Five thousand Jews left Afghanistan in 1948 to settle in the newly-created State of Israel. In 1979, as Soviet tanks rolled down the Salang Pass, most of the remaining Jews also emigrated, some to India, some to Central Asia. By the time Afghanistan was reinvaded in 2001, only two Jews remained.
3.3 | Fear and Loathing
What does it mean to be a young person from a Muslim background in Britain today? The question has been explored in a number of films that have represented second-generation British Muslims over the last decade or so.
On the top deck of the Number 32 bus, a group of Muslim teenagers took the seats in front of me. There were six of them, all in black hijabs, and very rowdy. They were simultaneously trying to balance their school bags and books in one hand, while holding onto mobile phones in the other; texting or surfing the web, giggling and getting worked up, all at the same time.
My own experience with self-loathing came as a nagging feeling which initially I could not name. The lack of a name to that feeling translated into the lack of a definition and lack of recognition. It simply became ‘that’ feeling, whose voice should be silenced at all costs before it grew louder and threatened the integrity of my faith.
Just days before the Tottenham fire that set alight petrol lakes of the inequality and hopelessness that exists right across the UK, a meticulously coiffured tour guide in Cairo (even his eyelashes appeared sculpted), surely from a respectable middle class family, told me that the poor people of Egypt were generally happy with their lot, and, ignoring the contradiction, in the same breath explained how Mubarak lost his way by not spreading the wealth that the rich were harvesting as a direct result of his neo-liberal economic reforms. Despite my guide’s faulty reasoning he had exposed the connection between economic and social injustice and the revolt against tyranny — the self-same inequality and lack of control experienced by large numbers of people in Britain.
The mere mention of sects raises a set of linguistically inescapable terms that have become so emotionally charged as to make rational debate a rarity.