Ten British Muslims with contrasting world views move in together. They discuss the results of a survey exploring British opinion about the Muslim community.
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This programme contains some strong language
This walled city is home to Roman ruins,
an ancient cathedral,
and, for this week, these ten Muslims.
A community constantly in the spotlight.
We go to school, we go to university, we work,
how else do you want me to integrate?
They've come together from across Britain...
..to live under one roof.
For the last five days they have explored their faith.
I don't pray traditionally like that.
I've got my own ways.
-You are harming Islam.
-Are you mad?
But they've got very different ideas about what makes a good Muslim.
I'm coming back into my faith because I've realised
that being gay and being Muslim are not mutually exclusive things.
You don't think I'm a good representative of Muslim women?
A Muslim woman should cover her hair.
Now they'll shift their focus to identity...
I was told that I was a Paki terrorist...
that should go back home.
You, as a white person, don't have the right to tell me...
I have nothing about whiteness.
..and what it means to be a Muslim in the UK.
I want Britain to become an Islamic state.
I feel like I need to call the anti-terrorism police.
BACK OFF! BACK OFF!
This is a battle for the soul of Islam.
If you don't integrate, you're always going to be outsider,
and that's not only dangerous
but it's stupid.
It's going to be a good feeling, bro.
It's five days since the group arrived in York
and so far they've struggled to define what makes a good Muslim.
# What I got to do to make you happy...? #
Fear Allah, as he should be feared.
I am fearing you at the moment.
No, don't fear me.
-Give me that kettle...
-Only Allah is...
Today they will turn their attention to what Britain thinks of them.
They are given the results of a survey exploring public opinion
about the Muslim community.
OK, guys. A sample of 1,708 members of the British public,
who were asked whether they agree or disagree
with the following statements.
"Muslim values are compatible with British values."
Just the idea that people can
separate British values and Muslim values...
I've got an idea.
Why don't we find out what we love about Britain
and how our faith helps us to be the best that we can?
What does that have to do with values?
How about we come from the opposite way,
and we define generally what Muslim values are?
Which is not to have boyfriend and girlfriend...
Oh, it's always the same stuff.
..which is marriage. Muslim values is not to drink alcohol.
-That's your interpretation of it.
-Yeah, your interpretation.
God has clearly forbidden alcohol in the Qur'an.
How many Muslims do you know who don't drink?
How many Muslims do you know who smoke ganja?
But it's not Islam, is it?
From the get-go, the values of a Muslim are not compatible with British values.
"I would feel comfortable if a Muslim moved in next door to my home."
I've made so many new non-Muslim friends
by just feeding them.
Why their hell should I bring you curry
or bring you anything, for you to think it's OK
for me to live next door. That makes no sense.
What are we going to do? Bomb up the house next door?
They've got an image of Muslims, that's why they've got this...
-It's not good enough.
but on top of that there's a thing called neighbourliness
that has almost disappeared.
We need to bring it back,
because my people from here
have forgotten how to be good neighbours themselves
because they are locked into these little battery houses
where they never talk to the neighbours any more.
Mm, I'm going to start making scones a lot now.
lives in Nottingham with her husband.
But Saba hasn't always been a Muslim.
She was once Hilary.
I was somebody else.
I was born in Calcutta, India,
I used to ride ponies,
and it was a very English, middle-class lifestyle.
During the '60s I was a hippie, I suppose,
but I wasn't a great heavy dope smoker.
I did take one or two trips
because I needed to do it for my psychological health.
I came to Islam from a very different place.
But I know that, in a sense... That Allah has always been caring for me.
Abdul Haq, please stop.
I was still speaking.
We haven't got time for some people to go on and on and on.
If I may interject.
"Muslims in Britain
"have failed to integrate into British society."
I think, in my opinion, as an outsider,
Muslims in Britain have massively failed to integrate.
They are kind of in a closed bubble
where they only talk about certain things and they socialise alone
-without integrating with the society.
-But there are areas where
white people don't want to integrate with the rest of Britain.
Parts of Chelsea and Fulham where they just get together
and eat whatever it is that white people eat.
I, as a white Muslim convert,
am sick of hearing Islam conflated with a racist agenda.
Islam is not limited to a race...
The problem is cultural Islam...
No, you should shut up because he wants to talk. Please stop.
There is a problem and the solution...
Stop being the dominating male, please, for goodness' sake.
'I think we are integrated.'
We go to school, we go to university, we work.
How else do you fucking want me to integrate?
I don't understand.
Hearing those questions
almost made Muslims seem like aliens,
and so to actually hear the result,
I've never heard anything like it.
That was shocking.
That really surprised me. I was disappointed
in the British public.
I thought they were good questions.
I think people have terrific enthusiasm
and everybody wants to contribute.
But it's very important, the discipline of timing,
how long you speak, and also how often.
You've got to get that balance right in the communication area.
Saba always complains about male privilege.
For example, Abdul Haq is never allowed to speak.
When we are discussing race, she, as a white person,
wants to always throw in a, "Well, I'm a white Muslim
"so therefore Islam is not seen as a racial thing."
You're one person.
And I think today I will actually pull her up on it.
When people find out that I'm not only black but also Muslim,
it gets worse.
I used to have a joke... One of my favourite poets, Boonaa Mohammed,
says it - "I am black and I am Muslim, which means everywhere I go
"someone hates me."
Have I experienced Islamophobia? No.
Not at all.
The Muslims have come together from across Britain
to share their take on faith with each other.
But for the next few days they'll be joined by four non-Muslim locals.
'They were happy to live for five or six days...'
I was saying, "Let's clean, let's clean, let's clean..."
They find out four non-Muslims may be coming.
"Oh, my God, we don't want them to think we are dirty. Let's clean.
"Let's clean. Oh, my God."
'Somebody put mince with blood dripping in the fridge,'
they didn't mind. "Oh, it's fantastic, I like it."
But when non-Muslims are coming, or English people,
"Oh, my God, Goray are coming."
They learned how to clean, overnight.
Something that they couldn't do for how many days?
That's colonial thinking for you.
You don't care about yourself, you don't want good for your own
but you want to look good to Mr Davis.
These York locals are curious about Islam.
'I was reared in Catholicism but I don't practise a faith.'
I want society to be as integrated as possible,
so I want to understand more about Islam
and how we can actually help that work.
They want to find out what being a Muslim in Britain really means.
'As a Catholic I want to get to know people's views'
on British values,
and I'd like to understand why there appears to be
a support for radicalism.
'From an early age I decided that I was an atheist.
'I don't agree with aspects of Islam'
that homosexuals should be stoned,
that women don't have an equal place in the world,
'and it will be interesting to see the views from both sides.'
They will be visiting the house each day
and showing the Muslims around York.
They will try to understand what being part of the Muslim community
-is really about.
-Here we go.
-A tall order,
as the household has so far failed to agree
on what makes a good Muslim.
I won't shake your hand but nice to meet you anyway.
It's nothing personal...
-My name is Abdul Haq, what's your name?
-Nice to meet you, Jason.
-Say it again, sorry?
-It means servant of the truth.
Oh. OK. Now I know.
'I'm a little nervous.
'I'm not religious myself.'
There are lots of names I'm going to have to remember,
which is always a challenge.
-It's like a submarine.
-I can remember that one.
I don't expect them to cry at Elgar or anything like that
but I think it would be interesting to see if they feel themselves as British as I do.
-Nice and easy one!
My dad was from Portugal via Pakistan.
When you walked in, I thought Prince William was here.
Ah, no, well, is that a compliment?
I suppose it might be.
Hi, guys. Just to let you know,
I'm not being antisocial,
I'm just making lunch
and I don't want anything to burn.
-And you are...?
I'm Nabil. Nice to meet you.
And do you like Britain?
Erm, good question, actually.
I think Britain is quite a nice place.
Maybe I had a misconception at one point
about the open sex culture
and they don't give their virginity to marriage.
So it was mainly about virgin issues.
So why is it that when conflict takes place on the side of the Muslims,
it's terrorism, but when Britain, America and their allies conduct it,
Is it justified?
If the British government decides to go to war,
and it's gone through our democracy,
and whether you like it or not, our democracy functions...
No, it doesn't.
Have you always worn the veil?
The hijab I began wearing when I was in my early teens.
And the niqab I didn't wear for long.
I think I wore that for a few months,
but I found it very practically difficult.
This is going to sound really sad,
but I eat quite often
and I really struggled to eat with the niqab on!
Years ago, when I was doing my degree,
there was a Muslim girl on my corridor
and I invited her a couple of times for drinks
and of course she never wanted to come.
So it does create a bit of an artificial barrier.
So why didn't you just invite her out to a restaurant
-or one of the numerous other places you go to.
Well, that's not any good excuse, is it? Alcohol is hardly cheap.
You could've gone to a milkshake bar, you can go to Nando's.
I don't enjoy that.
-I have once been to a Nando's.
-Once been to a Nando's...
I didn't rate it, particularly.
'I found that conversation really irritating.'
I think right now Jason thinks that Muslims
don't integrate and we believe that we are superior
and that's why we don't associate, but I think, actually,
it's quite ironic because
as far as I can see right now, he's the one who thinks that he is superior,
and refuses to even change
the location of where he's asking a colleague
to come out to,
because of his arrogance.
Guys, shall we go?
Where are we going?
Antique dealer Jon is proud of the city and its history.
Today he's planned a trip to a local landmark.
A place with personal significance for him.
My father was an Army officer.
He served with the British Army, initially,
and we're going to the local war memorial just to pay respects to the people
who have died fighting for all of us.
And I'll ask you to share this experience with me.
I'm not going to come because I believe that those
who you speak about at the memorial,
they actually fought over dividing up the Muslim lands.
Right, would you
accept that they also stopped
what was a massacre of the Jews?
Whatever good they done, they also done a lot of harm
in relation to the problems we see in the Middle East today.
Abdul, I accept your point of view.
No problem. Bye.
I'm coming with you.
Is that something we agree on, Auntie?
In these memorials, very little respect is paid to the African soldiers that took part
or even to the Sikh. Recently there has been...
The Sikh, the Indians and the Muslim soldiers as well.
So on that grounds... I respect you as a person,
but I will not attend this today.
OK, I accept that, and thank you.
But I do apologise if it offends you as a person.
It doesn't offend me as a person.
It is entirely your decision.
I really reflect Nabil's views on this,
so with the greatest respect to your father and to yourself,
I won't be coming today.
-That's OK, that's fine, I accept that.
So I'm assuming I shall dismiss myself.
Have a nice time, guys.
It's always sad when you see this many names.
-You can't even count them.
Most of them were kids.
It says where they're from, as well. Middlesbrough, Leeds.
I feel happy that some of you decided to come.
What do you feel about the ones who are not here?
Had it been the other way around,
had I been the person,
I think I would've gone out of respect to them.
These guys gave their lives for you and me, so we could have our freedoms.
You know, eventually, that's what it boils down to.
You look around, you look at all these names,
and behind every single name, there's a family, there's a death.
And you'd think we would have learned by now that this is
not the way to go.
This is true. On the other hand, these people were conscripted.
That's something we don't do any more, so I guess Britain's
moved on a little bit in terms of respecting people's rights...
Britain's moved on in terms of respecting people's rights?
There's no conscription, is what I'm getting at.
And now they're fighting... with their free will.
-And that's a good thing?
-It's a better thing.
So the soldiers have chosen that lifestyle, haven't they?
In both cases, it's still the people who decide to take the army
to war that have all the control and the power and...
Yes, but in theory, that's a democratic decision.
-And then Iraq happened.
At the house, Nabil has something he wants to get off his chest.
He's asked Saba for a word.
I understand that, obviously, as a man, I have privileges.
But here's the thing - I've noticed whenever we discuss,
for example, the racial aspect of Islamophobia in the UK,
you tend to have a problem with it, and you tend to say,
"No, don't make it into a racist thing.
"I'm English and I'm Muslim," which is true, you are,
but remember that when we speak of our experience as unique to us,
and you stop us from discussing that,
you're doing the exact same thing that maybe
me and Abdul Haq might do if we dominate a discussion,
and it is very frustrating, because this is our experience.
-You don't get it, do you? Can I respond to that?
Because I want you to understand that my intervention
like that is not on the basis of what is being said.
It's about time - give us time to talk.
Fair enough, for today,
but this isn't the first time that it's happened.
Look, I've been in race demonstrations, I'm married to...
-I know that, but...
My point is that you keep shutting down racial discussions.
Please, no, you're... That's paranoia.
-Please give me space to talk...
I just wanted you to look at the situation
a different way, that wasn't about anything to do with that.
-It was to do with the fact...
-So I should forget my experience?
Are you going to listen?
It's nothing to do with YOUR experience or MY experience.
-It's not about us.
-I'm making the point that you, as a white person,
-don't have the right to tell me...
-It's nothing about whiteness.
-Listen, listen, listen...
-That's white privilege in itself.
Yeah, do you know what it was about? It was about the time...
-You mentioned race.
-Tell me time. Tell me that you need time.
Please, for God's sake, listen to me.
-But you don't listen to me.
-I listened to you for hours.
You told me not to mention my experiences.
-The race thing. Please listen to me.
-The race thing?
-No, let me...
Listen, let it be about something else than race.
Exactly, what I'm telling you is that you don't have
a right to tell me to make something not about race...
So will you listen to me talk about race? Because I'm a woman.
No, it wasn't about that, it was about the time that we were...
That's not what you said. You said stop talking about race.
There was no time left for us to talk.
-Am I lying?
-No, he's not lying.
Why do you want to make me the villain?
-I'm not trying to make you the villain...
You're sitting there, being... "Yes, he's right".
You are, you're sitting there... I don't know why you're here at all.
You weren't part of what I was going through. Why are you here?
What YOU were going through?
I'm the one who's being accused of this, you're not.
I didn't realise being accused of racism was worse than
actually experiencing racism, but all right.
You know, I do feel for white people that are against
white privilege, and have to hear these things,
because it's not nice to hear... The same way as a man,
I don't like hearing about what men have done and what men do.
But at the same time,
I'm aware that I've probably had misogynistic views in my life,
and probably still have some, and that's life - you learn.
And you unlearn.
That's the whole point - if you're in a place of privilege,
you unlearn. I know I keep on talking about me being
a woman of colour, but I understand that I also have privileges,
because I'm not black, and like I said,
there's a lot of racism in our community.
On the one hand,
we all say that Islam is a religion that promotes the rights of
women and the rights of black people,
whilst on the other hand being very misogynist and very anti-black.
And we refuse to acknowledge our own hypocrisy there.
Has it been problematic, being married to a Pakistani?
Yeah, being married to an Asian...
I mean, my wife's family are religious, not cultural,
so her family has been fantastic.
But generally, a lot of people who know about this, you know,
from my stand-up and what not, it just becomes a means to abuse, so
I've had people messaging me, saying that my wife's a nigger-lover.
"Why did one of our sisters marry a monkey, gorilla, ape?"
All these kind of things.
You know, and it doesn't even bother me, cos I'm like...
If that's what comes to your mind, then obviously,
it's an insecurity that you have. You know?
Do you think we came across as a group OK?
There was a bit of fighting going on!
I think we came across as a group as we are,
which is constantly talking over our heads. I mean, it's a Muslim...
It's an Asian thing.
I felt it was quite embarrassing.
I mean, you already know you're going to enter a house with
ten Muslims, which makes us sound like aliens anyway.
Then all ten look so different,
one's sitting all the way at the back at the fucking table...
And no-one knows why!
And everyone else is like, "No, this is Islam." "No, this is Islam."
The diversity ends up making it
look like none of us actually know what Islam is.
Well, yeah, because we have so many different views.
They probably think that we're extremists, for not going to
the World War II thing. They also rightfully think that
Abdul Haq should be arrested for his shoes.
To be honest with you,
that Belmarsh thing had nothing to do with your beliefs. It's cos you wear Crocs.
Jason couldn't pronounce my name, and he needed help,
so he wanted to just call me Ferdinand.
He did what English people do - my sister's name is Shamayleh.
She's been called Sheila ever since she was at school.
Now, Shamayleh's a beautiful name, and as I always say...
My friend used to say to me, "If we can do Engelbert Humperdinck,
-"you can do our names."
-You know, just make a little effort.
Get to know how you might pronounce it, so I just say
"Naila, like Isla, the name, just like this," but I thought there was
an arrogance in saying, "Can I call you Ferdinand?"
-Well, only if we can call you Jalaluddin.
How about this?
Oh, yeah. Very elegant. Nice.
The other day, I think you said something like,
"There's got to be a Shi'a in the group".
I come from a Shi'a background, so I grew up in a Shi'a family.
But what's the main...
If you could give me a summary of the basic differences,
that would be helpful.
Shi'as believe that Imam Ali should have been the Caliph,
-straight after the Prophet died.
-Whereas what actually happened
was that Abu Bakr became the first leader.
For over 1,400 years, since the passing of Muhammad,
the Sunni/Shi'a split has raged.
This sectarian divide about the rightful heir to the Prophet
has caused bloodshed across the Muslim world.
Zohra lives in North London, and even today, as a Shi'a Muslim,
she faces prejudice from Britain's overwhelmingly Sunni majority.
I was getting to know somebody once. It was one of these arranged things,
and somewhere towards the end of the day,
I guess I must have said something that implied that I'm Shi'a,
and he suddenly went, "Oh, hang on a minute.
"You're Shi'a - this is going to be a problem."
He had been married before,
and he'd been married to somebody who was not Muslim,
and that was fine, but marrying a Shi'a, he said,
"My parents just couldn't deal with that.
"I just don't want to put them through it."
So situations like that are difficult.
Communities hate each other, and they're so petty.
We should sort of move on from that kind of stuff.
I mean, I've talked to people about it.
I've talked to several people about it now.
-I'm really worried about telling Abdul.
Hopefully he'll think I'm a nice person, and then he'll think...
Can you accept that you are a nice person?
-It's irrelevant what he thinks, and if you want...
-Yeah, I'm all right.
-Have a conversation.
-Yeah, I'm going to do that, but...
-Oh, our guests are here.
-Oh, they're here? Oh.
He's got a green bow tie on, and I've got a towel on my head.
-Good morning, how are you?
-Nice to see you.
-Did you sleep well?
-How dapper do you look?
-Yes, well, I thought I'd wear a bit of linen.
-Cooler, in the...
-It never occurred to me that you can have all these
different-coloured bow ties, as well.
Yes, well, I thought, you don't want to be repetitive, do you?
-You all right?
The locals arrive for their second day of exploring
the British Muslim experience.
-Good morning, how have you been?
-Very well, actually.
-I brought you some flowers from my garden.
-Oh, thank you very much.
It's just a lovely smell.
After breakfast, attention turns to Allah and the afterlife.
I have issue with someone saying, "Cos you don't believe,
"you're going to hell."
I'm not into fire and brimstone preaching, personally.
But are there versions of the Qur'an that say some people
will go to hell? Yes.
I don't really believe in heaven and hell like that.
I don't care what you believe, I'm just stating that these are
the two different viewpoints, and I'm in the middle of them.
The Muslim is obliged to be truthful.
A Muslim is obliged to be truthful.
Look to the history of Islam. I'm not talking about in general...
But you have a...
Kind of what I would call a narrow view of truth,
because you may actually be interpreting something,
and you may see something and write down what it is,
compared to someone else with another set of beliefs.
Both will think it is truth.
I do believe in a heaven and a hell.
Maybe the picture I have in my mind might not be the same for me -
hell is being stuck in a U2 concert forever.
But it's still something I wouldn't want to experience.
I believe in nur - light - and that's like heaven, and dark,
which is hell, and I believe it's in your day-to-day. Go on.
I was going to say that I've never heard
so much emphasis on heaven and hell. Where is the focus on life?
-The life you're living.
-You don't live...
If you don't like the conversation we're having,
don't tell me what I can talk about.
But don't think you can dominate the conversation.
Dominate what conversation?
We came outside, we were talking to each other.
-You came in and now you're telling me...
Can you just listen to Naila?
-No, no, no.
-Can you just listen to Naila?
If you don't like what I'm discussing, go sit with
-someone else and speak with them.
-Listen to Naila.
-Why should I?
I don't understand you guys... Then go speak to someone else.
For fuck's sake.
There's just too much domination about what is the right way.
It's ridiculous. You've got this life - live it.
-And you come here...
-You always dominate conversations.
-Then go and have a conversation with someone else.
I don't want to listen to anything you have to say,
-cos you're full of shit.
-Oh, there you go. Thank you.
You've got no respect for people's opinions.
No, I've got no respect for you, cos you've got none for me.
-Do you know what?
-Clearly you've got problems.
You have got a bit of an issue with dominating conversations.
Yeah, well, too bad. Discuss it with someone who doesn't.
Now you're walking away, goodbye.
That really, really upset me.
He's dominating in his views, and quite aggressive.
I hope it wasn't with any kind of malicious intent.
-Do you know the words of this?
-No, I don't.
Do you do any Bollywood songs?
Why actually was there such persecution between the
Shi'as and the Sunnis?
So, the Shi'a believe in a prophet after the prophet Muhammad, and that
negates the fundamentals of Islam, because the first thing that...
And Shi'as are actually saying that?
I thought they were simply saying that this actually is the way that
the kind of order of Islam should go, in terms of the Caliphate.
But the one who says that there is a Prophet after the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, has left the fold of Islam.
-I say it's a deviation. It's a deviation.
-Er, no, it's not.
-I come from a Shi'a background.
Do you see why that might be hurtful to me?
-As in, can you appreciate why that might be hurtful for me?
That someone's saying all these things about people who come
-from my background.
-If someone says "I'm a Shi'a,"
I'm going to ask them what they believe.
If they curse sahabas, then from my point of view,
it takes them outside the fold of Islam.
And what does that mean? If you're outside the fold of Islam?
It means they are a kuffar. A five-star, grade-A kuffar.
And what does that mean?
-That means that they're going to go to the hellfire.
My dad's friend was murdered in the mosque. He went to pray.
The man was praying with his son.
A bunch of people come in, shoot up the entire mosque.
All of the men die, including the boys, because somebody believed that
they're outside the fold of Islam, and therefore they should die.
-So the ideology, to me, is scary.
-Who told you that the person...
The reason why your father's friend was killed was...
Do you think that's wrong?
-No, let me ask you...
-Do you think that's wrong?
-From the divine
point of view, I haven't got any evidence to say wrong or right,
and I'll ask this...
Well, you think that you don't have the divine text evidence
to say that that is wrong.
-No, I don't.
-So you actually agree that it is right?
I haven't agreed or disagreed.
I can't believe that you're saying there's
a situation in which someone has an idea,
someone else has an idea, someone kills someone for that,
and, "Hmm, I'm not sure if that's OK or not.
"Could murder be OK or not?"
OK, OK, OK, let's look to that...
I'm shaking, I'm so worried about what you're saying.
-Yeah, I find that worrying too.
-Let's fall back on the evidence.
-The Prophet said, "Whoever leaves the fold of Islam, kill him."
"Whoever turns his back on the din of Islam, kill him."
I feel like I need to call the anti-terrorism police.
-I can't believe you're not just saying "no" right now.
What if I went to a mosque and I was praying and somebody shot me?
Would you think that was wrong?
-If you are a believer...
-Oh, my God!
If you're a believer, you're going to paradise,
and death is something no man can avoid,
that point of death is already decreed for an individual.
And the greatest evil... The greatest bad is not someone dying.
Everybody's going to die, and no-one can escape death.
I'm standing up because there's a hadith that says
when you're angry, if you're sitting down, you should stand up,
because I'm a Muslim.
I'm upset, because...
the idea that someone thinks that they could kill someone like me...
..or my friends or...
I get why he was in Belmarsh.
His ideas are crazy.
He thinks that it's OK...
He was very careful not to say those words,
but he thinks that it's OK to kill people,
which is ridiculous, cos it's completely un-Islamic
and I sort of feel like he needs to be reported to someone
for crazy views, because that's completely unacceptable.
His ideas are extremely dangerous. They have consequences.
I worry for the kids that he speaks to.
It's so bizarre, though, because last night,
he was fine sitting at the table with girls.
It was, like, progress. It was like, "Oh, you know,
"actually, underneath the kind of scary weirdness,
"Abdul's all right."
But he's not. He is not all right.
And I want to know that the rest of the Muslim community
also think that he's batshit crazy.
Jason's keen to show off his hometown,
so he's organised a walk around the city,
to take in all its historic glory.
So, we're coming up to the Minster.
Of course, a fine old example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture.
-Perpendicular Gothic architecture?
-Yes. Up, down, perpendicular.
-Oh, I see.
I think it would be quite nice to get an ice cream.
-Do you want an ice cream?
-Let's have an ice cream.
You can take in the views of the Minster while we're here.
-It is beautiful, isn't it?
-Does it have any resonance with you?
I mean, you regard yourself as British, don't you? So...
Do you look on it like...?
-What am I supposed to feel when I look at it?
-I don't know.
-I don't look at it and think it's part of my heritage.
-The building itself doesn't count as...?
-No, it doesn't.
We'll get a nice view from the top.
-Quite nice and leafy as well.
-Are you Muslim first or British first?
Well, I'm Scottish, remember.
I kind of don't... I can't even answer that question.
It's like saying, "Are you female first or Asian first?"
I would say that I'm Muslim first, in all seriousness.
Yeah. What's wrong with that?
I'm British first. That's me, that's my nation, that's my culture.
And my Islam is simply a way of living as a British person.
To me, this is quintessentially a British scene,
and these things, to me,
are a source of great nostalgia and pride.
And I was just asking Mehreen what she thought about this,
and, well, what was your response?
It's very beautiful, but I'm a London girl,
so the last thing I associate with being British
is greenery and nature.
Fields and things don't make me feel very British.
That is a very interesting observation,
-that we have different views of what Britishness is.
Yours is very more urban,
mine is a bit more - what? Provincial,
a bit more sort of, I don't know...
-Mine's city life.
-Yours is noise and, you know...
KFC wrappers on the floor and things like that.
No, I don't think London equates to KFC wrappers.
I think London also equates to Harrods,
which is quite the opposite of KFC wrappers on the floor.
-But it's still the city.
We keep having these conversations about what Britishness is,
and it's extremely hard from within to say what it is.
I don't think about being British, I just am.
-Just as you are British...
I don't identify as British, and I'll tell you why.
As a child, I was really, really proud to be British,
but I was told in primary school
that I was a, "Fucking Paki terrorist that should go back home."
If I need... If you want me to identify as British,
then I need white British people in this country
to actually accept me as British first,
and that's never happened.
What I think when I think about Britishness is intolerance.
I look at the draconian laws which have been in place for the Muslims right now.
I know of individuals who haven't committed any crime,
but the police have gone to their house,
they're going to take you out of your home, going to put a GPS tag on your foot
that's going to monitor everywhere you go...
I don't think you can talk about persecution,
cos you think persecuting Shi'as is OK,
so he doesn't really have a leg to stand on.
You're talking about a completely alien point.
You shouldn't talk about persecution if you think that persecuting people is OK.
If you want to jump from one subject to the next, we won't get anywhere,
so you continue talking about something that's unrelated,
-that's your business.
-I'm talking about persecution.
I believe that Britain stands for intolerance.
Any point that says we've got freedom of choice,
you're going to get Abdul Haq going,
and now you've got Zohra going, and I feel like we're in a zoo.
And day in, day out, it's...
..I'm overloaded with the same bullshit.
It's your experience, but I'm happy to be British Muslim,
and I'm practising the way I want to practise.
Your point of view is valid. You cannot represent all of us.
This Ramadan alone, I went to many mosques up and down the country,
and the amount of Muslims that I spoke to
who maybe don't even share my views
have had their funds seized, their passports taken,
their children taken.
Imagine you've got children...
Imagine someone comes to you and wants to take your child away
because of your religious beliefs,
and you want to tell me that the UK is tolerant?
-Because you can practice Islam freely?
It's not just me, it's the whole of the Muslim community.
If you say, "I'm Muslim and I practise Islam
"and I identify with the problems with Muslims around the world,"
then they will come down on you and call you a fundamentalist.
Just talking his usual crap.
-It's just that now, we know what he thinks.
This side of him is just obsessive.
It just goes on and on, and rants on and doesn't...
Everybody else disappears.
When you see a mother crying as to why her child's been taken away from her
and she's done nothing wrong, it's a problem.
-Unless she's Shi'a, because then it's OK.
-You keep talking...
OK, I think I'm done now. I'll leave you here.
-I don't know what points we've made, if any,
but shall we continue with...?
-The walk! The lovely walk!
-Before it starts raining.
All I wanted to do was show people a nice old cathedral
and walk along a wall and see a few gardens,
but that seems to have been tremendously divisive.
It wasn't an exercise to go,
-"Listen, you need to start respecting how Britain is."
And I feel like that's how some people kind of perceived it,
and that clearly wasn't what it was.
-So, this right-hand...
-Down, down, down.
'They are a divided bunch, so that's a finding,'
which, I guess in terms of Islamophobia,
it demonstrates that it's a non-stance
because you don't quite know what you're phobic against, are you?
I've experienced loads of Islamophobia on social media.
The biggest thing was someone saying that they were going to kidnap me
and gang-rape me
and they would force me to have their children.
That was, I think, the biggest thing that someone...
OK, OK, OK, OK. Ali, Ali, Ali, Ali, Ali.
This is Ali.
OK, OK. Amir Khan, Amir Khan. Do Amir Khan.
Seriously, you know, after having a conversation with Abdul,
I just was looking for some comfort, I opened the Koran,
and the first verse that I fell on said,
"Don't heed the warnings of a madman."
And that just made me laugh. I was like, "Oh, that's really funny."
I'm not saying he's a madman.
But he is a bit.
I'm surprised. Do you think it's weird that I'm surprised?
Like, are you surprised that he had that view?
Sometimes I don't think he fully understands
exactly what he's saying.
But it is a surprising view, right?
Like, this isn't...? These aren't your views, right?
-Do I have a problem with Shi'as that say certain things?
Yes. I'm not going to pretend just because you're in front of me.
-But you know, you can't just decide it's OK to kill people.
What exactly did you say?
-Because I do have a problem with you if you said that.
-You didn't say it's OK for her to be killed...?
-No, I did not say that.
-Do you believe that?
-I didn't... No, and the record will show that.
If someone came to me and said,
"I don't give a shit if you get shot," I'd be sad,
and you can see that, right? That's common sense.
-She thinks you haven't got that common sense.
You know, she was crying,
and she's not even the most sensitive person in the house.
-She was crying because she...
She was so shaken up by what you said,
she even asked me, "Do you believe this, too?
"Do you really think it's OK for me to be shot?"
Cos that makes you seem like a monster.
There's no way that she could have taken what I said in that manner.
I said the worst thing in life is dying having not embraced Islam.
Listen, if she asked you and that was your answer...
-That was your answer, man. I heard it.
-I was so clear...
-So, just talk about it.
She's the type of person which I don't really want to interact with.
I don't want to interact with her. That's my stance.
-How about just apologising?
-I don't need to speak to her.
She doesn't need to speak to me. So let's leave it at that.
-Have a good sleep?
When I got back from my run this morning,
Abdul unplugged his microphone and asked if I had a microphone on,
and said... "I just want you to know
"that you are the most sincere person in this house
"and I don't think you should die."
And I said, "Thanks for saying that."
And then he left.
He's got this sort of simple and straight way of thinking,
and I think he thinks that if he apologises,
that somehow it means that something he said was wrong,
and he doesn't think that anything he says is wrong.
He's not very good at communication,
he doesn't have much emotional intelligence,
and that's why I wonder whether there's something actually up there.
I'm really confused about him.
I'm not really sure who he is.
What do you like in a woman? What do you like about women?
I don't think it's appropriate to talk about that.
-Yeah, it's very English.
We can't say things are very English or not very English.
-There's a beautiful woman sitting over there.
-A very glamorous, glamorous woman...
There's a woman sitting there.
-I'm going to...
-Randomly go up...
-..go over there now...
And what would you say?
And I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind.
-I'll be your wingman.
-I wouldn't say anything.
-You go there...
-I'll be your wingman. Are we going now?
-What, are we going to...?
-OK. Come on.
-What are we doing?
-I'm being your wingman.
When we found out non-Muslims were going to come, I thought,
"I see non-Muslims every day, so what's the big deal?"
But actually, their questions and their involvement
has caused a major reaction.
You could say something to me. Say, "There's a lovely damsel..."
Oh, what a beautiful creature sitting in the corner.
-I've always thought so, you know.
-I particularly love the beard.
-You like a beard on a girl.
I would have never thought the tour of York
would incite such strong opinions
and passionate debates and arguments,
and that wouldn't have happened
had Jason not stood and said it makes him feel British.
-And what's your name?
Jalal... What a nice name.
-Would you like to sit down?
-I'd love to sit down.
So, what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?
-I'm just waiting for a nice guy like you.
-Oh, really? Gosh, well...
Get your coat, you've pulled!
I just want to go home now, man.
'I think there has been the emergence of a more orthodox group,'
and then you've got the liberal group.
The main disparity between the two groups now
is one, where I'm not entirely sure
where the halal, haram,
allowed, not allowed, heaven-hell boundaries lie,
and one where they're saying it's quite clear-cut,
this is in the book, don't deny it.
And then I'm in the middle.
I guess that means I'm kind of in the middle in my practice.
The group are preparing dinner.
But they're yet to agree on the menu.
I'm going to make a saag and chicken.
-I love saag and chicken.
Can you take...
Can we do half and half?
Cos me and Nabil have bought ingredients to make chicken.
-Oh, right, yeah, that's fine.
-Is that all right?
-I think Ferhan's also making something.
That's all right cos I went and bought stuff to cook.
-Is that your Sainsbury's bag?
-That wasn't even on the budget, either.
Dipped into my tiny pocket. So, yeah...
Those mine you're chopping up?
-Um, just using any old thing...
-Did you ask?
-I went out and got something with my own pocket.
No, Nabil, don't get in my face.
-Don't touch my stuff.
-Go away. Go away.
Maybe your mother didn't teach you not to touch other people's things.
-Don't talk about my mother!
Don't you dare talk about my mother, OK?!
-Don't you dare talk about my mother!
-That was crossing the line.
-I don't care.
I bought stuff with my pocket...
In this day, you can ask for the money back.
Like I said, maybe some people weren't taught that.
-Don't touch my stuff.
-You don't talk about somebody's mother.
And you don't touch other people's things.
And then you tell me go away?
If I don't go away, what are you going to do?
What are you going to do?
-Don't touch my things.
-You're just a baby.
Did you ask me? You don't have manners.
Yeah, only you've got manners, hey?
-Have I taken anyone's things?
-Listen, it's not...
-You're an idiot.
And you can shout as much...
-This is bullying.
-Stop abusing people.
You're an idiot as well. It's not bullying.
You took my stuff. You're taking my stuff.
You talk loud and you're abusive and aggressive
-and you think that's allowed.
-Who's abusive now?
I bought something and you took it.
Like I said, you clearly have no manners.
Do not touch my stuff.
-Oh, get out.
-Or what? What are you going to do if I don't?
Yeah, yeah, show your aggression!
Aggressive to men, aggressive to women, aggressive to the elderly.
He took my stuff, you idiot. He took my stuff.
He took my stuff.
-Back off! Back off!
-Can you mind your own business?
-What's he going to do?
-Back off! Back off!
-It's none of your business.
What, are you hanging about waiting to say goodbye?
-No, I need my bag.
-I'll get it. Which one is it?
-Yeah, as if it's gold.
As if he's going to die without his stuff cos he paid for it.
-You're a fucking bully.
-That's right - you are.
I'm being taken out of the room.
Someone took my things, and I asked him,
"Did you take it out of the Sainsbury's bag."
-"Oh, just go away, go away."
-Such an idiot.
You know, I'm going back in the kitchen.
-I want to take my things.
I don't need to be out of the kitchen.
-Don't touch my stuff. Use your own.
-You know what? Have your onion.
-It's so stupid.
-We'll see you tomorrow.
-They mean a lot to you, don't they?
My things mean a lot to me, cos, unlike you,
my mother taught me not to take other people's things. Yeah?
Listen, it's OK.
As if he can just bully you and you're going to have to take it. No!
'He's coming up to me like he wants to fight.'
I just say there's a bias.
I'm sorry, but I wouldn't be allowed to get away with behaving like that.
I could not charge up to somebody aggressively that way.
-It's OK, it's OK.
(Shh... It's OK.)
Well, at least he chopped the onions. That's one job done.
You said it from the heart.
-It was so painful for you to hear that.
-Yeah, really was.
And we judge ourselves, thinking,
oh, we shouldn't have reacted like that, or whatever,
whether it's me being furious and raging.
-But he's talking about your mother...
..and how she's brought you up
-He has no limit to how nasty he can be about...
He gives himself permission to go any place,
get as personal as you want.
I mean, it just reveals how ludicrous and immature he is.
We're going to have this complete divide.
-There's no pretence.
Thanks so much, Nabil. It's amazing. It's so tasty.
Yeah, you know me, bullying and cooking.
There was an explosion,
but I've seen it building over a few days now.
It's like a volcano.
I think it's good, it's sort of like, boom, better out than in, man.
That happening made our situation that much more real.
We're not a bunch of holy people sitting around being pious.
This is about the reality of Muslims
and the life that goes on around them and what happens between them.
It's valuable because it shows one more and more
it's a mistake to carry around a rigid idea of what Islam is.
Each of us has trouble, each of us has something,
we have to learn to ride it properly.
And we say if you feel troubled and disturbed,
turn to the law of the universe.
Just don't splurge out on the people.
-Do you see my hair?
-What the hell is wrong with...?
It's a very healthy head of hair you have.
It's the final morning in York.
After ten days,
everyone is ready to leave the place they've made their home.
I'm feeling quite tired. Very tired, very tired.
You lot are too scared to accept that you wear Crocs...
Just put the things away, man.
Putting them away, but they'll be coming back out when I get home.
We've already got enough things, us Muslims, to be sorry for.
OK, 7/7, 9/11, Citizen Khan, and now this? Oh, man.
To celebrate, they're having a barbecue.
And they've invited the locals back for one last time.
Hello! Oh, I love your outfit.
-It's my favourite.
I must be synchronised with your colouring.
Oh, yes, perfect.
Just because we had some disagreements,
that doesn't mean that we can't sit and eat together.
Yesterday, it was all a bit tense, wasn't it?
It was all a bit tense...
-It's all sort of calmed down now.
-Seems to be a happier household.
# My name is Sheila... #
You're so violent, man.
You're so abusive.
Are you sure you know what you're doing?
I ain't seen no-one season no food round here.
You haven't seen me season food?
-Let it percolate.
HE LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY
-I'm so excited.
And so hungry.
The end is in sight.
I just want to literally have a nice time today.
-Like, I'm not going to sit and harbour negativity.
Allah is our judge - not people.
-We look sexy.
-I don't believe that.
OK. I'm going to do this the best that I can.
In the kitchen, Mehreen is getting her own halal makeover.
Here we go.
I feel like a rich Arab wife.
It actually looks better than I thought it would look.
-What do you think, Abdul Haq?
-Much better. Masha'Allah.
-Obviously, from an Islamic point of view.
-What about from your point of view?
-I have no point of view.
I feel like a supermodel.
I don't think feeling like a supermodel
is the purpose behind the hijab.
I can't help it if I look nice with my hair covered.
-Am I still wearing it wrong?
-I don't know the specifics.
Some say, what you're wearing now,
it's a lot more better than what you were wearing yesterday.
I think it's none of his business what I wear.
It's her family's business, and...
I think it's none of his business what I wore yesterday,
and he should have lowered his gaze,
you wouldn't know what I was wearing yesterday.
You're just winding him up. Stop it.
Wear the hijab on your tongue, girl.
He's been going on about the hijab for so long,
that I couldn't put it on and not ask him any questions.
So, if you just take a wee bit, sorry.
-What is this?
Can I say something, please?
Can I thank you all for actually putting up with us.
And this has been a wonderful integration, in many ways,
so thank you for allowing me to be part of it
-and actually allowing me to share...
-She speaks for us all, of course.
I came in having no Muslim friends,
and I hope I have, now, ten.
Maybe we can go shopping at Harrods or something like that,
that would be quite nice. I hope.
And of course, you will, I hope, look me up if ever you're in York.
I came in definitely confused,
and I'm sure I am leaving more confused.
But I've also learnt that
the only way to resolve issues
is by learning more and more about
the people that you are talking about.
There's a lot more that connects us and that we share in common
than we don't.
We are all individuals,
we're all built, sculpted by our experiences in life.
I think it's really important that non-Muslims see
that you can't just say, "Muslims think this,"
or, "Muslims are like that."
Actually, I don't think you can even define what a Muslim is like.
I don't know if Muslims can even define what...
I mean, really, if we tried to define a Muslim between the ten of us,
can you imagine the craziness that would ensue?
Even though it felt emotional at times,
I think it was healthy that we actually showed
that we're no different to any other society
and that we all have our different ways.
You know, we don't all agree with each other,
but one thing that was inspiring
was that, inherently, we all want to do good.
And while we all argue about what wallpaper should be on,
we are still part of the same house.
When you're just around each other
and you get past the bits you find difficult to digest,
companionship, which is a pillar of Islam,
works miraculously when you're just living together.
There is the brother or cousin or auntie
you find a bit tricky or difficult,
but you accept them and you accept the difficult parts as well.
We learnt to live together, which is the key.
Anything said, it was just in the moment.
Sure, that's fine.
-I'm going to...
Got it! Done!
-See you later, man. Take care. All the best, yeah?
See later, man.
-Take care, Abdul.
-As-salamu alaykum. I'll see you.
It was great having you in the room.
-Are you going to call me?
Every time you need your make-up done?
Yes, that'll last about, what, ten years from now.
I don't know why I'm crying so much.
So, this is it.
'I would like to say to the Muslims in Britain,
'come out from your houses, your families,'
and really fully arrive in this country.
Really engage with the British people
cos that's your duty, that's what you have to do here.
You have to teach them what Islam is about, move on from the culture.
Let's go, let's go.
Say bye to our house, our ten-bedroom house.
It's the nicest house I've ever been in.
-I'm going to miss the garden.
-Oh, my God, the grass.
'We're not the enemy.'
We live next to you, we operate on you, we cook for you,
we drive you, we teach you, and everything in between.
We even entertain you on stage.
A bed for every night.
'We are just people'
who want normal things from life.
We're people who fall short, and we're people who try our best,
just like everyone else.
The next time you see a Muslim,
maybe try and say hi.
See what happens.
On the surface, Britain's 2.7 million Muslims are united in faith. But behind closed doors, in Muslim homes across the country, there is an ongoing debate about what and who best represents Islam. Get ten Muslims in a room and you are likely to get ten different opinions. Labels like Sunni, Shi'a, liberal, conservative and moderate fail to cover the breadth of perspective. Will the real British Muslim please stand up?
In the second episode of Muslims Like Us, ten Muslims who have volunteered to live together are presented with the results of a survey exploring British opinion about the Muslim community. They are joined by four non-Muslim Brits to explore British values. We see the dilemmas presented by race, faith and British history played out for real.