Hawzah News Agency (London, UK) –A new spoken word poem, performed at an event hosted by Runnymede Trust and the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London, in the UK has gone viral as its Muslim poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan received a bunch of mixed reactions.
“I decided to perform the poem after I was asked to speak on the whitewashed history curricula in schools and universities in Britain,” informed the Muslim writer, spoken word poet, speaker, and educator, known online as ‘The Brown Hijabi’.
Entitled British Values, the poem ‘Britain is Bismillah’ has ruffled a few feathers and racist comments since it was released, but also won wide praise among British Muslims and beyond for the scathing but accurate look at Britain’s history.
The female Muslim poet explained that: she “was partly inspired by headlines I saw, partly by my own feelings of Britishness as a grassroots identity of multifaceted meaning as opposed to an unchanging, static culture.”
A Cambridge University graduate from Bradford, Manzoor-Khan explores the complex and intricate relationship of being a British Muslim woman. In it, she questions Britain’s failures like Grenfell, Windrush and current-day Islamophobia.
She juxtaposes it with the brilliance of Britain’s current day diversity, saying ‘Britain is Bismillah, basmati and bilingual, box braids and black barber shops, Bollywood, and bhangra’.