I was invited to be interviewed on the Nihal show on the BBC Asian Network last week.
I’d only ever been on radio once before – it was for a chat show and I had to speak in Urdu about cooking.
This time it was an altogether different affair because it was about a controversial topic. I had written for the Telegraph about how I find it easier to make friends with people who share a similar background to me, ie British Asian Muslims, and the show’s producer thought it would make a great discussion point.
I don’t think it’s particularly surprising that people like to be friends with those who are like them and share similar lifestyles. And I don’t think it’s unusual that people who are in a minority often develop reserved personalities like mine; it’s a safety mechanism. But some people took offence to my words because I had mentioned skin colour as well as religious beliefs.
It goes without saying that the amount of melanin in someone’s skin is not an indicator of their worth, but I’ll say it anyway. Everyone deserves to be valued, loved, appreciated and listened to regardless of race. I was simply trying to explain that people of colour have probably faced similar prejudices to me, which makes it easier for me to understand them and connect with them.
Anyway, it was a learning experience. And I’d love to do it again.