benhabib has just returned from a trip to both countries and joins us to talk about what went wrong, what’s going on inside Turkey today, and what the future looks like for this secular Muslim nation that has linked Europe and the Middle East for centuries.

The Fate of an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Be Stoned
Air date: July 20, 2010


Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two who was convicted of adultery, was sentenced to 99 lashes for committing adultery by a court in May 2006. Four months later, another court sentenced her to death by stoning. Her fate remains uncertain. We’ll talk with Norma Claire Moruzzi, director of International Studies at University of Illinois in Chicago, an expert on women’s issues in Iran, and Cyrus Nowrasteh, director of The Stoning of Soraya M.

The Interfaith Amigos
Air date: July 8, 2010


Three clergymen from the three Abrahamic faiths used friendship to create a dialogue. Rabbi Ted Falcon, Sheikh Jamal Rahman, and Pastor Don Mackenzie met every week for nine years after 9/11 in search of common ground. They sum up their collective discoveries in the book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi and a Sheikh.

Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad
Air date: July 6, 2010


Muslim women can stand side by side their male counterparts at Mecca, the holiest city in the Muslim world, to pray, but once they are back home, they are most likely to find themselves crowded into a small, dark room at the back of a mosque. Asra Nomani, former Wall Street Journal correspondent and a visiting scholar at Georgetown University, thought she needed to take a stand against the unwritten rule of the mosque. We talk with Nomani and her journey to her spiritual jihad.

Pearls on the Ocean Floor
Air date: June 29, 2010


The Iranian women artists featured in Robert Adanto’s new documentary Pearls on the Ocean Floor, come from a vibrant culture and speak with compelling boldness. Many of them are confronting the contradictions that arise when secular modernity collides with religious tradition.

Why The Prophet Muhammed Matters
Air date: May 12, 2010


Who was the Prophet Muhammed and how do Muslims remember him today: as a mystic, a revolutionary, or a military leader?

Air date: April 29, 2010


What is the meaning of Jihad in the Qur’an, in Islamic law, and inside Al Quaeda? How is it used in both the West (by Napoleon and Ronald Reagan) and the East? How terrorists use it to justify operating outside the law?

Islamic Feminism
Air date: April 8, 2010


Saudi Arabia’s recent plan to remove women from praying near the Ka’ba was scotched by a huge global outcry coming from Islamic feminists, even from inside Saudi Arabia, claiming gender discrimination that violates the Qur’anic principle of equality. What does Islamic feminism have to offer? Where does it come from and where is it going? Expect some surprising revelations and illuminations to come from this program.

Art of Qur’anic Recitation
Air date: March 11, 2010


Among Muslims, Qur’anic recitation is a highly advanced art form intended to move, inspire, engage, and transport all those who listen. What is the purpose of Qur’anic recitation? How does it relate to life in the 21st century? What’s your personal experience of hearing the Qur’an recited?

Islam and Science
Air date: February 18, 2010


What do algebra, algorithms, and eyeglasses have in common? All of them were developed by medieval Muslims. The Islamic empire was once at the forefront of scientific development. What caused the decline in modern times, and what have we overlooked? Can science be a place for interfaith dialogues?

The Bread of Angels
Air date: February 15, 2010


In 2004, 27-year-old Stephanie Saldana moved from Harvard Divinity School to Damascus, Syria, to study the role of the Prophet Jesus in Islam. At a time when the Iraq war towers over the presence of this young American woman in the Middle East and Syria faces serious political turmoil, she lived among war refugees, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and gradually worked her way to a deeper understanding of herself, her faith, and the possibility of true love.

Open Line
Air date: December 29, 2009


This interactive series on Muslim issues and ideas recently received a Brass Crescent Award. But we want to know what you think about it. Are we hitting the mark? Are your questions and concerns about Islam being addressed in this series? Join us for a mid-year open line with Inside Islam producers and advisors.

Reflecting on Fort Hood
Air date: November 23, 2009


As we try to make sense of the Fort Hood tragedy, how should we understand the Muslim faith of the alleged gunman, Nidal Hasan? We discuss our national and personal reactions with inter-faith expert and inter-cultural advocates.

The Hajj
Air date: November 19, 2009


One of the world’s longest-lived religious rites, the hajj to Mecca, is even older than Islam. It has been described as a universal journey for transcendence and peace, but will that change this year given the fear surrounding H1N1? What does it mean to 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide?

Jim Wallis: New Interfaith Visions
Air date: October 21, 2009


Muslims and Christians together comprise over half of the world’s population. A group of Muslim scholars and clerics recently sent an open letter to Christians around the world proposing a search for common ground to which a group of scholars at Yale’s Divinity School responded. Jim Wallis joins us to talk about this historic encounter and how we can move beyond a polite ecumenical dialogue to make peace between Christians and Muslims.

Sunni, Shia, or Just Muslim?
Air date: October 14, 2009


Does the Sunni/Shia conflict contribute to the image of Islam as a violent religion? How much does it account for the violence in Iraq? We look into the origins of the Sunni/Shia split, consider the bombing of the Shia shrine in Karbala, and talk with a Muslim scholar working on promote intrafaith harmony.

Ramadan: The Fast and the Feast
Air date: September 1, 2009; Rebroadcast: August 8, 2011


Why is fasting common to almost all faiths? Why do Muslims the world over look forward with joy to a month of fasting? What are the special challenges that American Muslims face? And what are the Ramadan specials that Arab Muslims are watching on satellite TV?

Muslims in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West
Air date: August 13, 2009


Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe has been called a how not-to book about immigration. P.J. O’Rourke says “Thanks to Caldwell’s careful reporting and keen analysis we know exactly what we shouldn’t do when new people move to our country.”

Instability in Iran
Air date: August 11, 2009


With his adversaries boycotting the ceremony, and thousands of riot police in the streets, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn into office for a second term last Wednesday. Meanwhile, a mass trial of more than 100 reformists is underway. Will the president be able to hold onto power? We will ask Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.

Aisha: Muhammad’s Youngest Wife
Air date: July 21, 2009


Kamran Pasha will join us for our next Inside Islam program to talk about his book, Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam. This novel tells the story of the rise of Islam through the eyes of Aisha, the Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife and one of the most influential women in Islamic history. As Mother of the Believers shows, Aisha is more than the controversy around her age; she was a teacher, political leader, a warrior, and, with her incredible memory, an invaluable source of information on all aspects of the Prophet Muhammad’s life.

Arab Bodies
Air date: July 9, 2009


The German poet Novalis once wrote that the only real temple in this world is the human body. If that is true, Joumana Haddad, who just launched Jasad magazine in Beirut (Jasad means Body in Arabic), is doing her best to restore the body to its rightful place, and raising a lot of eyebrows in the process.

Women in Iran: Raising the Roof
Air date: June 29, 2009


Having grown up female in Iran just prior to the 1979 Revolution, Nahid Rachlin knows a thing or two about social unrest, Iranian politics and what the experience of both are like for women. Author of the memoir Persian Girls and a professor at the New School University, Nahid Rachlin joins us to provide context and insight into the current Iranian controversy.

The Compelling Moment
Air date: June 25, 2009


Richard Harwood of the Harwood Institute for Innovation has a knack for reading a crisis as an opportunity. He calls this “The Compelling Moment,” citing what is going on in Tehran, Detroit, and elsewhere in these worst of times and best of times.

Obama’s Stance on Iran
Air date: June 22, 2009


Iranians are taking to the street to contest the results of their recent election. Leaders around the world are speaking up in support of the protesters. Obama, however, seems to be laying low. We discuss the pros and cons of cautious diplomacy with Iran and why Twitter is popping up in stories about Iranian protesters.

Travel as a Political Act
Air date: June 11, 2009


They say the world is shrinking, so what can we do to feel more comfortable with our neighbors? Travel! Acclaimed travel writer Rick Steves’ new book argues that we can’t understand our world without experiencing it. Travel as a Political Act will teach us all what it means to travel with our place in the world in mind.

Reaching Out to the Muslim World (Part 2)
Air date: June 8, 2009


Since his days on the campaign trail, President Obama promised a speech to the Muslim World to define US policy and change perceptions of America. Did his speech in Cairo succeed? We analyze Obama’s speech and look at the international reaction as we talk with Prof. Uli Schamiloglu, Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Taqwacores: Muslim Punk Rock
Air date: May 21, 2009


Michael Muhammad Knight, an Irish Catholic who converted to Islam, is considered a heretic by many American Muslims for having written the Taqwacores, a novel about a group of Muslim punk-rockers, as fiercely independent as they are devout. The book went viral and inspired a movement.

How to Win a Cosmic War
Air date: May 13, 2009


In his new book How to Win A Cosmic War, Reza Aslan recommends that we strip the religious rhetoric out of the war on terror and focus instead on the war we can win: the battle for the minds and hearts of young Muslim men.

What a Billion Muslims Really Think
Air date: April 14, 2009


Dalia Mogahed, the Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, came to Madison as a guest of the Lubar Instittute for Abrahamic Studies to talk about the findings of Gallup’s unprecedented survey of Muslims worldwide.

Being Gay and Muslim
Air date: April 9, 2009


Writer, blogger and director Parvez Sharma is openly gay. He also identifies as a Muslim. In producing his latest documentary, A Jihad for Love, he interviewed gay and lesbian Muslims all over the world. A Jihad for Love played in Madison as part of the Inside Islam series within the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival.

Talking to Noam Chomsky
Air date: April 7, 2009


“If the Nuremburg laws were applied, then every post World War American president would have been hanged.” Noam Chomsky said that. He paid Here on Earth a visit during his stay on the UW-Madison campus.

Engaging the Muslim World
Air date: April 1, 2009


Can we win the war in Afghanistan? How do we engage with Iran and Pakistan? Western society, according to celebrated blogger Juan Cole, is suffering from Islam Anxiety, a hangover from the Bush years and a product of fearmongering and misinformation. He reveals how we can repair the damage of the last eight years and forge a path of peace and prosperity with the Middle East.

Football Under Cover
Air date: March 30, 2009


The barriers for women’s sports are high in Iran. While practicing and playing, the women’s soccer league must wear headscarves at all times and men are not allowed to watch the women play. Nevertheless, they managed to compete against a German team in an historic match which was captured on film. Football Under Cover played in Madison as part of the Inside Islam series within the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival.

Eco-Islam: The Greening of the Muslim World
Air date: March 26, 2009


E.O. Wilson in the introduction to his latest book, The Creation, urged the leaders of all world religions to put the environment on the top of their agendas. Muslim theologians and clerics are responding in kind, developing Islamic guidelines and initiatives based on their reading of the Koran and an ancient Islamic environmental ethic that began in the Arabian desert.

Inside Pakistan: Real Lives, Real People
Air date: March 5, 2009


Author Daniyal Mueenuddin and UW-Madison Professor Venkat Mani joined us on this show on real life in Pakistan. In his brilliant debut collection of short stories, Mueendiddin took us behind the headlines and across class lines into intimate encounters with real Pakistanis, rich and poor, highborn and low, trapped in a crumbling feudal system, torn between tradition and modernity.

Daughters of Shame
Air date: March 3, 2009


Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of Karma Nirvana, author of Shame and Daughters of Shame, helps women escape from forced marriages and honor-based violence.

Honeymoon in Tehran
Air date: February 26, 2009


For a tale of love and anguish in the Islamic Republic that is part memoir/part investigative journalism brimming with political insights, join us with Time magazine correspondent Azadeh Moaveni, the author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran.

Love and Dating in the Muslim World: True Stories of Finding Love
Air date: February 18, 2009


Shelina Janmohamed, author of the chic lit memoir Love in a Headscarf said, “If you want to tell a universal story, the best story to tell is the story of love.” We aired juicy snippets of love stories from Muslims living in Madison, WI, and talked with Shelina Janmohamed and Navid Akhtar, the producer of the BBC series, “Modern Muslim Marriage.”

Muslim Next Door
Air date: February 12, 2009


Although Americans hear about Islam on a daily basis, there remains no clear explanation of Islam or its people. Jean Feraca talks to a scholar of Islamic law about growing up in California and balancing her South Asian, Muslim, and American identities.

Hidden Lives: The Women of Kandahar
Air date: February 5, 2009


To westerners, the lives of most Afghan women are shrouded in mystery. To find out what life is like behind the doors of the women’s quarters, in all its richness and its poverty, join us for Hidden Lives: The Women of Kandahar.

Halal Food: What Muslims Eat
Air date: January 30, 2009 (encore)


You’ve heard of kosher meat, but do you know Halal Meat? This hour on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, Jean Feraca talks with a Muslim woman, the creator of “Faith in Place,” a Chicago-based food cooperative that specializes in everything halal.

Reaching Out to the Muslim World
Air Date: January 22, 2009


Can Barack Obama’s administration reach out and create real change in the Muslim world? Uli Schamiloglu, Abdulkader Sinno, Zeyno Baran, and Hady Amr joined host Jean Feraca for a frank, informal discussion about President Obama’s Inaugural address and his promise to the Muslim world to create a common vision for peace and “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

Al America
Air date: December 10, 2008


After a rough election season for American Arabs and Muslims, Jonathan Curiel of the San Francisco Chronicle has an antidote. In his book, Al America, he traces the roots of Islamic influence in quintessential Americana, from the Alamo, to the French Quarter, to the Mississippi Delta.

Women and Sharia
Air Date: December 4, 2008


Reports of young girls killed in the name of sharia led host Jean Feraca to ask, “Who speaks for Muslim women?” Asifa Quraishi, Amna Butar, and Norhayati joined the show to help answer this question. According to their reports and others from countries around the world, Muslim women themselves are speaking out against past abuse and creating positive change as activists, intellectuals, and politicians.

Mumbai’s 9/11
Air date: December 3, 2008


With the city of Mumbai in mourning over the November 2008 attacks, attention turned to finding those responsible. The accusations are flying between India and Pakistan. Can the countries heal wounds and find a solution, or is war inevitable?

Al Qaeda Insults Obama
Air date: November 26, 2008


Last week al Zawari, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, issued a blunt personal attack against President-Elect Obama, calling him a House Negro and a traitor to his race, and comparing him unfavorably with Malcolm X, the 1960’s black Muslim leader. Malcolm X’s followers are fighting back. Join us to unpack Al Quaeda’s message.

Closing Guantanamo Bay
Air date: November 24, 2008


In his first televised appearance since the election, President-Elect Obama told CBS 60 Minutes that he intends to close Guantanamo Bay prison and end the practice of torture. It turns out that it is not going to be so easy. There are 50 inmates at Guantanamo, some of them violent extremists. We explore Obama’s options and look into the success rate of Islamist rehabilitation programs with Christopher Boucek in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Foundation.

Young Muslims and New Media
Air Date: October 29, 2008


Host Jean Feraca explored what The New York Times described as a growing movement of young people trying to change the face of Islam with new media. Reza Aslan, Baba Ali, and Hana Rahman joined Jean to offer their own perspectives on the digital revolution in the Muslim world.

Alaa al Aswany’s Chicago
Air date: October 23, 2008


He is called the Sinbad of Literature and his latest novel is set on a college campus in post 9/11 Chicago where Egyptian and American lives, Arab traditions and American mores collide. Jean Feraca talks with Alaa al Aswany, one of the best-selling authors of the Arab world.

Creationism Goes Global
Air date: October 6, 2008


Is creationism contagious? For years, this peculiarly American movement seemed to be contained within our borders. But in the last several years, creationism had become a global phenomenon, as readily exportable as hip-hop and bluejeans. Science historian Ron Numbers joined us along with WPR’s Steve Paulson who just returned from a trip to Turkey, one of the countries where creationism is taking hold.

The Paradox of Modern Iran
Air date: September 30, 2008


Hooman Majd, born in Tehran and grandson of an ayatollah, serves as translator for Iranian president Ahmadinejad. He unravels the conundrums of his native country in his book The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.

Heavy Metal Islam
Air Date: September 25, 2008


Scholar Mark LeVine and director Saroosh Alvi joined Jean Feraca to discuss Muslim youth and heavy metal. Playing in concerts throughout the Middle East, heavy metal bands express their frustration with religious traditions and ongoing violent conflict through music. Metal heads represent Islam today just as much as their peers praying in a mosque, studying at the madrassa, or even training to be al-Qaeda extremists.

Inside Islam
Air date: September 19, 2008


In the spirit of Ramadan, we fasted this Friday. Instead of our usual food feast, we broke our tradition to offer you something even more enticing: an invitation to join us in producing our exciting new media series on Muslims and Islam.

Being Young and Arab in America
Air date: September 15, 2008


How does it feel to be a problem? W.E.B. Du Bois first posed this question in his classic, The Souls of Black Folk, and now, over a century later, Moustafa Bayoumi explores the same question through the first-hand accounts of seven young Arab and Muslim Americans.

To Choose or Not to Choose
Air date: August 26, 2008


Sadia Shepherd grew up in Boston, the daughter of a Protestant father from Colorado and a Muslim mother from Pakistan. Then, when she found out that her grandmother was actually Jewish, the descendent of a community thought to be one of the lost tribes of Israel shipwrecked in India, things really got complicated. So let’s see, that makes her a Jewish Christian Muslim Hindu, right? Her parents tell her, “You choose.”

Sex and Saudi
Air date: August 21, 2008


Refered to as the Saudi “Sex and City,” a novel about four upper-class Sunni Muslim women caused a furor in the Middle East. This hour on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, Jean Feraca talks to the author of the novel.

Salman Rushdie
Air date: July 10, 2008


In Salman Rushdie’s latest wild and whirling novel, The Enchantress of Florence, a refugee from Florence ends up in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar: A Muslim vegetarian, a warrior who wants only peace, a philosopher king and the first great Indian secularist. Jean Feraca talks with Salman Rushdie this hour on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders.

Muhaja Babes: Meet the New Middle East
Air date: July 7, 2008


Vying with bearded Hizbollah commanders for the hearts and minds of Middle Eastern youth is a well-funded and altogether better looking army: a gang of half naked girls. Can the clash between conservative Islam and porno devils produce a third way in the Arab world? Jean Feraca talks with the author of Muhajababes.

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Last updated on April 29, 2010