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An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,241

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. Iona Italia is an Author and Translator, and a Sub-Editor for Areo Magazine, and Host of Two for Tea. She discusses: personal background, and ethnicity and religion; Zoroastrianism; approximate global population; outside of Bombay; Ph.D. from Cambridge; reclusive caves of doctoral students; and 1694 and the Scottish Enlightenment.

Keywords: Areo Magazine, Iona Italia, Parsi, Zoroastrianism.

An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism: Host, Two for Tea & Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is personal background for you? How is ethnicity and religion intertwined in this backdrop?

Dr. Iona Italia: Parsi is the ethnicity. Zoroastrianism is the religion. It is ethnic religion. You cannot convert to Zoroastrianism. Your father must have been Parsi – it is patrilineal – for you to be Parsi and Zoroastrian. You can, obviously, also be Parsi and be an atheist, but you cannot be Zoroastrian. Unless you are Parsi.

The requirements are that your father was Parsi. It doesn’t matter whether or not your father was an atheist, but the requirements are that your father was Parsi and that you have had an initiation ceremony which we call the Navjote, which literally means “new flame” and which is usually performed in the ancestral homeland of Iran at around age 15, 16, but now in India, usually between ages 8 and 12.

I had it done originally in Karachi at age 8. You can have it done at any time in life. There is a famous example of someone who had his Navjote at age 70.

Once you have had your Navjote, if you are Parsi and you have had your Navjote, then you are a Zoroastrian and at that point, you can enter the Agiary. Obviously, you can enter to have your actual Navjote, but until the ceremony is done, you cannot otherwise enter the Agiary, which is the fire temple. We have a ritual garment. It is called the Sudreh Kusti. It is a cotton “wife-beater,” I rather irreverently call it, with a string belt.

The main worship that we do involves going to the Agiary, and then there is a ritual you follow with handwashing and various things. You wear this Sudreh Kusti and you undo the belt and you re-tie it, and as you re-tie it, you recite certain prayers. There are a few little gestures that go along with it, as well.

You tie and then you take off your shoes, you go inside, and there are a few other little gestures like touching the painting of Zoroaster, which we always have in the Agiary, and going into the place where the actual fire is, saying a small prayer at the fire, and putting a little bit of ash on your forehead. That is the main mode of worship. This is probably way more information than you need.

It is not like church, where there is a service. We do have a few servicey-style things, but mostly you go in and it is like visiting a shrine. You go in, you say your prayers, and you sit for a while, if you feel like it, or not, and you leave.

Zoroastrianism was the ancestral religion of Iran until the Islamization of Iran in the 8th century. When Islam arrived in Iran and everyone was converted by the sword, a group of Zoroastrians, so legend has it, got into a boat and fled to India to the Gujarat coast, where they settled. They agreed that they would follow the Indian customs, wear the Indian clothes, eat Indian food and have weddings after sunset, which is a Hindu thing – if they could follow their religion. The Parsis are mostly settled in India now, for more than a millennium, and mostly in Bombay. That is a little tale, maybe rather too long an answer about Parsis and Zoroastrianism.

2. Jacobsen: When was Zoroastrianism originated? What’s the – if known – definitive point?

Italia: It is not known. It probably predates Judaism. Whether or not it predates Hinduism is unknown, it is one of the oldest world religions.

3. Jacobsen: What is the approximate global population at this point, in terms of the Zoroastrian diaspora?

Italia: It depends if you count Iranians as ancestral Zoroastrians, as some people do. I said that you cannot convert, but there is an exception, which is if you are Iranian, so some people are attempting to revive this in Iran, which is why Armin [Navabi] wanted to talk to me. [Please note: Armin and I discussed this here, https://soundcloud.com/user-761174326/episode-028-armin-navabi-the-battle-for-iran, from around the 32–53 minute marks).]

If you do not count that, then the population is small. We have always been a tiny, tiny minority. We have always been a small group. Probably in the 8th century when the Parsis arrived, there were probably only 4,000, 5,000. I think now there is around 100,000. Half are in India, and the other half are in the diaspora.

4. Jacobsen: Outside of Bombay, where else do you find those who have that form of ethnic/religious background?

Italia: The majority are in Bombay. There are a few scattered around elsewhere in India. Then there are some small diaspora communities in London, I know there is one in Toronto, and, for example, there is a small community in Texas. There is one in upstate New York, which I have visited. I have been to the temple in upstate New York. That is the only diaspora community that I visited, in fact.

5. Jacobsen: In the UK, when you did your Ph.D. in Cambridge, did you happen to meet some of the diaspora there, as well?

Italia: No. I did not meet anybody in Cambridge, no Parsis. [Please note that I met many other people!]

6. Jacobsen: Is part of that a consequence of being in the reclusive caves that doctoral students put themselves in when they are doing their research and their work?

Italia: I was, at that stage, not interested in exploring that side of my heritage. My parents died when I was young. My father died in 1980. After I came to the UK, and my parents died, I was 11 at this stage, and I went to boarding school. I had a complete break from that entire side of my family. I grew up with no Indian relatives, with no Parsi relatives.

I was at boarding school. In the holidays, I spent time with my much older sister. She was 19 years old, my half-sister on my mother’s side, who I did not consciously meet until that stage, and with a few aunts, and a few times with non-relatives also assigned by the state. I left that entire culture behind at that stage. I rediscovered it much, much later.

7. Jacobsen: What was your doctorate question or research? What was the answer or the findings?

Italia: I did my doctorate in English literature, so we do not have a question, like that. I do not know if that is a social sciences thing.

I did my undergraduate degree in English literature. I did my Ph.D. on 18th-century periodical essays. I began my writing on women writers from the period, so I looked at five journalists. Then I later, after I finished my Ph.D., expanded it into a book. I looked at ten journalists for the book. I had them all in sexed pairs, so there were one man and one woman in each, as the feature of each chapter.

Journalism as we know it began in the 1690s, in 1694. Before that there were broadsides and pamphlets that were issued in response to specific events, so they were like one-off flyers. What we would think of as a periodical, is a regular publication, those began coming out in 1694. I will not go into the whole history.

There was a reason for the specific date. The things that I was interested in were not news reporting. They were essay periodicals, as they were called. Later, I also looked at magazines, which were basically social and political commentary. The writers that I looked at approached that in an especially witty way. They usually had pseudonyms. They invented backstories for themselves. They wrote in the voices of these sometimes ludicrous figures.

One of them, for example, wrote as “Miss Mary Singleton, Spinster.” They wrote about how they conceived of their role as social and political commentators, which was a new role at that time.

At first, my approach was more of a feminist approach, so I was interested in women writers. Four of them women and one was probably a woman. We cannot tell because men did often write under female pseudonyms, too, in this period. Women writers negotiated that and represented themselves. [This doesn’t make sense—maybe the tape is unclear? I’d leave it out.] Later, I was more interested in, in general, how writers saw their role during this period when journalism was beginning.

I looked at the period in London from 1694 up to 1770. It is in London, the main chunk of the Enlightenment period in the UK, in England. The Scottish Enlightenment got going a little later towards the end of the period. This is the core period of the English Enlightenment.

8. Jacobsen: Two questions: Why 1694? Why did the Scottish Enlightenment take a little bit longer to get online?

Italia: 1694 was the lapse of the licensing act, which meant that the government was no longer pre-censoring printed material. Up until 1694, you could not publish things without having them first pass the government censors. That made it impossible to run a newspaper. That was one thing.

The other thing was some major technological innovations that made it possible to print off more copies of one thing at once. If you’re printing a book, then it doesn’t matter so much if it takes you six months to print off 500 copies because the book is not going to go out of date, but you cannot run a newspaper that way. You must be able to print enough copies at once.

There were technological innovations. Also, before the licensing act lapsed, the government had control of all printing presses, as well. If you wanted to print something, you had to get it past the censors and then get the government to print it on their press. Once that ceased to be the case, people started buying their own presses. Then they were able to create their own journals.

As for the Scottish Enlightenment, I do not know that it took longer to get going, as such. It is that these things tend to be virtuous circles, where you have people who are influential, and they encourage others. Then you get a burgeoning group of thinkers and writers. A similar thing happened, for example, with the Lunar Men in Derby in the 1760s.

That is what happened in Scotland, in Edinburgh, and in Aberdeen from about the 1770s onwards. There were some Scottish people also involved in the English Enlightenment, but who were based in London. I am talking about a Scotland-based Enlightenment when I talk about the Scottish Enlightenment.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Host, Two for Tea; Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

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© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,156

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ is an Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He discusses: IQ gains as not necessarily g, or general intelligence, gains; racial differences and definitions in intelligence research; and ethnic groupings, species, and getting to the roots of the research regardless.

Keywords: ethnicity, g, general intelligence, intelligence, IQ, James Flynn, morals, political studies, race.

An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence: Emeritus Professor, Political Studies, University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand (Part Two)[1],[2],[3]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Why are IQ gains not g gains, that is, general intelligence gains?

Professor James Flynn: Simply because IQ gains over time have occurred on all IQ subtests and have not been greater on those subtests that are of the greatest cognitive complexity. However, I do not think that the fact that IQ gains fail to particularly load on g (or cognitive complexity) is a reason to discount their significance. IQ gains on subtests like vocabulary (among adults), matrices, block design, classification, should be very important even if gains are equivalent on other less demanding subtests like digit span, which mainly tests rote memory.

G has an appeal as a concept of intelligence. It shows that individuals who do well on IQ tests beat the average person more and more as problems become more cognitively complex. If you and I were to sit down and say, “What would be one of the characteristics of intelligence?”, we would probably reply, “The person who is intelligent can beat the average person more on complex problems than easy problems,” wouldn’t we?

This mistakenly leads to the conclusion that IQ gains are not really “intelligence” gains and must lack significance. I am not going to get into defining intelligence, but certainly gains on vocabulary are highly socially significant no matter what has happened to other cognitive skills. If you really want to see why IQ gains have not been as significant as they might be, you would do better to focus on the fact that universities are doing such a bad job of educating.

I have a book coming out this year, in September, called In Defence of Free Speech: The University as Censor. At present, universities spend as much time censoring as teaching. Anyone who has unpopular views on race or gender or practically anything is banned: they can’t speak on campus, they are not read, they are derided ignorantly.

In my book, I detail all the things I learned, precisely because I read Jensen, and Murray, and Lynn, and Eysenck. It is wonderful when you encounter a highly intelligent, highly educated opponent, who takes a point of view contrary to your own. You must reassess your arguments. You often find that you have been simplistic, and that arguing with these opponents teaches you ten times as much as you knew when you were naive.

Let us go back to our friend, g. The is overwhelming evidence that cognitive abilities, even when taken individually, are significant. This is true of individual skill in all areas. If we studied drivers in New York, or in Boston, some would be better drivers and some worse drivers. We could rank driving tasks in terms of complexity. We would probably find a “g pattern: that the better drivers bested the average person the more as the complexity of skills rose. I am sure that the better and the worst drivers would not differ much on the simple task of turning on the ignition. But note that the presence or absence of the g pattern would tell us nothing about the causes at work, not even as often thought whether the causes were environmental or genetic

For ordinary city driving, the better drivers would start to forge ahead of the worse ones. This would become more pronounced if you looked at driving around the cities on beltways: that is one of the first things elderly people give up. There are so many cars coming in so many directions and changing lanes. Many elderly people who still drive will not do beltway driving. The better group would be much better at it. Finally, there is the question of parallel parking, which is the part of the driving test most people fear. The better group might better the average person most of all on that.

When we look at these two groups, how useful would it be to derive a g factor? It would be disastrous to assume that since g is influenced by genes the better drivers were somehow a genetic elite. G would tell you nothing about causes. For example, you may discover that the people who are the worst drivers are new arrivals in New York City who have had no experience in beltway driving. You also find that in their town, you just drove into a parking space and didn’t have to know how to come in on a parallel park.

On the other hand, we might find that none of this is true. We might find that they were equally experienced, and then we would say to ourselves, “I bet there is a genetic factor. Perhaps some of these people are better at spatial visualization. Perhaps some of them are better at information processing. Perhaps some of them are better at manual dexterity.” Our minds would go in the direction of skill influence by genes. But it would depend on the case. You must approach each case with fresh eyes, and not be hypnotized by g.

I am quite sure that any two groups can be differentiated by genetic factors, and that this would affect performance. For example, if one group was a lot taller than another, it would affect their basketball performance. But you must take these cases one by one.

I looked at black/white IQ differences in Germany. Blacks in America fall further behind whites the more cognitively complex the task, which leads some to infer that they are lower on g and are genetically inferior. But then you study Eyferth’s children in Germany. These were half-black and all-white children left behind by black and white Ameican servicemen in post-war Germany. The g pattern had disappeared. There was no tendency whatsoever for the half-black kids to fall behind more and more as you go up the complexity ladder.

That seems to imply that this group difference has something to do with culture. The first thing that comes to your mind is that these half-black kids were raised by white German women. There was no real black subculture in Germany after World War II. The black subculture element is totally absent. Then you go to someone like Elsie Moore.

She did a wonderful study in the 1980s. No-one, of course, will repeat it again because of political correctness. She had, as I recall, it was something like 40 kids – or maybe it was 48, that sounds more like it – all of who were black. Half of them were adopted by black parents of high SES and half of whom were adopted by white parents of high SES. At the age of eight and a half, the black kids adopted by white parents of high SES were 13 points ahead of the black kids adopted by black parents.

Elsie Moore called the mothers and kids in. She found that white mothers were universally positive. “That is a good idea. Why don’t we try this?” The black children came in with their black foster mothers. The mother was negative. “You are not that stupid. You know better than that.”

It became quite clear that even though both sets of families had elite SES, there was something in black subculture that found it unwelcome to confront complex cognitive problems. Once again, by the age of eight and a half, the black children adopted by whites of high education and SES were 13 points above the blacks adopted by blacks

You can say, “Is that evidence enough?” It is not enough, of course, but it does tie in with the German data. There, black subculture was absent, and the g effect was absent. In America, black subculture is thriving. Even the black children being raised by white parents, as they grew up, would tend to merge into the black teenage subculture, the “shopping mall” subculture.

My main point is that we must approach all this with an open mind. I am not saying that Jensen’s concept of g does not pose interesting questions. It does, but it cannot be taken as an automatic piece of litmus paper as to when one group is genetically privileged over another. Both options must be open.

I think that a genetically influenced g effect occurs between individuals. I think that when you have sexual reproduction, the higher cognitive abilities are more at risk of “damage” than the lower ones. You can imagine that would be true. You have two siblings. If one had bad luck, he will have more deleterious recessive genes paired. This may damage complex cognitive skills more than less complex ones. The bad luck twin will probably be below his brother more on Raven’s than on rote memory. I published this opinion recently and Woodley took notice of it. Do you know who Woodley is?

Jacobsen: I have heard that name before, but that is about all.

Flynn: He’s a very prolific British researcher, very good indeed. I supplemented my remarks by saying that it was interesting that the higher cognitive abilities were the ones that would have come along latest in the human evolutionary history and, therefore, they might be more fragile in the genome. Woodley is now pursuing this possibility

The concept of g shouldn’t be dismissed. Whenever anything describes a phenomenon in intelligence, we must probe for its causes. It is terribly sad that it is gotten side-tracked: into a debate over whether the fact one group falls further behind another as cognitive complexity increases is an indication that they’ve got to be genetically defective.

As you know, I have done research with Bill Dickens that showed that blacks gained on whites about 5 points in the generation between 1972 and 2002. This correlated with evidence from educational tests, as well. What are we going to say if they gain another 5 points? Are we going to conclude that the g pattern is not as pronounced as we once thought it was? That would fly in the face of evidence in its favour. So, g, to me, is an interesting concept for research but it is not the be all and end all of what we do when we do intelligence research.

2. Jacobsen: Racial differences also lead to some questions around definitions. For instance, is it a scientific category, race? In other words, is it proper to even talk, in a modern scientific context, about the category “race” when talking about intelligence?

Flynn: I do not have much patience with that. I see that as an evasion of real issues. Imagine that a group of Irish came to America in about 1900. Of course, the Irish have not been a pure race through all of history, but they have much more in common in terms of heredity than they do with Slovaks.

These Irishmen in America settle in a community down by the Mississippi. You will find that when the children send them to school, some Irish kids will do better than others; and the ones who do better will, on average, will grow up to buy more affluent homes.

Thus they divide into two groups. Below the railway tracks near the Mississippi, where it is not so nice, you will have what we used to call “shanty Irish”. Above the railway tracks, where things are much nicer, you will have what we used to call “lace curtain Irish”. If you compare these two groups, you will find an IQ gap between them that has a genetic component.

You can try to dismiss this by repeating the mantra “They are not pure races.” Of course, they are not pure races. They are sociological constructs that have a different sociology because of somewhat different histories. But it still makes perfectly good sense to ask whether there would be a genetic difference in IQ between the shanty Irish and the lace curtain Irish.

When individuals within a group compete, genetically influenced cognitive skills are involved. Some people, as I have said, will do better at school and, on average, they will have a better genetic endowment. It will not be a huge gulf. American children from parents in the top and bottom third of SES tend to have an IQ gap of 10 points; and perhaps 5 of these may be genetic rather than environmental.

I hope this cuts through all of this nonsense. Also, the “irrelevance” of race seems to be special pleading. If we cannot talk about blacks as a “pure race”, and that disqualifies grouping them together, how can we have anything like affirmative action? The answer will be, “Well of course they are not a pure race. But they identify themselves as black, and whites identify them as black, and despite the fact that they are a social construct, they get the short end of the stick.”

If you can compare blacks and whites as to who gets the short end of the stick, you can also give them IQ tests, and you can also ask yourself as to whether in the histories of these two peoples, there has not been sufficient genetic diversity that one has built up an advantage over the other.

The causes of the black-white IQ gap are an empirical question. It has nothing to do with the stuff about pure races. There are groups that are socially identified as different, groups that identify themselves as socially different, groups that have histories that could conceivably lead to a genetic gap between them. You have got to look at the evidence.

It is an evasion. You ignore the fact that there are no pure races when you say, “more blacks live in poverty.” Why drag it in when you compare races for genetic differences?

3. Jacobsen: What about the shift in the conversation in terms of talking more about species rather than races, and then looking at different ethnic groupings? So, it is doing it within what probably are more accurate depictions than terminology such as “race”.

In terms of reframing it within a more modern scientific context, in terms of having species, and then having different groupings, as you noted, it is with ethnic groupings with different histories, rather than talking about races.

Flynn: That is fine. I have no objection to that, but it is not going to make anything go away, is it?

Jacobsen: No.

Flynn: There are still going to be 10% of Americans who self-identify as “black” and virtually all whites will identify blacks as “black”, and then we will still have to ask the question, “Do black and white at this point in time differ for cognitive abilities entirely environmentally?” I do not see how any verbal device will change this

There used to be academics who said that since humans share 99% of their genes with bonobos, you could dismiss the notion that genes have something to do with intelligence. The significance of this was exactly the opposite. If one percent difference made a huge difference in intelligence, then if racial groups differed by 1/100 of a percent, it might create the IQ gap difference that we see today.

I haven’t found any argument yet for sweeping the race and IQ debate under the carpet which is anything but special pleading. I do not think these arguments would be used in any other context whatsoever. They are used in this context so that we can all say, “We do not have to investigate these matters. We can pat ourselves on the back.” When actually, we should feel scholarly remiss.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Emeritus Professor, Political Studies, University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Image Credit: James Flynn.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,661

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Annie Laurie Gaylor is the Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She discusses: looking forward into 2019; the Trump Administration Vice President Mike Pence; the dual issues of fervour and zeal; a secular nation; and #MeToo and women’s rights.

Keywords: Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation, women’s rights.

An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Right: Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How does this then look going forward into 2019? I do recall a Guttmacher Institute publication noting that legalization of abortion in the cases studied by the Institute, or its team, reduced the instance of abortion, in addition to all the associated harms that come along with illicit abortions that women will get anyway.

Annie Laurie Gaylor: Of course. The Freedom from Religion Foundation wouldn’t exist were it not for the religious battles against abortion and contraceptive rights. My mother and I cofounded FFRF as a regional group in 1976, when I was a college student. She had been, basically, a full-time feminist activist for several years, especially working for abortion rights in Wisconsin.

It opened our eyes to the harm of any kind of religious control over our secular government because we could see very clearly that the only organized opposition to abortion rights was religious in nature. We’re still fighting the same battles.

There’s just no question that we must keep religious dogma out of our secular laws, and that the crusaders against abortion rights are all doing it in the name of religion. It’s fine if they don’t want an abortion, or they don’t want to use contraception, but they should jolly well stop trying to impede the reproductive rights of other people.

Of course, this is a huge fight. It’s a huge battle but most Americans support abortion rights and certainly support contraceptive rights. We’re in danger that we could lose these rights. We think that politicians may have had a wakeup call with the midterm elections, as well.

One out of three women having had an abortion, this is an awful lot of people. That’s why the abortion rights movement encourages people who have had abortions to speak up so that it isn’t stigmatized.

2. Jacobsen: Is Trump Administration Vice President Mike Pence a symbolic threat, a legitimate threat, or both, to those rights?

Gaylor: I think it’s both. I think that Trump has turned over much of his domestic policy to Pence. That was a deal that they made and he has continually reminded the religious right of all the things that he has done for them. He does it almost every time he goes before a religious body and, hence, has wielded a lot of power.

There have been some ruptures that have been gossiped about recently. We were talking about how he might cast aside Pence if he runs again, when he runs again. Who knows what’s going on behind the scenes, but there’s clearly been a deal?

We have seen Mike Pompeo, our top diplomat, Secretary of State, believe in the rapture. There was this expose of his remarks in 2015 to that effect, talking about how he wants to work for Jesus Christ, and how there will be a rapture.

This is a level of ignorance that we have never seen before. We’ve seen the religious right in the Reagan administration, Bush administration, but we have never seen so many foxes guarding the chicken coop as in the Trump administration, so many of them just sincerely fundamentalist Christians.

It’s like you want to be in the Trump administration, you better have that kind of pedigree. He’s just clearly selling out completely to the religious right, and he’s going to continue to do it, and they don’t seem to care a bit about his moral failings. They just want to get their agenda passed. I think that it’s been quite a wake-up for us that the Christian right has completely ceded any moral high ground.

3. Jacobsen: How does a population of secular women, who aren’t necessarily the best represented even within the community, combat the motivational forces of zeal and fervour found unlike any other place in the Western world, as found in evangelical fundamentalist Christian communities in the United States?

Gaylor: We have held a wonderful Women’s March In 2017, with all the Pussy hats, and we have seen continual push-back at the rallies with women dressed like they were part of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Jacobsen: Those are pretty good, actually.

Gaylor: It’s become a very iconic sight.  I think we’re making our position very known and very clear. I think an awful lot of women got a wakeup call. That’s why so many of them, an unprecedented number, and an unprecedented number of minority women did run for office. They didn’t all make it, of course, but it was a tremendous outpouring of legislative activism by women who were fed up.

I think that we’re doing well in terms of making known our dissent from the current administration, as far as we can. Obviously, women are still grossly underrepresented in the House. You can forget about it in the Senate. It was fascinating that there wasn’t any change in the number of Republican women in the US Senate. It’s pathetic. That stayed at 13. The Republican party is obviously losing women.

I wouldn’t be in this business if I wasn’t an optimist.  It’s an uphill battle—

Jacobsen: That’s true.

Gaylor: – working for freethought, being an atheist, working for the separation of church and state in the United States.

I’ve lived through a lot, but we do have to be especially alarmed now that we have the Kavanaugh appointment, and we have several elderly liberal justices in their 80, one of them has just gotten another cancer, on the Supreme Court. There’s just no question that in terms of the Supreme Court, we are in trouble, but I do think that political pendulum can swing back very quickly.

The trouble with the Supreme Court is it will be there for several generations, and there is already talk by the Democrats about what they might do to fix that. They don’t have to have nine members on the Supreme Court. They could add more. They’re talking about different things that they might do. It may come to that. These things get out of hand.

Or it may be that Roberts, who is cognizant of, I think, how he wants to go down in history may be able to guide the court and avert some of the worst disasters. I do not think that separation of church and state, that keeping our country secular, is going to be top of the list on the Roberts court. He may come through for abortion or the worst of the abortion attacks, but I don’t know whether we will be able to salvage as much as we can for a separation of church and state.

If the Supreme Court takes a position with the Bladensburg case that the government can put up a Christian cross as a war memorial, we have lost enormous ground. We are not a secular nation anymore. We will have to see. We fight very hard against that.

4. JacobsenWas America ever a truly secular nation?

Gaylor: Our constitution is truly secular. It is completely godless and the only references to religion are exclusionary, such that there should be no religious tests for public office. It was first among nations to not claim a pipeline to a divinity. There is no god in our constitution. It’s godless.

We, theoretically, are a secular republic, but as soon as it was adopted, there was pushback. The Christian Party in Politics became very active, especially in the 1820s, and one of their first victories was to stop the mail delivery on Sundays, for example.

We were secular. The mail was being delivered on Sundays. Only 7% of Americans were church-going at the time of the adoption of the constitution. That doesn’t mean that they might not have been religious, but it wasn’t a hugely religious country. But we’ve had so many eras of revivals, and it’s taken its toll.

We’ve had so many violations in the 1950s that have rewritten history. “In God we trust” adopted as a motto, putting the words, “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. These have had a very deleterious effect because whole generations have grown up thinking that there is a relationship between God and our government, or that somehow, we are a godly country. They assume that if most people are Christian, then we are a Christian nation, but we have a neutral government.

It is an uphill battle reminding people about the secular roots of our country.

5. Jacobsen: I have one more. This is less legal, but more socio-political, or just maybe cultural, secular culture. As we’re seeing the 2006 Tarana Burke #MeToo come forward into October 2017 with Alyssa Milano giving it an extra boost, and then this being taken in various contexts, and particularly some of the religious ones, #MosqueToo, #ChurchToo, and so on, we’re seeing men who have acted badly in their personal or professional lives, being called out in religious and in secular domains.

What can secular men do, but also secular community do, to perhaps give a more sympathetic and respectful ear to women coming forward with claims of sexual mistreatment or mistreatment generally? I take this in a serious note because looking at the FBI reports, they would estimate that about 8% of the rape claims are unfounded. In other words, it’s an extreme form of sexual violence, so any allegation should be taken very seriously in addition to some of the statistics provided by the FBI – and the Home Office of the UK indicating relatively reliable findings on a surface analysis.

Gaylor: At the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in 40 years, we’ve only had a few incidents. In our early days, we had a male speaker who happened to be on our board, accost one of my friends, a young student, in the elevator at the end of our convention, grab her in this bear hug and kiss her all the way down the elevator. She was a rape survivor. She was upset. Fortunately, she told me. My mother called that guy up and said, “You’re off our board. We don’t want to see you again.” We weren’t going to put up with that.

A couple of other minor episodes where we immediately took action. Those are unusual, but we act. We were started by two women. We’ve always had a feminist bent. I don’t think that I would assume that secular groups haven’t been responsive. I think maybe FFRF is unusual, in that we were very feminist-oriented.

I think that American Atheists, I can’t speak for them, but they did get rid of their executive director who was accused of some very nasty things. Maybe it took them a little longer, but apparently, they say the board did not know about these things beforehand. That at least sends a message that you’re not going to tolerate it. Yes, it can happen in secular and religious cultures.

I think secular cultures are more apt to be a little more feminist, but you can’t always count on that. In general, I think that the freethought movement has been such a good friend of feminism. Certainly, when I did a lot of work on a book I edited, Women without Superstition, about 19 to 20th-century feminists, freethinkers, you would run into that repeatedly.

People like Elizabeth Cady Stanton were very lauded by the freethought movement. They loved her. They adopted her. They appreciated her even before she wrote The Women’s Bible. They saw what an asset she was.

I think, in general, the free thought movement has been much more sympathetic to women and women’s rights, of course, partly thanks to the feisty women freethinkers who have started groups and written books, and been activists and made sure that our voices were also heard. But I do think that freethought and feminism are natural allies, whereas religion has got that awful book, the Bible, which is like a handbook for women’s subjection.

That gives religion, a hard way to overcome its past. Certainly, many denominations do embrace some feminism now but it’s not because of their Bible. It’s because of the women activists who forced them to change.

I think that secular government is women’s salvation. When you see what happens around the world, and how women are treated in Islamist nations or theocratic nations, we can see it’s a matter of life and death that we should have secular government.

6. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Annie Laurie.

Gaylor: Thank you for listening. Hope I didn’t talk your ear off.

Jacobsen: It was lovely.

Gaylor: All right. It was a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.

Jacobsen: Excellent. Pleasure to talk to you too.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s RightsRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s RightsIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s RightsIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor on 2019, Vice President Mike Pence, Fervour and Zeal, a Truly Secular Nation, and Women’s Rights [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/annie-laurie-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,997

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Gita Sahgal is the Executive Director of the Centre for Secular Space. She discusses: those forced into change; racism, a collective history; and oppression.

Keywords: actual violence, Centre for Secular Space, change, Gita Sahgal, racism.

An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence: Executive Director, Centre for Secular Space (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview edited for clarity and readability. Some information may be incorrect based on audio quality.*

*This interview was conducted November 13, 2016.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Are there other groups that are Right or far-Right that are forced to change? Not just a PR campaign by putting a smiley face on it but effectuating proper change.

Gita Sahgal: I do not think they change. What I think what happens with white fascist groups, they do not get the time of day. This is where these issues of no-platforming because difficult to discuss. Or, rather, we need to discuss them.

There is a free speech lobby, which is fine. It says, “Talk to anybody and put anybody on a platform,” but the way people like fascists were marginalized was by not putting on platforms. There was a red line across which we were not really prepared to go.

What has happened now with safe space policies, and no-platforming is that if you’re a white fascist or far-Right as a movement like the English Defense League, that claims it is not fascist and does not Muslims or Islamists very much.

They do not make much of a discussion between Muslims and Islamism, though. They would never, in a British university, think of bringing them to a meeting to hold a meeting. Even the free speech lobbyists would not do it; while, the Islamists are in there all the time [Laughing].

They are connected to movements. That commit mass murder abroad. That is much stronger and more dangerous. I am not saying the EDL is not dangerous. It is dangerous. However, there are other things going on.

Near where I live, there was an Islamic center, which is like an afterschool Mosque type place. It was burned to the ground.

Jacobsen: Ugh.

Sahgal: There was a lot of interreligious violence with shootings in the street. They were very serious levels of violence going on – discrimination and actual violence, and fire bombings of mosques and places of worship and so on.

However, the Islamists are involved with massive hate campaigns. Tonight, I couldn’t make it because there was a huge transport disruption. There is a meeting of Bangladeshis who are highlighting minorities and Buddhists being driven from their homes and attacked.

They are being thrown into the streets with the onset of Winter. This is happening again, and again, and again, and happening more and more. What is supposed to be a secular government, they often standby or do nothing; this is a serious problem.

They connect it here, but they treat it as respectable people to be given platforms. However, it is the no-platforming that helped to make fascism not respectable in places like football clubs, who come down very heavily and fine clubs where people are doing racist chants.

It was one time when racism in a football field against black footballers, and on the terraces, was standard. Black footballers had to play against a barrage of racist insults and things being hurled at them.

It was only by fans of the opposing side, or even by their own side, who did something. They had to work through horrific abuse, but that has been ruled out of order by the football authorities. Also, young people who are football fans themselves went down and protested the racist violence.

The regulatory bodies worked against it because these activists were working against it all the time. We changed these ideas to racism. So, with state attitudes to racism, and so on, there has been progressing.

However, with the Islamists, it is largely ignored because the Islamists are seen as almost analogous to rebellious black youth and, therefore, had a democratic point because, of course, the young black youth kept getting arrested, stopped and search, chucked in jail, beaten up, and so on.

There were police who belonged to fascist groups. It was only when Britain began to crack down on it. The main police are backing down from all that because they think they are moving into Muslim communities.

It is a different picture. So, we cannot do what we did before. But what is interesting now is that the people who did it before, they do not have to go through racist violence. They do not understand what happened. They do not think there is any problem with what happened because of mostly the PC Left.

For those who did fight racism and did fight it back, we always know it is right there around the corner. For the political atmosphere created, and formed on the streets, it is reminiscent to us of the worst days of the 60s and 70s.

I hear young people sneer, “They are going on about it. What do they know?” Because we told them that the 70s were bad. They didn’t know how bad the things were. They do not see the difference. They do not understand white people are being assaulted with Brexit as well.

I have many people who speak various German languages. The Italians speak Italian. It is not simply those of us who speak Hindi or something who bring suspicion. I have been in London for 30 years.

I do not feel treated with suspicion. I dress very conservatively, mostly with Asian clothes – quite often not but mostly. I often have my head covered in a wrap [Laughing] and so on. I do not expect to meet racism.

I don’t on a normal day. I do not expect it. Now, you do wonder. You hear people talking loudly about immigrants sitting next to you, wondering when they are going to leave and things like that. It is not a pleasant atmosphere.

So, we drove it back, but it is back in some ways. However, we got the opposite problem when we succeeded with the state. Obviously, not getting rid of all forms of racism, it was getting them as considering racism as a crime, recognizing hate crimes.

The police are better on homophobia than they used to be. I know friends who have been subject to repeated and recurring homophobic attacks and serious attacks by organized gangs and things of these things.

The police collect evidence and bring them to court. We have had huge changes. But the government acts differently and people act differently. Also because of the challenge to fundamentalism, it is seen as part of a government agenda.

The Left, in general, is not on board with it. Even with the people who are leftist-Islamists, some are not, but they are also anti-government in general. There is a difficulty there in taking a stand. It is difficult.

However, we have built up a voice. Even though, it is difficult. There is an alternate voice out there. It is different than the voice in the States. It is not far-Right. It is Liberal to Left. It is not for any racism or fundamentalism, but it is a small voice.

Of course, those are the people who criticize Islam as such or Islamism, but they are doing it from the point of view that Muslim immigration has to be stopped and the country is unsafe because of Muslims.

We do not buy into any of that. Southall Black Sisters or I, those similar organizations; there is a huge movement in the Kurdish movements connected to the activism going on in Rajavah.

The Sunnis are there, but also the progressives are there. They are still raising the issues of the Bangladeshis, Kurds, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis [Laughing], and so on. We work together. That is good. All those things are good.

2. Jacobsen: If we take into account the difficulties in conveyance of the emotional problems that are felt when having racist slurs thrown at one being a footballer or when witnessing it in sympathy for the person that is a victim of it, in addition to seeing the change over time and then having young people saying, “It doesn’t really happen.”

The youth tend to be the ones that have more energy, more time, and, therefore, more influence in terms of making effective change in socio-cultural contexts in this particular case, the United Kingdom.

How can we convey to the youth the difficulties of the very real racism? That you witnessed and, possibly, felt yourself in the 70s to the youth now.

Sahgal: There are two different sets of people. There are some people who are completely buried in the racist argument. People think that Britain is a slave country or something. It is a [Laughing] mad argument.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Sahgal: They will talk about slavery and imperialism. Not that these aren’t issues. I am not with the people who say, “This is a load of bullocks. Do not talk about it.” If you look at the slaveholders in Britain, I did not know this, but the government compensated them at the end of slavery.

They have lots of records. They weren’t all super-rich people. They were quite ordinary people many of them. They had this huge project that looked into where they were, where they’d been, and what they were compensated with.

Slavery is embedded in Britain. Not as much as America where the entire economy was run on it, Britain exported it. The British wealth, the Tate is a great museum. It is also the sugar manufacturer, the Tate.

Now, the manufacturer, what does that mean? They, at some stage, must have been involved in the slave trade in the West Indies or something like that. The sugar plantations in the West Indies. You still can’t point fingers.

They will go heavy on trying to talk about it. They do not have the same resonance as the States. It was the form of racial segregation in the same way. The working-class communities have intermarried for a very long time.

My old Caribbean boss said, “You cannot compare it to the American racism because we have always worked in these communities, particularly working-class communities. People who settled here then intermarried here.”

What is happening now, it might be more segregated than people when they first came in large numbers. How do we convey that history? We need to have that cross-conversation. Some people only need to talk about racism.

Some people think talking about racism is a form of racism. Some people who talk about fundamentalism and, therefore, think any talk about racism is changing the subject and is total nonsense, when, in fact, they are on to the worst form of oppression there is.

To me, it is about similar kinds of harms and similar forms of persecution. One based on religious origin. One based on skin and racial origin. We need to be simultaneously opposing both. We worked to do this with a book that we wrote.

Not as a policy paper with recommendations to MPs or anything like that, but more for an intelligence 17, 18, 19, or 20-year-old. A high schooler or a university student, it is called Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights.

That is how you can oppose the war on Terror without being pro-fundamentalist. It looks at the issue of amnesty in this specific organization called GAGE, and now called GAGE. It is a public relations front for Al Qaeda and so on.

Now, they have portrayed themselves as an organization for counter-extremism. They are working with the S. They have a distribution problem. There is a problem of getting it out there.

It is still very relevant. We need that material. I take it to meetings and things like that. There is a problem of getting it out there. We need more of that material, which is written by Meredith Tax. She is American. She lives in New York.

She has been an activist for many years. She is an older woman. She is older than I am. She was there at the start of Second Wave Feminism. She was a Bernie Sanders supporter. She is brilliant at the political writing, which, without dumbing down a subject, can explain the subject without jargon. She explains the mess the left gets into.

I enjoyed it. It is from the left-liberal perspective. She wrote a history on the Kurds. Not many people in North America know about them. The book is called A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State.

It looks at how feminism became central to this. The struggle for Rajah and the enclaves carved out of Syria and so on, which have been done by Kurdish groups. So, she has written a book to cover this complex history.

It is about how to make a new society from where we are, which is quite an amazing idea. So, she is doing that work. So, we go on doing our work. We have not won the argument. But we are providing a space for people to speak up.

For instance, campaigning against Sharia, Maryam Namazie founded the One Law for All campaign. She was quite isolated then. There were women against fundamentalism. I went to one of Maryam’s meetings. I thought she was great.

But much later, there is a coalition for the One Law for All banner with people have and groups have specific expertise. We have all done a huge amount of work as feminists and human rights activists. We come together to work on terrorism and sharing our common understanding of the things with Sharia councils, put different testimonies online, and even carrying an inquiry, recently.

There was a secret inquiry, which we boycotted because it seemed like a theological inquiry. The Home Select Committees across parliamentary groups. I do not know how it works in Canada. You look at certain issues.

Everything that you do then goes on the parliamentary record as part of the parliamentary inquiry. It is an important venue. We have produced a lot of material of thinking that through. For me, it is not so much about winning.

The process is as important as anything else. The tide is still running very strongly against us. But what we have done is built a movement, which is where we trust each other and share a common platform, it is about secularism and opposing all forms of religious fundamentalism as well as racial bigotry.

We trust each other to share information. The thing in the Mail on Sunday is about trying to get out voices out there by being on news interviews. Maryam is the main spokeswoman for the whole thing, but all of us have been trying to help.

She has been amazing in trying to promote our work, even though the media will go to her because she is personable. It is a situation where money is short, and organizations are campaigning for the same small pots of money and trying to put in grant applications.

There is a lot of backbiting and nastiness and things among women’s groups, the Left, among progressive groups, and a lot of different places. To help build that up, it is really important. It is really sad because we cannot relate too much to this huge movement in the Labour Party.

It is now the largest political party in Europe. It has something like half of a million members. The Labour Party is so large, but it is controlled by people who are in bed with Islamists. So, we cannot expect any support from them.

Even though, many of us have known many of the leaders for many years. Jeremy Corbyn has been supportive of the Kurdish issue The Kurdish activists do not talk to him anymore, the Kurdish rebels.

It is sad. This moment when there should be this wonderful alignment with feminists fighting for secular values and particularly those from minority backgrounds. Those who have been labeled and have been supported by the Labour Party.

The Right has this narrative. Because we talked about how we were let down by the Labour Party by these multicultural parties. The Right has this narrative about how the Labour party harms women. But it is a more complicated story.

The Right when they came to power were trying to cut our parties down. We had a difficult relationship with the Labour Party before, but they were the ones who founded and supported us.

When it came to the Hindu Right and the Muslim Right, and the women’s groups, there is a broad umbrella. We have been struggling women being helped. But the Right does not tell that story. It only tells the story of the labor Party being horrible to poor brown women such as myself.

That is not the story that I want to be told. It is hard with the Labour Party because there is such vicious and organized attack on many of us. It is coming specifically within the Labour Party including Muslim Labour MPs.

It is not a good situation at all. So, it is a constant struggle. How do you get to youth? Many of the youth are in the movement. This side movement that has energized the Labour Party and led to Jeremy Corbyn not once but twice in the recent past.

I feel despair the way the Labour Party has gone because the parliamentary Labour Party did not understand the power of this outside movement. They have tried to unseat Corbyn. There are a lot of reasons for them to be pissed off with him, but they also behaved very badly.

A lot of people got fed up with them for that because they were constantly writing in student papers. They thought that they could stage some unseating. But they did not have the strength. It is quite clear. Nobody heard; nobody really wanted to stand against Corbyn.

A lot of precious time when they should have been opposing conservatives was wasted on that. Meanwhile, Corbyn seems not interested in parliament, but in forming a huge movement. It is fine. But why is he the head of the Labour Party? He should be leading some extra-parliamentary party and stomp the country making speeches

It is perfectly okay. He is not forming in parliament. He is all over the place. Those of us who want to see a revival of popular movements in the country – because there are many things to oppose – do not see – and here is where we differ from the counter-extremism people – cuts to welfare, cuts in medical and health services, cuts in services for women as absolutely central to our fight.

Because if you do not have a society, which does this work on the ground, you cannot fight extremism. Our secular services and still have, most have been decimated except for the Southall Black Sisters and the Kurdish Women’s Rights Organizations, which we work within the One Law for All movement.

These are very strongly secular somehow managed to survive all these massive cuts. But many of the groups have gone to the wall. We see our fight as being to defend this kind of work, which the counter-extremism experts have not written one single report about.

They are not even very interested in it. The government is interested in women’s rights. But to criminalize violations of women’s rights, where is the money for it? You can stop it. You could get the campaigners and others excited with the governmental support.

However, if you do not have the other structures and the policies and all of the other boring stuff and actually people doing the work, then having the government does not help. Because having the air of the government, it does not help in these ways without the support structure.

When the Sharia councils were saying that you have to restore legal aid because they cut legal aid for family matters, women are struggling in family courts by themselves. Britain had the gold standard legal aid services. Canada is different. The US, historically, has had it.

In Britain, we had these things. This is a country. We had a free health service, which had some problems. But it was a good service. It is being eroded from within. The government didn’t dare bring in fees.

They had fees for lots of it. But they could not bring fees for use. So, they marketed the services within it. It cost more. It forced closings. What they have done is a disaster, it has made things worse, but what has happened is that most people fighting that stuff think the fundamentalism is irrelevant.

We are saying, “It is absolutely relevant.” You see this in America. The religious groups will provide care homes, hospitals, legal services for marriage, and so on. The Sharia issue is not an issue on its own.

It is intrinsically linked to control of the state through social services. That is what is being pushed. Those are the two things that are going together. It is shrinking the state. It means they seek not just welfare services but the means for people to have lifelines.

They are being smashed. Religious organizations are encouraged to step in when the secularism isn’t supportive. It is terrifying, few people make the connections.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Executive Director, Centre for Secular Space.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Racism, Change, and Actual Violence (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,815

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders and Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Global Secular Humanist Movement, and a columnist for Free Inquiry. He discusses: Ideas Beyond Borders and its work; different audiences; and the Reason interview.

Keywords: Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Global Secular Humanist Movement, Ideas Beyond Borders.

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders: Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, when it comes to some of the more recent initiatives of IBB, Ideas Beyond Borders, what’s going on? What’s new?

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar: There have been some amazing updates. One of the things since we started the organization; it has been important to have a system of translations to me. That the moment we get a book, article, or content.

That it will go through a system and get the highest quality in the fastest time possible. The latest update is that we have built a great system. Once we have a book, we have a deadline for when it will be publishers. We have translators, followed by editors, followed by proofreaders, and followed by linguists to make sure the words used by editors and translators approved, etc., will be the ones used.

We try to produce a piece of art translation. That system has been finalized, roughly, around August and beginning of September (2018). I can, honestly, say that we have two books successfully translated. One is Lying by Sam Harris. Another is Maajid Nawaz and Sam Harris, Islam and the Future of Tolerance.

There will be the premiere of the moving in November. We will launch the book as a celebration alongside the premiere of the movie. There is an Arabic version that will spread across the Arab world like wildfire, for those who desperately need it.

We tried to translate the book Radical from Maajid Nawaz. It is interesting that there is no Arabic translation, which shows we need to exist. Part of Maajid’s life was in jail in Egypt for 4 years. He did a year of college in Egypt.

Yet, he mostly is known to Western audiences. But I think the people who most need to know him are people in the Arab world. For your audience and the others, for getting shit done, there will be, at least, 10 books done by the end of the year.

We are building an online library. We have a company, affiliated with WordPress, who will work pro bono for us, make the access easy for us. Hopefully, it will be designed with quotes and derivatives, small derivatives, an audiobook, a video, and so on, to make the information as accessible as possible.

We are trying to reach as many people as possible. We are an educational organization in the end, try to reach people of all ages and attention spans [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: Those who want to read the whole thing. Those who want to read some of it. We are also tapping into another case, which I realized recently. This is something for people to search today, not when things will be changing.

If you look at Wikipedia, many important pages like the Civil Rights Movement, it is only 1 sentence in Arabic. In English, it is 25 pages.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: It is a movement for anti-racism in America: “Oh, really?” Things to do with human rights, LGBT rights, science, medicine, new discoveries. None of them exist in Arabic. If they exist, they exist as a sentence or two, but not many.

Your audience should also expect that working with many partners across the Middle East who have expertise in writing, translating, and editing. We are hoping for 50 articles per month, maybe 100. Some things may not work as we always want, though – so 50-100 per month.

Articles ranging, as we translate them, from Utilitarianism, scientists who are Arabs but live in the West and the way the people in the Middle East do not know that they exist, e.g., four Iraqis writing about biology and live in the UK. Many do not know about them.

We try to make many of these Arab scientists, liberals, and thinkers to be known in their audiences. We are also translating Arab, liberal, secular, and Enlightenment thought, and open-mindedness of Arab thinkers into English.

There is an Iraqi sociologist who is a pretty amazing person, Ali Al-Wardi. He is not known to many in the West, but he is well-known in Iraq. He wrote a book called The Mockery of the Human Mind (Arabic: مهزلة العقل البشري).

He is a sociologist who tried to understand the nuances and contradictions of Arab society: why would someone want a girlfriend but also a virgin for marriage? He taps into all of these contradictions and tries to explain them.

This is something many in the West would want to understand, because these are complicated. It is seeing things from local writers and authors, which would be fascinating. We are doing a lot of things.

Our campus program with the AHA program expanded from 6 campuses to 24 across the United States, Canada included We have York University in Canada, then we have Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, UCBerkley, Texas A&M, and so on. All over the place: South, Midwest, East coast, West coast, and so on.

Now, we are in Toronto. People from other areas of Canada. We are more than happy to reach out to them. The plan is to make 12 events this Fall semester. The conversations that we are mostly interested in is the women’s rights in the Islamic world, female genital mutilation, free speech in the Islamic world, secularism, separation of mosque and state, and the conflicts in the region.

We have a speakers list that is expanding such as Yasmine Mohammed, myself, and others. We are expanding to experts in extremism and experts in defeating and fighting extremism. Unfortunately, many students across the US and Canada and, hopefully, expanding into European, which they are not familiar with.

They are mostly listening to, in my opinion, a narrative that is not the full picture. They listen to people who portray America as racist and Islamophobic, which is, of course, somewhat true. But they portray the Middle East as a beacon of victimhood. And if not for America, then everything would be good.

We say, “Things are more complicated. There were civil wars before even America existed.” It is listening to more than one narrative coming from the Linda Sarsours of the world and others. The goal is to diversify the set of knowledge the Arab youth have access to, but also to those Westerners on campus – especially on the Middle East and elsewhere.

We are in connection with organizations that work on the ground in Iraq, Lebanon, and Kurdistan, and some parts of North Africa. It is starting to do workshops about the books that we translate on the subjects like extremism and others.

We start on campuses because these are the places where people are receptive to ideas, to have a place for conversation and workshops about why we have extremism in the Middle East and how to defeat it.

It is engaging with the local communities, the young people. Many people do not know this. But the Middle East is considered one of the youngest people in the world. Many are wondering about life, more than any other place of the world.

Because they are bombarded with terrorists and with words. Many of them are questioning the old way of life, the extremist way of life. Definitely, we have plans for the end of this year and next year to open branches of Ideas Beyond Borders in Baghdad, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Iraq, and Morocco.

We will start to work underground with people. The translation, campus, and workshops are the main things that we are doing. Hopefully, as we grow, people will be expecting more programs for us.

Hopefully, our programs will be expanded as possible. It is hard to translate these texts into Arabic, where most of the knowledge is not available. Our programs are definitely scalable. There is always a need for transiting more content, more books are being written every day if not every minute.

Lots of the content existing in thee books could be relevant to our target audience, which is, as of now, the Arab youth. This will expand to the Kurdish youth, Iranian youth, Turkish youth, Indonesian youth, and Pakistani youth.

My role as the ED and founder is to build a model that is so successful that can be multiplied in other places. I would rather do one thing super well than do a bunch of things with half-assed work.

We focus on the Arab world. We build a successful model there, where we are at 80% now. Our partners and amazing staff and board have done amazing work. I am proud of them. I think that as we progress; we are going to build the model the world has ever known in terms of the translation and getting access to knowledge there.

2. Jacobsen: People who tend to be more open minded or liberalized in terms of their ideas, or the consideration of new ideas. You noted one of the key demographics, young people, as well as university educated people.

Are metropolis residents another consideration for target audiences?

Al Mutar: A big segment of them are there. Also, one of the main obstacles: because many of the books cannot be published inside of these countries because of blasphemy laws and the banning of content from authoritarian regimes.

It is difficult to get the knowledge available for the places that do have access. That being said, there are multiple developments happening in the region now, which allows rural people to have access to the internet.

Also, the ability of many cheap laptops and many cheap Kindles and all that to be accessible. It would be amazing for a company listening to this interview if they donated more and more laptops and internet access to many of these remote areas.

Because as of now, the only means by which to reach as many people as possible is limited. The influence can be viewed in multiple ways and in multiple directions. As of now, through our partners in the region, distribution partners, we have access to between 25 million and 35 million people.

That’s a lot of people [Laughing]. Many of these people, there are two policies of influence, which I have studied and want to implement. You can either be the influencer or influence the influencers.

Let’s say 30-40 million people having access to the knowledge, they can be influential and can take the knowledge into more remote areas. These individuals can be who are influenced. These can be influencers themselves to influence through recommending a book to a friend, tell a friend about us, print the book and give this to a friend who does not have access to the internet.

Or even, they could take the ideas and absorb and then use them in their own language and in their own way, to the people who live next to them. Even if we don’t influence everybody, everybody can be influenced by an influencer. That is the goal as well.

It is reaching 500 million Arabic speakers. But if we influence 10% of them, and really well, they can take the knowledge, process this in their own way, and then explain it. It is the way I was influenced by other authors.

It is like the way I became an influencer to other people.

3. Jacobsen: Also, a recent Reason interview: you talked about evolutionary theory and its Wikipedia page in Arabic. What is the story there?

Al Mutar: Yes, so, many of my Saudi friends, and Turkish friends, the theory of evolution page has been banned, which is for obvious reasons why. Then Turkey, and Iraq unfortunately, started to remove any reference to evolution in the biology books.

They are afraid the ideas will come to their country. They are trying to ban them. But we are working really hard with a major partner who has a project called The Theory of Evolution Arabic. They are developing Q&As, everything.

It is 0 to 100, from somebody who is a beginner and doesn’t understand anything about evolution into somebody that is advanced. This can answer many of the questions many people have in the region. Are we still monkeys? If you believe in it, does this mean your parents are monkeys?

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: These basic questions that most people do not understand. They try to make this simply understood. They are one of our main partners that are part of this. Hopefully, we will get a digital library built fully fleshed out on evolution.

Maybe, we can tap into other sources like Wikipedia and others, also translating. It is to make the resources available. We are also trying to work with many tech companies over the past few years, where we have developed relationships with software engineers at Facebook and Google.

We want to, hopefully, use some of the tools they developed and then use them for our purposes.  There is a USB drive, where the computer will make its own VPN. That way, the authoritarian governments and others will not be able to track people.

In a meeting, I said I am more than happy to distribute some of these tools, e.g., the VPN self-generating computers, and so on. Also, our website and the digital library, one of the main requirements asked of the engineers and web designers is to create multiple versions of this website.

In a way, the authoritarian regimes – Saudi Arabia and others – will block the website, which I expect to happen. There will be multiple other websites and, constantly, new URLs popping up all the time, of all the PDFs and the things that we do.

That way, the book can be found somewhere else. The idea, we are not making money. We are more than happy to let people upload the books in their own serves, as we are a non-profit. The more servers, the more versions are available elsewhere.

In Saudi Arabia, unless, they decide to block the whole internet.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: There will always be a place or website for people to access our content.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0; Founder, Global Secular Humanist Movement.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Ideas Beyond Borders (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,722

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Sadia Hameed is a Spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She discusses: religious authorities providing a counter push; age demographics; looking to latter 2019; and Maryam Namazie and other resources.

Keywords: Britain, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Ex-Muslims, Islam, Maryam Namazie, Sadia Hameed.

An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie: Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How are the religious authorities providing any form of counter-push to either effort to support those who are leaving the religion or a religion? What are some communities, religious, across the board supportive of the work of CEMB?

Sadia Hameed: We have been engaging more. I do not know if you attended the 2017 conference. There was a female imam. We always support the progressives and liberals, or the true progressives and true liberals.

They also tend to stab us in the back. Our last conference, we have been trying for an entire year to be part of the inclusive mosque initiative. They are more of a liberal mosque.

They allow transgender and LGBT members to come and pray. It is unheard of. They then through our secular conference held a counter-conference, when we had asked them to engage with us anyway rather than this; they passively aggressively held another conference.

They talked about how secularism was a Western and colonialist, and imperialist, construct. It was not for the brown person. They named and attacked specific speakers. Sometimes, I think what ends up happening is the liberal-progressives, and some of the LGBT Muslim groups; we need to support them wholeheartedly.

We know that the community that they are so desperate to be a part of wants them dead. We do stand in solidarity with them. They attack us. We stand in solidarity with them, because we are both considered unwanted by the community.

It is the same with LGBT Muslims. They think that if they do something that those who are against them do; then they will be accepted. Conservative Muslims are never going to say, “Oh, those LGBT Muslim groups hate CEMB too.”

“We’ve obviously got the one thing in common. We’ll be friends.” It is not going to happen. If you are LGBT, there might be some who accept you. But the conservative and fundamentalist groups in our country, they will not change their mind on you.

The institutions will not, even though the individuals will, because the institutions have made their position very, very clear on that.

2. Jacobsen: What about the age demographics? I note most of those coming to Councils or organizations tend to be on the younger side. I do not hear much from those who may be from the elder set or, at least, the near-retired set.

Hameed: Our age range ranges between 16 and to the oldest member who is 67 or 70. The largest proportion of our members are between 20 and 40.

3. Jacobsen: If we are looking at the latter half or latter portion of 2019, what are some of the other initiatives that are going to be coming online? What will be some of the extensions of some of the programs already in place?

Hameed: We have done Fast Defying for many years. We are carrying on with the asylum seekers. We do quite a lot around misogyny and opening our service and making our service more accessible to women.

It is putting a lot of time and effort into it. We are doing stuff around the rights of children. We were supposed to protest outside the steps of a place that created the child veil to put on 6-year-old children last year.

But because of the weather warnings, we got stuck. We will carry on next year. We also have been doing a lot around child fasting issues. We have some projects coming around later in the year. They are not quite ready enough to announce yet.

There are half-finished projects this year [Laughing].

4. Jacobsen: The main name in my experience with interviews is Maryam Namazie, of course. Who are other inspiring women ex-Muslims? Who are other inspiring men ex-Muslims?

What are some books for individuals who are curious about the issue or for questioning Muslims if they are simply in terms of their freedom of religion rights not seeing that faith as one for them to practice?

Wherein, they simply want to live a life without one.

Hameed: What I would recommend to people to look for inspiring ex-Muslim women, I would look online at past conferences with lists of ex-Muslim women who are phenomenal who you can engage with.

This year’s atheist conference, there was a YouTuber called Mimzy Vidz. She does accessible videos for young people. It is with a lot of videos. She attended a faith school herself. Her dad ran one.

Then they both changed. Her dad is an agnostic. Mimzy is an atheist. They would be really, good people. They are easy to engage when you are young and do not have a lot of time.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, she is the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She is a sort of female atheist who is good go to. There was a woman who had her husband murdered in Bangladesh.

She is doing magnificent work now. She has been quite heavily involved in the movement. Now, there is Jamilah Ben Habib. She is a women’s rights activist. There is a Muslim professor and human rights campaigner who is fantastic.

She has written a book about women and Sharia law. It is an academic read; it is very, very wordy. It depends on the type of reader that you are. It took me months, months, and months, to read. It can come across as a bit of an ego-drive flip-flop.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Hameed: If you are interested in that stuff, it is a delightful read. Fauzia Iliyah. She is the Founder of the Atheist and Agnostic Alliance of Pakistan. Deeyah Khan, she is the spokesperson of One Law for All. She is an ex-Muslim herself.

She is a human rights activist and researcher. She is outspoken and a great speaker herself. Gita Saghal is the director of Centre for Secular Spaces. Again, she is fantastic to read.

There is a playwright as well if you are interested in artsy stuff. Her name is Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti who wrote a play called Behzti. It was about “dishonour.” It was about a young woman who was raped in a Sikh Gurdwara. She was attacked. Her play was shut down. There were riots.

There was controversy around the play. Yes, she is one. She is a really, interesting woman. If you are looking for inspiring women, there are so, so many out there. They are worth looking up

If you go to our website, there are plenty. There have been many doing the work that we have been doing for a long time, including Southall Black Sisters. It is about combatting violence in our own communities to do our battle.

Our work on religious fundamentalism and saving apostates; those are our two remits. They fit together quite nicely. There were so many. I had to start reading this literature after I left home.

This would have been problematic in my home. It probably would have gotten me a beating, to be honest. If you look at these sources, there are some to direct you too, e.g., Women Against FundamentalismYour Fatwa Doesn’t Apply Here.

There is so much literature out there. I could send so much to you. I could suggest so much to you, the readers.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Sadia.

Hameed: Brilliant, thank you so much.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Sadia Hameed on Religious Authorities, Age Demographics, and Maryam Namazie (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hameed-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 15, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,267

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. Sarah Lubik is the Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Concentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She discusses: the principles of an innovation culture; retaining talent; and Canada, China, and India.

Keywords: Canada, entrepreneurship, generational differences, innovation, professional women, Sarah Lubik, SFU, technology.

An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada: Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & InnovationConcentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Part Three)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Then with the broadening of the horizon for looking into various business models as how to build the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, what are some principles that we should take into account if we’re wanting to build that culture of innovation aside from those implied from this discussion?

So, modern universities focus on diversity, inclusion, and experimentation.

Dr. Sarah Lubik: Absolutely.  One of the other principles is going to be teams, if you call that a principle or not, but back to the original point: statistically you’re probably not going to make an amazing professor also an amazing entrepreneur.  They exist, but they’re not common.

You’re not going to make a grad student do his or her entrepreneurial venture by themselves. A CEO or a CTO needs a co-founder of their company. That’s where you want those diverse skill sets. So, you want to teach entrepreneurship as something team-based rather than something about just yourself and ideas you can’t take forward alone.

So, building those communication skills and those cross-disciplinary skills early is incredibly important because most people, once they get out of school, they realize quite quickly that not everyone went to business school or engineering, etc. You need people with other skills and they probably don’t think like you.

Not everyone spent four years in engineering or business. Yet, we’ve spent four years in a world where everyone thinks like us. That can be a shock to the system, especially when you’re doing entrepreneurship.

One of the things we often hear from people who started a company is that they need to build a team, but the team needs to understand each other. They need to be able to work effectively with each other.

But you get different work principles and even languages when you’re in different disciplines. So, learning about how to thrive in a diverse team is one of the key things that we work on here.

Another core value is the ability to go out of the world with confidence and to want to go out into the world.

First, make your assumptions about what people want and where problems lie, but then be aware that you need to validate your assumptions and that is not looking for people who agree with you, but also, looking for people who don’t. It is also a challenge.

Because we’re humans and we like to be right.

The final core value is that to be a good entrepreneur, you need to be looking at solving problems that matter and curious mindset deeply understand them. So often, you get entrepreneurs, or would be entrepreneurs, who are interested in solving problems, but because they don’t know much about the problem they’re not humble enough or knowledgeable enough yet to realize what they don’t know and still need to find out.

If they can get a surface impression of a problem, say you’re interested in homelessness and want to help find a solution, it turns out to be a complex problem, and that your solution would make sense for you, but makes absolutely no sense for that community, or for that user.

So, that ability to step back and learn to understand problems and where you might take a wicked problem like climate change or homelessness and deeply understand one piece of it and how that fits into this bigger system and how that might be addressed. But you may also realize that you’re probably not going to solve that entire global problem by yourself, so need to either be really specific about the part of the problem you can solve, or figure out how to be part of something bigger.

2. Jacobsen: Another issue is retainment. So, if a university, a province, territory, or a country at large develops a culture that is inclusive and diverse, provides the ability and citizens with the willingness to work in teams on various projects, then the businesses begin to flourish from small to medium and large.

The transportation between countries is much easier than at any other time, too.

Lubik: Wow! I’m still recovering.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Yes, point taken. Even with that an individual can travel more or less, compared to 50 years ago, some recent time, it’s easy to travel. So, an entrepreneur and innovator could go to another country and begin a business there.

For instance, the United States has these H-1Bs. So, these probably are what are called the genius passports. People that would previously have stayed in the United States and created multi-million dollar businesses there have gone back to India and China, for examples.

Who are two major countries that the United States gets some brains from, they’re now creating those multi-million dollar businesses within their country that they were born and raised in.

So, it’s a loss of not only talent but also potential innovation and revenue for whatever local industry they have in the United States at large. Another principle that I wouldn’t call secondary, but I wouldn’t necessarily associate it with the other ones because it’s distinct in a way.

So, how do you encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to stay with a particular university or country?

Lubik: It’s a good question. What would make someone stay? I have a couple of colleagues who recently enrolled here. They came here. They loved the culture and the system of SFU. They liked the community.

They like the willingness to be learning and working for meaningful change in the education system and community. They also love the lifestyle of BC, where we get to live, how beautiful it is, and how nice the people are. So, we have a built-in advantage of people wanting to live here.

It’s lovely. The culture is great. It also has had its problems, it’s not Silicon Valley, etc.

So, how you get people to stay here? It totally depends on the person. But some of the things that I’ve been hearing lately, especially as I talk to people across the country about what do we need for entrepreneurship and improved innovation, are around our specific resources and being near things you can’t get elsewhere.

So, for example, if you’re a material science company, you can get access SFU’s facility called 4D labs, it’s a material science facility where industry members use the equipment, work with the students and with cutting-edge researchers.  It’s like having your industry lab but without having to pay for it yourself.

So, there aren’t many places where you can go and get that access to that knowledge, and not many resources. If you start a company here, leaving could be more challenging because you’re going to have to wield those resources yourself.

Another thing that can make people say, and I feel like my culture is my word of the day, is being part of something you believe in.  Beedie put on an event about how to grow large companies in Vancouver. and we asked a number of CEOs who had grown multi-million dollar companies in Vancouver, “How do you get people to stay? It’s an expensive place to live, no start-up company can necessarily pay what a Google or an Amazon could?”

They said, “You have to create the vision. You have to be able to sell the culture. You have to be able to sell being part of something that is bigger than what you are.”

There are companies in Vancouver creating solutions to problems people want to solve, and having a big enough community of leaders in one place can be attractive. How are we going to help with the stress in the workplace? How are we making life better for people in Downtown Eastside? So, being brought into a culture where you’re making a difference, that seems to be worth staying.

We also have a fantastic quality of life, because we are lucky in Canada, we have these systems, whether they are flawed or not, that takes care of people.

having that relatively safe, peaceful place to live with meaningful work appeals to a lot of people.  Then, of course, having those special resources to work with, and creating places where you can work on things that matter, We’ve got a lot going for us.

Another piece that’s come out of the work we’ve been doing in the federal government is talent. As a company or an entrepreneur, you want to be where the great talent is, and the Vancouver area is increasingly known as a place to get fantastic tech and entrepreneurship talents.

For entrepreneurship, that can be incredibly attractive. So, you want to make sure companies know they can access these resources, hire enough talent. You want that lifestyle that attracts more talent. Then these make the area competitive for Canada.

But we also have to take steps to make sure the talent can afford to stay, too.

3. Jacobsen: At the same time, Canada has maybe 37 million people, when compared to the United States’ 325 million people. India and China coming around a billion and a half each. So, their talent pool that they can pull from internally is much bigger.

So, they have a lot more leverage internally with respect to that. Canada’s main strength then would be in the way that it can pull people in based on the quality of life or even basic freedoms that they may not have in their host country, possibly.

Lubik: Yes, we can speak more for the West coast at this point, but we’re right up from one of the biggest markets in the world. We are a short trip from some of the biggest markets in the world. We’re often called the Gateway to The Pacific.  We’re a jumping off point to some of the world’s largest markets and with it becoming easier and easier to telecommute or travel, that better access is a benefit to Canada at large.

But we also have to realize that while we’re a great place to have a company, we also have to help companies access those large markets because our local one isn’t big enough if you what you want to grow is a large company.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Concentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 15, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 15). An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Principles of Innovation, Talent Retainment, and China, India, and Canada (Part Three) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-three.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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