xistence in an automated world. It has to be based on values, the real core ones, critically considered and developed in the changing context of our world.

While I never asked to be Malay, I still grew up trying to pass as Malay. I tried, for instance, to perfect my spoken Malay – formal and patois. As the youngest in my family, my siblings thought I was the one who ‘passed’ most convincingly.

If he were alive today, the Prophet would probably love hanging out with pacifist vegan environmentalists. Or would he?

In 1952, the British authorities declared a state of emergency in colonial Kenya, precipitating years of violent warfare.

If you haven’t seen this already, type ‘Egyptian police parade 2020’ into YouTube. Don’t be surprised if the auto-search function suggests ‘topless Egyptian parade 2020’.

Maybe it was the price of trying to lead a double life, but I was left broken after three consecutive Fridays – the year I turned nineteen.

I never know what to say when people ask if I was a pop star in Malaysia.

The Shahnameh consists of some fifty thousand couplets usually divided into three sections – the mythical, heroic, and historical. It narrates the global story of a people – referred to by its author Ferdowsi as Iranians – from the creation of the world to the Arab conquest of the Sassanian Empire in the 650s.

The Muqaddimah dazzled me, a sociologist of religion and an ethnographer, when I first read it not too long ago.

 Why was I so self-conscious? Was it because I was surrounded by perfectly preened, young, mostly Muslim women, taking selfies and chattering away? ‘I’m not some creepy, non-colour coordinated lech,’ I wanted to protest aloud, ‘I’m here for research.’