Don't Label Me
An Upper, a Downer, and a Mother
* “… Mumtaz read from the Qur’an to bless my union with Laura.”
Source and note: Speech at the wedding of Irshad Manji and Laura Albano, May 7, 2016. As you’ll hear, my mother based her blessing on Qur’an 6:116.
The Unexpected Rebel
* “‘Religion for me really came later,’ she says…”
Source: In this chapter, all quotations attributed to Mumtaz are taken from a series of interviews conducted with her over May-September 2017. Romy Ashby, the interviewer, turned these conversations into an issue of her New York City zine, Housedeer.
Note: In this chapter, all quotations attributed to Mumtaz are taken from a series of interviews conducted with her over May-September 2017. Romy Ashby, the interviewer, turned these conversations into an issue of her New York City zine, Housedeer.
* “For the time being, I remained holed up in the ranch of self-deception, fully confident that she, not me, is the reason for our ruptured relationship.”
Note: According to software engineer Kevin Simler and economics professor Robin Hanson, humans are made for self-deception. Almost literally. “We, human beings,” they write, “are a species that’s not only capable of acting on hidden motives — we’re designed to do it. Our brains are built to act in our self-interest while at the same time trying hard not to appear selfish in front of other people. And in order to throw them off the trail, our brains often keep ‘us,’ our conscious minds, in the dark. The less we know of our own ugly motives, the easier it si to hide them from others.”
Read their nakedly honest book, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
* “Did I stop doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result — the definition of insanity coined by Narcotics Anonymous?”
Source and note: See this scan of Narcotics Anonymous literature.
Read, too, a great story of how someone tried to find the original source of this much-misattributed quote.
* “Was I faithful to the prophet Muhammad’s assessment that the best of us address our anger issues?”
Sources and note: Here, here and here.
Full disclosure: I, myself, don’t believe the “hadiths” — the reported sayings and deeds of the prophet. However, I was speaking to my mother, who does believe them. In that context, it made sense for me to cite at least one hadith that I thought could help her.
Can Words Be Violence?
* “According to neuroscience, you’re onto something. Words and images can do violence.”
Source: Lisa Feldman Barrett, “When Is Speech Violence?” The New York Times, July 14, 2017.
* “‘Not so fast,’ Brie Loskota warns.”
Source: Brie Loskota, executive director of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, interviewed by me, Los Angeles, California, November 20, 2017.
* Note: The inspiration for this chapter came from the Arbinger Institute’s influential classic, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010).
Lily in the Field: Wake-Up Call
There are no sources or notes for this chapter.