WHY CLAIMING BRITISH IDENTITY IS COMPLICATED - EXPLORING COMPLEXITIES OF THE BRITISH PAKISTANI
I want to point anyone that takes interest in this blog to a brilliant piece published in the New York Times. With additional research and reporting by Sana Noor Haq and essays from Aina J. Khan, Miriam Walker-Khan, Mohsin Zaidi and Tawseef Khan, it’s a brilliant insight into, like the title suggests, the complexities of being a British Pakistani in 2022. Even though I am a British South Asian, this is a perspective I don’t think I can ever understand.
As an ethnic minority group, British Pakistanis have a very unique British experience. More unique to that of a British Indian, such as myself. Taking nothing away from other South Asian experiences, the British Pakistani’s public image is shrouded with negative media attention, especially post 9/11. Adil Ray recently spoke to LBC radio's James O'Brien on his Full Disclosure podcast and explained how the narrative had to be reclaimed, after the atrocities that occurred in 2001.
The essays and additional reporting provide a very real reflection of what the British Pakistani contends with. How British are they, really? How British do they feel? Has Britain welcomed the British Pakistani and made them feel like a part of society, a part of the schooling system or the sporting world? The experiences in this piece are another reminder that every lived experience is different. Even the lived experiences of those from the same minority or religious group. None of this can ever be disregarded because it’s when we start to disregard lived experiences that we begin to go against everything that we all want to move towards. True empathy. True understanding. True acceptance.
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