Mommying and Podcasting with Uzma Jafri

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This week we chat with Uzma Jafri, unapologetically Muslim podcaster, physician, and mother of four. Hosted by Uzma and her "second-generation friend," Zaiba, with the fellow first-born problem of having a lot to say, Mommying While Muslim is a weekly podcast about the challenges and opportunities encountered by Muslims raising kids in the United States. Started after Zaiba’s 14 year old was detained by airport security and online resources for advice were scarce, the moms address “the good, the bad, and the ugly of [Muslims] growing up pre-9/11, and then the good, the bad, and the really ugly that happened post-9/11.” They also cover bullying, prejudice, and feeling safe despite anti-Muslim hatred and negative portrayals of Islam, to inform the continual influx of American Muslim immigrants, among others.

Naturally, we discuss podcasting—especially as it pertains to American Muslims—and their means of generating social change. The lack of realistic looks at religious and cultural practices like fasting and resources for non-religious Muslims is lamented. While her podcast resonates with other moms, it has also attracted a huge contingent of evangelical men, evidently; Uzma points to that universal attention that being a mom commands.

Despite the fact that she proudly grew up in Houston and lives with her four American-born kids in Phoenix, Uzma didn’t realize she was American until age 35. She reveals her dad’s insistence that she was only Pakistani Muslim growing up, and Asad and her swap stories of “regular” things they weren’t allowed to do as kids. This leads to a discussion of experiences with sexual abuse, how no profession or attire is safe, and the threat it poses to her sons as much as her daughter. Discursions entail how everything we learned in the '80s was probably wrong and what to convey when your identity attracts attention.

Check out the Mommying While Muslim podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow along on Instagram @mommyingwhilemuslimpodcast and Twitter @MWMPodcasting. Also find Uzma’s quips on culture, medicine, and politics on Twitter @ujafri24.
American Muslim Project is a production of Rifelion, LLC.
Writer and Researcher: Lindsy Gamble
Show Edited by Mark Annotto and Asad Butt
Music by Simon Hutchinson
Hosted by Asad Butt

42 episodes