Friday, 4 May 2012

New Humanist Podcast May 2012: Alom Shaha, Crying With Laughter, American secularism

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Length: 35:27

In the May 2012 edition of the New Humanist Podcast, we have interviews with two of the contributors to the May/June issue of New Humanist, plus news of a fantastic night of comedy in association with the Helen Bamber Foundation.

First up is Alom Shaha, author of the forthcoming Young Atheist's Handbook, and cover star of the latest issue of New Humanist (01:15). Speaking to New Humanist editor Caspar Melville, Alom discusses growing up as a Muslim in south London's Bangladeshi community, explains how the death of his parents was the catalyst for becoming open about his loss of faith, and argues that atheist communities need to do more to support non-believers from non-white, minority religious backgrounds.

Next, Caspar speaks to comedian Maureen Younger about the forthcoming comedy benefit show Crying with Laughter (12:36). Held in support of the Helen Bamber Foundation, which fights for the victims of torture and human trafficking, Crying with Laughter features an all-women line-up, including Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair and Shazia Mirza. In the podcast, Maureen discusses the history of the show and the work of the Foundation, as well as the role of women in the often male-dominated world of stand-up comedy. Crying with Laughter takes place on Sunday 20 May at the Charing Cross Theatre in London - see the theatre website for tickets.

Finally, we speak to Georgetown University professor Jacques Berlinerblau, author of the forthcoming How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom (19:20). In the May/June New Humanist, Jacques argues that American secularism is in grave danger, and in the podcast we ask him to explain why he thinks this, tell us who's to blame, and suggest some ways to fix it.

To listen to the podcast, which is just over 35 minutes long, use the player below, subscribe via RSS or email, or download the full file via our podcast page, where you can also find the full archive of the podcasts we published during 2008-9. We're also on iTunes - just search for "New Humanist" in the store and select the podcast subtitled "The podcast for godless people".

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