My argument to the Afghan brothers is this. Until people highlight issues, talk about them, no-one is going to do anything about improving anything. To this they look at me with a snigger and respond with what they regards as the ultimate insult: 'Are you a feminist?' To which I reply yes, for I follow the teachings of the first feminist in the world, the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) who preached tirelessly about the rights of women, justice and to speak up against oppression.
In Britain we need to drop the Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Indian/African bit to the statement about what we are and instead focus on something which is common to us all. This simply being that we are all British.
I am often asked why I wrote my Zahra books to which my answer is that I wanted to create Muslim female characters who were intelligent and confident and used the role model examples of the Female Companions from Khadija to Aisha to Fatima-Zahra and others. I also never fail to add that my characters are very proud to be both Muslim and British equally.