I was born in Bradford, north-west England in 1994, to a Pakistani father; who converted from Islam to Christianity in 1996. It’s probably widely known by now that apostasy is punishable by death under a puritanical system. The consequences apostates from Islam face in western contexts though, is probably less known.
My siblings and I grew up, witnessing and experiencing constant verbal and physical reprisals: moving from school to school, bricks smashing through our property and car windows, fleeing our first family home in 2005 (attempted arson), expulsion from Bradford permanently in 2016 (attempted murder on my father’s life, resulting in 11 days of hospitalisation).
I started this platform in 2014. I grew tired of conflating information about my family in the media, which only increased the likelihood of us becoming local targets. Exposure resulted in non-local Purists who only knew of us across the city but then unaware of our faces or names, were now armed with images of us all, including minors in mainstream UK newspapers.
I needed to claim our story back for myself – tiring of ‘journalists’ who mostly needed to satiate their own agendas, tiring of the constant invasion of privacy, sporadic thwarting of the facts and manipulation of our misery. Tiring of local Muslim backlash, accusations and false newspaper articles dismissing the targeted anti-Christian nature of our ordeal and framing my family as ‘Islamophobic trouble-makers’. But fundamentally I was tired of living under a system that portrays the illusion that all are entitled to freedom of religion.
It simply is not true.
Local politicians and the police in West Bradford have never upheld this right, but facilitated its very abuse. The British Home Office itself have known about our situation but never dared to acknowledge it let alone take action.
However the Hussain Family experience has been portrayed to the world , the fact remains that is an unbelievable story, not the circumstance itself but the extent to which the UK system has allowed it to go on.
It is unique.
And this essentially is how this blog was birthed: a defiant blurt of truth. Years of external oppression and internal suppression spilling out post after post. An experience shaping my worldview. And I believe it absolutely necessary crucial I pen it down.
Why should others publish your truth?