The prominence of Britain’s Muslim minority in the nation’s debate about security and social cohesion provides the backdrop to journalist Zaiba Malik‘s memoir of growing up a British Muslim of Pakistani descent.
“We Are A Muslim, Please” tells how she was raised by first generation immigrant parents in the run-down former industrial center of the northern English city of Bradford in a tradition of conservative piety. (Photo: Pakistani-born British journalist Zaiba Malik in Dhaka on November 26, 2002/Rafiqur Rahman)
At the same time she was desperate to fit in at school, an overwhelmingly white British institution, an effort that led to years of excruciating anxiety and moments of low comedy.
Malik’s story is shaped by her curiosity about the roots of the militancy that has taken hold in some parts of Britain’s Muslim communities. She was born in nearby Leeds in 1969, on the same street where, decades later, the bombers who killed 52 people in London in 2005 manufactured their bombs in a rented apartment.
Malik spoke to Reuters about Britain and Muslim communities. Read the interview here.