Flying whilst Muslim

It wasn’t the first time it had happened to me, that was back in 2014. This time, however, it was different. Someone in the security establishment had decided it was time to upgrade my membership of the “Schedule 7” club from associate to plenary – with all its attendant perks and benefits. As a child…

Letterboxes, Niqabs and Poisonous Snakes

[My take on “burqa”-gate expressed by way of an open letter to comedian Rowan Atkinson. Image courtesy of the irrepressible @HashashinTag – thanks for making us all (even the haters) laugh, sis. For any Muslims who might raise objections: please note that my acceptance of the “right” to mock and lampoon Islam in a liberal…

Another four years of ignominy…

“If the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English.” [Wilfrid Sheed – “Essays in Disguise”] As an Englishman (yes, I “self-identify” as one) I’ve always been proud of my intense dislike for the French. Their arrogant hauteur, vainglorious boasting, gauche directness and worst of all, their pompous dismissal of all and any English achievements (the English language…

Checking out

Boom. Once more, only this time closer, unmistakably closer. And again, the walls and roof trembled, their moans articulated in the puffs of fine dust that engulfed him. Outside the cacophony of conflict blared loud and relentless. “Fuck sake!” His shalwaar kameez had been freshly washed and ironed only hours earlier; at 9 am he’d…

Mad Mel, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

It’s not that I don’t like Melanie Phillips, I just can’t stand the sight of her [I’m trying not to notice!]. Actually I was intending to write this short piece even before the whole brouhaha over her “no such thing as Islamophobia” remarks erupted. As someone who has monitored her rantings for around thirteen years…

Minority vs Mainstream

For some years now the Muslim community has complained of a small fringe, whose opinions were completely at odds with the mainstream, being granted a media platform incommensurate to their numbers. Yes, I’m talking about the likes of Maajid Nawaz, Ed Husain (although he’s since disappeared), Iram Ramzan, Sara Khan and more recently Adam Deen…

Douglas Murray & Maajid Nawaz

A few inchoate observations about two of Britain’s most ardent Islam (as in what 99.9% of us believe to be Islam) haters. I once tweeted a link to a YouTube recording of a BBC Any Questions? discussion between Murray and Nawaz and strangely enough within a week or so it was taken down and the…

The clue is in the name

As anyone who has done A-level (google the term if you’re not from England) Maths – and I appreciate that probably means about 0.001% of the people reading this – can tell you, when you’re stuck for a formula or on how to proceed go back to first principles. The axioms are the bedrock upon…

The rhetoric of white privilege

[My thoughts on the Mary Beard Haiti tweet controversy. Expressed in the form of an open letter.] Dear Mary Let me start by saying that I don’t think you are a racist, a neo-colonialist or any other such pejorative that might have been lobbed at you this past week. In truth I’m a great admirer…