Truth needs evidence, or some recourse to reality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the struggle to come to terms with incredible successes of the Trump presidential bid and the Brexit campaign.

The December sunlight faded away and the Scottish gloom rapidly began to take hold. Shadows thrown by the tall trees lining the stretch of the River Findhorn known locally as Randolph’s Leap lengthened, and the dark spaces at their roots grew.

In July 2014, at the height of the Gaza War, the Palestinian singer-composer Reem Kelani performed to a packed house at Rich Mix in East London. She confessed that she had felt like cancelling the concert as Israel’s military offensive intensified and the Gazan death toll escalated.

I have always been drawn to the symbol of the ‘hand’ as a connection point to the Prophet’s family, and as a reminder of the qualities of ‘Fatima’.

We can never reach Utopia – the name means ‘no place’ – but it’s a fine ideal to keep in sight. Life perhaps should be seen as one long pilgrimage with perfection – ‘Utopia’ – as its goal. Progress towards Utopia ought to be what ‘progress’ really means.