Identity is important. It helps you find your clan, it engenders a sense of belonging, and it can – and should – have many dimensions. But in Britain, it seems, only certain identities are thought to belong.
28.2 | Narratives
When I was studying history at ‘A’ level in 1964, our syllabus identified 1492 as the year in which ‘Modern History’ began, the year that Columbus ‘discovered’ the ‘New World’. I was not told that it was also the year in which Columbus, in his relentless search for gold and slaves, instituted shockingly cruel and genocidal policies in the Caribbean islands he had ‘discovered’, including the rapid decimation of the populations of indigenous Arawak Indians.
The Muqaddimah dazzled me, a sociologist of religion and an ethnographer, when I first read it not too long ago.
Driving to my mother’s house, my nine-year-old boy was indignant. He sat at the front with his knees up, listening attentively to Radio 4. ‘Dad,’ he said with the frankness that came from not grasping diplomacy yet, ‘if Assad is bad, don’t we need to stop him?
In 2012, 259 people died inside a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan. It was a day when workers were collecting their salaries, so the building was massively over-occupied. There should have been a maximum of 260 people working at the site but there were actually approximately 800 to 900 people in the building at the time.
Every week, when my maternal grandmother completed an entire recitation of the Qur’an, she petitioned that the reward for her effort be passed to her deceased forefathers.
It is said that on the Day of Judgement, the Prophet Muhammad will open the gates of heaven to his Ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims united in faith.