-- It all started with a joke.
Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh met on a book tour for “Love, InshAllah,” a collection of stories by American Muslim women to which they contributed, and launched a running joke afterward on Twitter.
“We started going back and forth, and we’d make fun of, you know, burka-bikinis, ‘Next time, on the Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast,’” said Ahmed. “And our followers were like, ‘Where do we hear this podcast?’”
Ahmed, an activist and writer, and Noorbakhsh, a comedian and writer, decided to give their fans what they wanted. The monthly “#GoodMuslimBadMuslim” podcast launched in 2015. The two have since been featured on NPR, Buzzfeed, Fusion, The New York Times and have gained thousands of fans with their honest and unfiltered take on the highly complicated yet incredibly average issues faced by American Muslim women.
“I have ‘fatwa’d’ the use of the word ‘community.’ I’m sick of it,” said Noorbakhsh. “I have talked to so many bigoted, conservative Muslims, Republican Muslims, Muslims who don’t believe in reproductive rights, who don’t believe in queer rights. That’s not my community. I don’t connect with them.”
“I think a big part of being the person that creates the media and gets attacked all the time, is to not read the hateful comments,” said Ahmed. “I don’t think they’re listening. They’re definitely not listening to our podcast … So I don’t hear it.”
Check out the full conversation on this week’s episode of “Uncomfortable.”
Ahmed and Noorbakhsh were interviewed as part of a series called “Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.