Bought 18 Aug 2007 – Bookends (I think)

A memoir of growing up Pakistani Muslim in London in the 1970s and 80s, this had echoes of both Andrew Collins' "Where Did It All Go Right" etc and Adrian Mole (there's a quote from Sue Townsend on the front). Like the former, and unlike the latter, it's non-fiction, so the hand that shaped it had to work with real events, and sometimes these seemed a little random and unfocussed. However, it was both entertaining, and a useful description of the mullings of a young man getting accustomed to his own religion (so much is taken for granted that he only learns he doesn't eat pork for religious reasons when round at a white classmate's house) and the conflict between Islam and Christianity.

Written in a deadpan style, this seems sometimes to undermine slightly the importance of these latter sentiments and musings – it was only on reflection after finishing it that I realised what a useful insight into the mind of a moderate Muslim this was. There is an emphasis on respect, of oneself and others, and moderation, an explanation of where some of the more hardline Islamist ideas come from, and a reassurance maybe for those who haven't had access to this kind of viewpoint in their immediate circle.

[read this a few years ago but was getting spam comments every day so deleted and reposted to see if that sorts out the problem]