If you haven’t read it yet or heard about it yet, there’s an excellent book by Ayesha Chaudhry that just came out called The Colour of God. I had the complete joy of interviewing her for it for the New Books Network. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that I could connect so wholly with. It’s relatable in so many ways, and it was such a necessary read for me at a time when I’m working on healing from so much that’s happening in my short life. If you’re a Brown girl, Muslim, immigrant, religious person, a feminist, anti-white supremacy (or anti supremacy of any kind), justice-loving person, this book will speak to you. It’s so real, so unapologetic, packed with wisdom and brilliant insights on every page, answers to questions about how to live a feminist life, how to live a religious life.
I’m pasting here the description of the book I wrote for the website I do the podcast with. I hope you all enjoy the interview!
In today’s episode, we speak with Ayesha Chaudhry about her new book, The Colour of God (Oneworld Publications, 2021). The book describes Chaudhry’s personal, spiritual, and professional journey as she navigates her life as a South Asian immigrant Muslim girl raised in Canada. Rich in its analysis of its major themes – such as patriarchy, religion, colonialism, Islamophobia, the family, grief – it pushes us to think more deeply about the choices we make in response to various traumas, such as death or the violence of racism. Readers will appreciate the unapologetic rawness, its very personal but also academic nature, the ways Chaudhry weaves Islamic and Qur’anic themes and narratives into her own. Written in an accessible and engaging way, the book will interest academics and non-academics; it will make for an excellent read for both undergraduate and graduate courses in Women’s and Gender Studies, English courses, Islamic and Religious Studies courses, any courses on Migration, and Theory and Methods Courses, among many others. Chaudhry’s ownership and embrace of an Islam that values her humanity and her opposition to the oppressive, patriarchal Islam that she grew up with makes it an essential read for those seeking an Islam rooted in compassion and love.
In our discussion, Chaudhry shares the origins of the book and its usefulness as a teaching resource. We also talk about puritan Islam and the toll it takes on our humanity and the intersection of patriarchy and Islamophobia, highlighting the complexity of telling a story parts of which may fulfil stereotypes about Muslims and the negotiation that the process of telling such a story entails. Chaudhry also shares her ideas on who the intended audience of the book is and her relationship with that audience, the advice she would give to others interested in writing in this genre, and so much more.
Link to the interview: https://newbooksnetwork.com/the-colour-of-god (you can also listen to it on any podcast app).