Muslim minorities in English-speaking societies have been on the forefront of global political discourse. Their challenges, struggles and complexities are known to any Muslim seeking to find their place in the contemporary world. Whether it through political, social or intellectual pressures, Muslims constantly find themselves questioning and balancing multiple identities.
The research reflects this complex clearly. According to a 2017 PEW Research study, 24% of American-born Muslims no longer identify with their faith. Similarly, studies by Yaqeen Institute demonstrate clear impacts of Islamophobia, particularly on Muslim women expressing their religious identity. One thing is for sure; the site of Muslim identity construction is deeply contested – reconciling between Muslim-ness and a plethora of other identities is no easy task.
Enter Toledo Society. Toledo Society is a network of podcasts for a new generation of English-speaking Muslims. We aim to produce quality, immersive content aiming to reinvigorate a rich Muslim identity; not only informed of the realities of the world, but also confident enough to face them. We strive to provoke excellence, creativity and most of all, authenticity within the Muslim today.
So you might ask; why podcasts?
Podcast adoption is growing exponentially. And for good reason. Not only is it a convenient way to explore new ideas, but it is an ecosystem that allows for deep engagement with personalities and topics you wouldn’t otherwise have the time to engage with.
There is a plethora of shows in the pipeline that will talk to a young and spirited audience. Our first show is ‘The Transit Lounge’, where our host Mohamad Zaoud tracks the journeys of people who have had a considerable impact on the Muslim World – whether they be community heroes, founders of businesses with high social impact or influential academics.
Toledo is led by a team of seasoned media professionals. Moeed Ahmad, Hisham Krayem and Mohamad Zaoud – all highly experienced in driving innovation and growth in modern media networks such as Al Jazeera and TRT World, bring a host of experiences and insight in making sure our content addresses people where they need it most.
The Transit Lounge is now available on all major podcast apps, and our first episode airs on October 9th with Professor John Esposito.