We are living in extraordinary times. One could argue that we have always lived in extraordinary times but now more than ever it really feels that with each day increasingly incessant infernos burn tempestuously around the world. These merciless political infernos rage like wild fires spreading thick and fast, switching direction and changing track when oxygen and air hits the flames. The cackling, hissing and spitting flames consume everything in their path leaving overwhelmed and exhausted bodies and minds to try and make sense of what has passed and what is yet to come.
And not for the fist time in my life I find myself in the middle of many of these searing political and social blazes and like most right minded people I find myself exhausted, overwhelmed and overloaded but increasingly feeling exhilarated, recharged and full of hope, life and resistance. Change is coming – it is in the air and all around us – but if you want to see the change you have to go in search for it and actively take part to make a difference.
A day does not go by without us hearing our politicians and political commentators talk about ‘values’ and how we as citizens must adopt ‘British values’. Early in 2017 the British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that it is not possible for people to be ‘citizens of nowhere’ and instead British people need to be rooted to this island and be proud of ‘our’ values. I’m a citizen. I’m British and have multiple identities as most of us do. I’m also a proud citizen of everywhere. It is impossible for me to disconnect or isolate myself from the rest of the world in order to make my government more comfortable with my Britishness or to prove that I hold British values because I have absolutely no idea what British values are. I know what my values are as a human and a woman, a woman of faith, a Muslim.