Episode 45, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube
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Sarah Haider is an activist, an immigrant, an essayist, and the co-founder of Ex-Muslims Of North America. During our conversation, Sarah talks about her journey to the U.S. from Pakistan, Western values, the Salman Rushdie fatwa, Charlie Hebdo, freedom of speech in the Muslim world, the life and example of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the safety of Muslims who leave their religion, feminism and Islam, and the lack of legal equality for women in many Muslim countries.
Sarah is committed to providing space and a community to former Muslims who have decided to leave their religion - many of whom fear for their safety and have nowhere else to turn. I admire her commitment to her own conscience, in deciding to go her own way, in creating her organization, in honoring, recognizing, and appreciating her own freedom, and in openly telling the truth - including criticizing Islam - despite its risks.
She is a living testament to why our civilization matters, to the rights it bestows to all citizens, to the progress we have made, and to the hope America represents to the oppressed around the world. She is a reminder of our sacred inheritance.
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(02:32) Life in Karachi, Pakistan
(05:25) Life in Pakistan vs. America
(08:41) The path to atheism
(14:53) Breaking out of the belief in God
(18:50) Belief in God before becoming an atheist
(25:00) The history and foundation of Islam
(29:08) What is meant by apostasy?
(38:28) Taboos and censorship as a means to protect weak arguments
(39:01) The decision to become an activist
(43:51) Stories of people inflicting violence against those critical of Islam
(49:21) The resistance to changing Islamic beliefs
(59:15) Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and aggression toward women in Muslim societies
(01:05:54) Empowering Muslim females to fight for their rights