On the day in February 2003 when a million tramped through London against the impending war on Iraq, I happened to be one of the first protestors to arrive at Hyde Park. I was taken aback at the sight of the black shahada emblazoned flags of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) planted on either side of the stage.

The invasion of Libya was going well, much better than anyone had expected. With ground forces outgunning resistance and attacks from the air showcasing military technology to best effect, proponents of the campaign were riding high and detractors looked woolly and pusillanimous.

Not many people know what it feels like to grow up as a black man in Brixton. It’s a lot like growing up as a Pakistani in Bradford. Everywhere you go people want to talk to you about the riots and the issues and the ‘race problems’.

When we were children we were explicitly told that we Albanians were unique people because we were the only nation in the world ‘confessing three religions’ – namely, Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.

A slave boy of Byzantine origin, who had grown up to become a scientific scion of Archimedes in the annals of world intellectual history, was offered a hefty sum of 1,000 dinars as a gift from his royal Seljuq patron Sultan Sanjar ibn Malikshāh in Khurāsān (r. 1097–1157).

As a hijabi Muslim I’ve been asked some pretty weird questions in my time. For example: ‘Do you have to wear your hijab in the shower as well?’

Growing up in Muslim-majority Malaysia, I became accustomed to battling with the identity I chose to uphold – that of the unveiled Muslim woman. There is a local term coined especially for us unveiled girls: ‘freehair’.