Reading 1

'Proclaiming Who We Are’


We, as a new generation of British Muslims, have to learn to speak about ourselves and our lives forcefully and honestly; to proclaim who we are.


We need to explain how Islam as a living culture has changed from our parents’ generation to ours.We have to describe our lives not just to non-Muslims but to ourselves as well, and to our parents who do not know the extent to which our outlook is different from theirs and how our sense of identity is being radically reshaped by forces they did not experience.


We have to describe our lives to those who know next to nothing about Islam and yet are hungry for an honest and authentic representation of our faith and culture today and want to understand where we feel it belongs in the British experience.


And, perhaps most important of all, we need to explain why the many voices in national public life, in the news media, arts, parliament, the police forces, legal system and think tanks, who talk of ‘what is wrong with Islam’ so proprietarily should stop speaking on our behalf.



 From Only Part of Me: being a Muslim in Britain by Rageh Omaar, Viking Books 2006.

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