‘“This is our country, get back to where you belong,”’ a group of white kids jeered at us as we go on the bus,’ my 14 year old son told me. ‘I nearly said, “I was born in St Mary’s, in Manchester,” but didn’t.
‘I was with a friend who was wearing Shalvaar-Kamiz, Pakistani clothes. The white kids were already on the bus. One of them, a skinny pipsqueak, who thought he was a real badman, kept taunting, “Go back home, get out of here.”
‘I wanted to tell him, “Calm down you stupid little peanut heads,” But didn’t.
‘It was a bit comical. We were much bigger than them, and besides, my friend is a Kung Fu black belt and I a red belt. They were all year 7, from another school, and we are year 9.
‘The white kids started getting more abusive and kept telling us they were going to get us when we got off the bus. Some of them phoned their friends.
‘We kept quiet. We were following our Sensei’s, our Kung Fu teacher’s advice, “avoid fighting, whenever possible, but let no one hurt you.”
‘When we got off the bus there were lots of white kids. Some, the same age as us, others older.
‘They encircled us. We got ready to fight. My friend clenched his fists and prayed loudly in Arabic, La illaha illa Allah Muhammad ur Rasul Allah.”
‘As soon as the white kids heard this, they scampered in terror.’
Out soon, my new novel, Song Of Gulzarina – a 77 year old Pakistani atheist becomes a suicide bomber in Manchester. For review copy, please contact me.