Everybody wants to be ‘woke’ but who wants to be honest?

Can we be something more honest than “woke”? I’ve been thinking a lot about the performativity of all our politics recently. I am worried. An MP describes people as ‘a funny tinge’ and to be a “good” person you have to perform outrage/ridicule, though I’m sure many of us funny-tinged people feel nothing deeper than an eye-roll. It’s not that deep. And by not that … Continue reading Everybody wants to be ‘woke’ but who wants to be honest?

Everyone “Loves” a Muslim on a March, but Who Loves Us on the Train Home?

The 8 pm train from London Kings Cross to Leeds is pretty quiet. I see a few exhausted people like myself, who I presume – from the bedraggled placards they still clutch – have also spent the day protesting Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. I sit down heavily and sink lower into my seat when I notice two men with ‘Make America Great Again’ … Continue reading Everyone “Loves” a Muslim on a March, but Who Loves Us on the Train Home?

The pain of not being able to hurt you the way you hurt me

Over a month ago I read a line that I haven’t been able to get out of my head ever since. It was in the context of being on the receiving end of racial microaggressions – those off-hand comments that say you don’t belong, jokes that lay bare your dehumanisation, questions that make assumptions about you. The line was this: “I hated not being able … Continue reading The pain of not being able to hurt you the way you hurt me

SOAS vs Cambridge

This week marks the beginning of my year of studying (Postcolonial Studies) at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London. Though practically unheard of by many, SOAS has a reputation for being a very political space and an institution with appreciation for critical and sometimes radical analysis and thought. To my mind, entering this space would be jumping from one extreme experience of … Continue reading SOAS vs Cambridge

Is it time for the British government to stop Saving Muslim Women yet?

Content notes: Islamaphobia, colonialism, imperialism, misogyny, orientalism, racism. Yesterday David Cameron announced that a £20 million fund to teach Muslim women in the UK to ‘speak English’ will tackle segregation and help prevent ‘radicalisation’ – though he also said there was no causal connection between radicalisation and English language… Now, my initial reaction, beyond an eye-roll, was to wonder how and why this policy was … Continue reading Is it time for the British government to stop Saving Muslim Women yet?