Plus What I’m re­ally think­ing

The Guardian - Weekend - - Content - The Mus­lim of­fice worker Te Tell us what you’re re­ally think­ing at mind@the­guardian.com

My fam­ily has been in the UK for 60 years. We ex­pe­ri­enced racist abuse in pub­lic and at school, and saw our home van­dalised many times. But that was the 1980s. Things got bet­ter and were meant to carry on get­ting bet­ter. Sadly, the abuse is back.

In­creas­ingly, I prac­tise shame­ful prag­ma­tism in the work­place. I don’t overdo the Brit shtick (“We Brits don’t do that, do we?”), but I do think twice about ad­mit­ting I’m not a roy­al­ist. I’ve lied to pass the Teb­bit cricket test, hid­ing my love for a team that in­fu­ri­ates me and fills me with pride, while re­mind­ing me of days spent with my late dad watch­ing the sport.

I won’t men­tion the lat­est at­tack. If you bring it up, I’ll say it’s sick, aw­ful, de­praved. Is that enough? Or should I say I con­demn it “as a Mus­lim”? Are you just mak­ing con­ver­sa­tion, or are you try­ing to find out if I’m a sym­pa­thiser, a wannabe ji­hadi bride?

As a hu­man, I’m hor­ri­fied and dis­gusted. As a Mus­lim, I’m mostly fright­ened. How did we get here? In­se­cu­ri­ties and anx­i­eties I had as an im­mi­grant’s child, which less­ened in my 20s, have reached un­healthy lev­els this past decade. My over-con­sump­tion of news me­dia means even I can un­der­stand why peo­ple can’t see past my Mus­lim iden­tity any more.

So, ex­cuse me if I seem as though I’m keep­ing my head down and stick­ing to con­ver­sa­tions about work af­ter this lat­est ter­ror at­tack.

Like you, I’ll be think­ing of the hu­man spir­its rubbed out and those de­fined by this atroc­ity for the rest of their lives. I’ll also be won­der­ing ho how this chap­ter of his­tory will end fo for me and mine.

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