Only half of me being a muslim in britain
Only Half of Me by Rageh OmaarA Muslim boy goes to a madrassa in Mogadishu to learn the Koran. His parents take him on two pilgrimages to Mecca. He arrives in Britain as a child just as Somalia collapses into a state of civil war, which will continue throughout his childhood and prevent him from going home. He watches Black Hawk Down in horror. He watches the invasion of Iraq in disbelief. To the media, government and general public, this is the classic background story to the most feared figure of our times: the young, male, black, British, Muslim. It is also the story of Rageh Omaars childhood.
Rageh Omaars unique and profoundly moving book is the story of his childhood in Somalia, his familys attitude to religion, his double life as a British Muslim and that of other British Muslims: the failed suicide bomber from Somalia; his cousin who was stabbed in the neck on a London street on 8th July 2005. Full of humanity and rage, empathy and insight, Only Half of Me takes us into lives that are widely misunderstood, and tries to make sense of our own fractured world.
What is it like to be a Muslim in Britain today?
He was a BBC world affairs correspondent, where he made his name reporting from Iraq. In September , he moved to a new post at Al Jazeera English , where he presented the nightly weekday documentary series Witness until January The Rageh Omaar Report , first aired February , is a one-hour, monthly investigative documentary in which he reports on international current affairs stories. From January , he became a special correspondent and presenter for ITV News , reporting on a broad range of news stories, as well as producing special in-depth reports from all around the UK and further afield. Omaar was born in in Mogadishu and is the son of a businessman. Omaar moved to the United Kingdom at the age of two.
In October , he is on a bus going to Hounslow to see his aunt when "I was aware of eight teenage schoolgirls tumbling down from the top deck, shouting and laughing Their loud and high-pitched chatter jumped from one another to their mobile phones that jangled out in an otherwise utterly silent bus. Omaar's other story comes from his disapproving aunt, who recounts her own bus story from that day. She had gone shopping and, a devout Muslim who prays five times a day, had done ablutions for her morning prayers. When a white man sat next to her, she moved to another seat because it is a rule not to touch the opposite sex after ablutions. The man shouted: "You are so rude!
I n Britain today there is a mismatch between how non-Muslims often perceive Muslims and how Muslims typically perceive themselves. This disconnect is down to a tendency by non-Muslims to assume that Muslims struggle with their British identity and divided loyalties. These concerns were challenged a few days ago,in a report by the University of Essex that found Muslims actually identify with Britishness more than any other Britons. This study is just one of several recent studies that have consistently found that Muslims in Britain express a stronger sense of belonging in Britain than their compatriots. Consider the following examples:. Those who work closely with Muslim communities will attest to the integrated position of British Muslims and that despite frequent exoticisation, British Muslim lives are much the same as any other citizen's. British Muslims also appreciate their ability to practise their religion in Britain without the type of subjugation that fellow Muslims are subjected to under despotic regimes in several Muslim-majority countries.
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Rageh Omaar, the war reporter and family man, tells Cassandra Jardine about his verbal battle with John Simpson and why he's still drawn to danger. Now he is under fire again but this time the missiles are verbal and come from his erstwhile boss, the BBC's World Affair editor, John Simpson. Simpson is livid because Omaar has criticised Western reporting on Iraq. The year-old pretty boy of news - he of the dewy eyes and long eyelashes - has said that broadcasters should "fess up" to the "fraud" they are perpetrating by staying within the protected Green Zone and passing off footage taken by Iraqi freelances as their own. After two British journalists were killed at the weekend, Simpson, currently in Iraq, fumed on Radio 4's Today programme that journalists are risking their lives daily. Omaar, he suggested later, was ignorant of the facts, or possibly out to denigrate Western media now that he has a new job with Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera.