An enchanting and dramatic memoir of growing up in Bradford as a British Muslim in the 70s and 80s.
For Zaiba Malik, growing up in Bradford in the ‘70s and ‘80s certainly has its moments – staying up all night during Ramadan with her father; watching mad Mr Aziz searching for his goat during Eid; dancing along to Top of the Pops (so long as no-one’s watching). And, of course, there’s her mother – whether she’s writing another ingratiating letter to the Queen or repeatedly referring to Tom Jones as ‘Thumb Jone’.
But Zaiba’s story is also one of anxiety and seemingly irreconcilable opposites. Growing up she is constantly torn between two identities: ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’. Alienated at school and confused at home, the racism she encounters as a child mirrors the horrors she experiences at the hands of Bangladeshi interrogators
as a journalist years later.
Five years after the 7/7 attacks galvanized debates about Muslim-British identity, We Are A Muslim, Please is a stirring and enchanting memoir. We see, through Zaiba’s childhood eyes, the poignancy of growing up in a world whose prejudices, contradictions and ambiguities are at once distressing and utterly captivating.
“[We Are A Muslim, Please] vividly conveys the secure by stifling atmosphere Malik left behind when she went to college...but it is to thoughtful people like Malik that the future belongs.”
Joan Smith, Independent
“Award-winning journalist Zaiba Malik has made a name for herself with uncompromising investigations of corruption, prejudice and extremism. Her autobiography, We Are A Muslim, Please takes us from her childhood in 1970s Bradford to her experience in a Bangladeshi interrogation chamber. Few people are better placed to explore the issues facing Muslim women in Britain and the softness of the title...belies the hard-hitting nature of Malik's work. The final part of the book, a letter to one of the 7/7 suicide bombers, is particularly heartfelt and thought-provoking.”
Waterstoneâ??s Books Quarterly