As a young British Muslim, I’ve been told to stay away from Google – why do I feel like a terrorist?

Published: March 2, 2017

Muslims take part in Friday prayers during a Muslim Climate Action (MCA) event at Parliament Square in central London, October 9, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

A few days ago, a German school announced that it had banned Muslim students from using prayer mats in order to stop them from displaying their religion “in a provocative manner”. I read this with a sad sense of familiarity; it reminds me of the sense of fear and anxiety that I myself feel as a young British Muslim in 2017.

On a day-to-day basis, I am hyperconscious about where I am sitting in a café or a park, when I do my daily Quran reading — who around me might see the Arabic writing on my laptop screen or mobile phone app and feel threatened or incensed? Might they even call the police or refer me to a prevent channel, as has happened to others? If I was doing my French homework, I know I would hardly be noticed, but I worry terribly about the piercing eyes around me when reading Arabic, especially the Quran.

A few weeks ago, I was even asked to leave a mosque for reading the Quran. Yes, you read it correctly. I was taken into an office where several anxious old men had called an emergency Cobra meeting of sorts, and interrogated me about who I was, what I was doing and why I was there, because they had never seen me before. They were alarmed simply because I was sat on my own, in a corner, looking down at my phone.

Read the rest of the blog on The Independent here

Yousuf Zubair

Yousuf Zubair

The author is an A-Level student who regularly writes articles on politics, education, religion and society. He brings his individual perspective as a young British person and practicing Muslim to these pieces. He tweets @yeezy_98 (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • arshar

    Dear Yousuf Zubair

    “A 2014 study by Bristol University found that as a British Muslim man, I am 76% less likely to get a job offer than a Christian counterpart. In 2017, the BBC’s Inside Out London sent out two identical CVs, one with an English-sounding name and the other with a Muslim name, to 100 job posts. It found that someone with a Muslim name was three times less likely to be accepted for an interview.”

    You need to come and live in Pakistan and this figure is going to be 100% less chances for religious minorities in all Muslim majority countries to any post except the menial jobs.
    Stop crying, Muslim are treated much better as compared to non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.Recommend

  • Zafar Ahmed

    Try spending a day as an average non-muslim in Pakistan and you will realize that you have a lot of freedom compared to them.Recommend