Archive: December, 2011

Muslims and Poppies

Muslims have been part of my world since I first entered it a century ago, spending  the first five years of my life I lived above one of Stornoway’s best known retail outlets, Bùth nan Daione Dubh, on Point Street.  I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say that in English.  They weren’t Pakistanis, because this was before India gained independence and Pakistan emerged out of the trauma of partition.  We called them “The Darkies’” and thought it no more impolite than referring to the chemist as “Kenny Froggan” or the draper as “Peter Squeak”; and it was certainly less offensive than Christopher Columbus calling America’s First Peoples “Indians” (just because he’d got his navigation wrong) and they in turn calling Europeans “palefaces”.

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