There is One God, One Prophet and, allegedly, one international Muslim community – the ummah. There are five daily prayers and five pillars of Islam (profession of faith, zakat, prayer, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj, at least once in a lifetime). There are six, for Sunnis, Articles of Faith (belief in One God; the angels of God; the books of God; the prophets of God; the Day of Judgment ; and the supremacy of God’s will), seven circuits around the Kaaba (when you actually get to Mecca) and seven verses in the Fatiha, ‘the Opening’ chapter of the Qur’an, which has 114 Surahs or chapters. The Prophet had twelve wives; and the Shia have twelve Imams.

We live in a period of such mounting Islamophobia that it became possible for Rush Limbaugh, one of the most venomous right-wingers in the US, to make common cause with Global Research, a website that describes itself as a ‘major news source on the New World Order and Washington’s “war on terrorism”’.

He makes the yummiest of croissants. They are flaky and marginally sweet, with golden layers on top that come off at the softest of touches. The smell of pure butter wafts along as the croissants slide out of the oven on a piping hot tray. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the crescent-shaped pastries.

We’d been in the bleak bungalow a fortnight when Alastair went off on exercise with his signal troop to Mersing on the east coast of Malaysia. Ah Mai, my amah, had been with us since we moved in, and as it was Saturday she was about to go home to her family for the weekend.

Converts to radical Islamist sects have become the public face of twenty-first-century British Islam. The shocking images of a bloodied and dazed Michael Olumide Adebolajo (Mujahid Abu Hamza) following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May 2013 are unlikely to fade quickly from the public consciousness.

It’s a wet October Thursday evening in East London, and my first visit to the Tablighi Jamaat’s Masjid Ilyas. The mosque has become controversial following a planning dispute between Tablighi Jamaat and the local council.

On a hot day in August 2007, an estimated 90,000 people gathered in the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, to call for the re-establishment of the Caliphate. The event was organised by Hizb-ut-Tahrir Indonesia, a chapter of the transnational movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Group of Liberation) whose key aim is the revival of the Caliphate.

At the Manouba University in Tunis, soon after the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011, a small number of female students attempted to attend classes wearing the niqab, which, under Tunisian legislation and in accordance with the dress code universities had to enforce, was illegal.