Editor’s Picks

Co-editor David McConeghy recommends Ben Marcus‘ interview with Asma Uddin from season nine, “When Islam Is Not a Religion.” 

Asma Uddin explains why the American legal system treats Muslims differently. In her work Uddin examines who controls the decisions about what's religious or political, and in this episode we hear about what happens to American Muslims when our courts say that Islam is not a religion.

Asma Uddin is the author of When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America's Fight for Religious Freedom. In this book, Uddin examines an alarming trend to redefine Islam as a political ideology, not a religion. In our conversation, we track the history of this movement to redefine Islam and its implications for the rights of Muslims. We discuss the widespread presumption among American progressives that courts tend to protect religious freedom for Christians, but not for Muslims, and we examine particular stories that support and problematize that narrative. In particular, Uddin provides vivid examples of how American courts have reacted to arguments that Islam is not a religion.