A very thought-provoking essay in the Sunday Times (UK):
Integration, at least as it is seen from the perspective of Muslims living in the West, is often about denying or even abandoning half of ourselves. But that other half of us is an indivisible part of our existence, wherever we live.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who want to believe that “I am Muslim and British” should not become a sentence that is ever harder to say, or at the very least that it should be a sentence that does not evoke a lingering sense of doubt in their non-Muslim fellow Britons.
I have spent the vast majority of my professional life so far reporting back to a British audience from the African and Islamic world. As a British Muslim in London after the bombings of July 7 last year, I do not recognise my life and the lives of my relatives in the newspapers or on television....
There have been genuine attempts to understand “why”. But I don’t see much that reflects the hopes and views of my nieces, uncles, cousins who have made their homes in Britain.
There is barely a glimpse of that often hidden part of British society that is undergoing significant and vital change that will come to have a lasting impact on this country.
As in every war, you have to know who your enemies are, why they are your enemies and what you need to do to defeat them. But you also have to realise who you friends are. Muslims like myself ask whether you know who among us are your allies? Are all of us suspect? If not, then who is on our side?
Remember that we are targets in the same war. The bombers hate me — as one of the many millions of Muslims who accommodate western ideas and values — more than you. [Link]
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