Sarah Munawar (She/Her) is a Pakistani-Muslim and settler living on and sustained by the occupied and unceded land and waters of the Coast Salish peoples including xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (TsleilWaututh) Nations. She is currently a visiting professor at the Elizabeth Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership (EDR) at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston from January 2023-April 2024.
She earned her Ph.D in political science at the University of British Columbia in 2019 and is also a political science instructor at Columbia College. As a neurodiverse Muslim, mother and political theorist, her research not only articulates a vision of health equity, disability justice and care ethics that is intersectional, Islamic and de-colonial but also centres the epistemic authority of disabled Muslims as knowers of Islam, Muslim practices of care and care-based modes knowing Islam. Whether its naming the medical ableism and racism endured by her father in ICUs, or theorizing through her own experiences of medical racism in postpartum care, or accounting for the invisible labour of primary care-givers like her mother, Dr. Munawar offers a vision of disability justice and collective accessibility that draws upon various lineages of anti-oppressive Islamic knowledge.
Her work interrogates the limits of comparative political theory and the colonial politics of recognition as paradigms for cross-cultural inquiry and culturally competent care. Instead she offers political theorists, and Muslims, a Muslim-feminist and de-colonial epistemology that prioritizes body-sense, consent, intentionality and collective accessibility in knowledge consumption and knowledge production. She offers a vision of disability justice that articulates the Islamic rights of Muslims to culturally safe and culturally appropriate care, as well as, Islamic right to supported caregiving. As a Muslim, she mobilizes her research on care ethics and disability justice to outline gaps, scopes of harm in settler-colonial healthcare policies, systems and paradigms to address the unmet needs and critiques of disabled Muslims, care-givers, and elders navigating complex, critical and long-term care in Canada. She offers Muslims a uniquely Islamic moral vocabulary to both demand safer, consent-based care in health-care settings in a settler-colonial society and to distribute care more equally and justly within Muslim communities and kin-based networks of care.