Last night on our return from an adoption seminar in London we dropped into West Ealing mosque to perform Maghrib before our not-too-long journey back to our green and pleasant valley out west. As I stood within in the midst of that diverse tribe — a mini united nations — I found myself thinking this: “I love these people.” Despite our multitudinous failings, I would not exchange this brotherhood for the world.
When I wandered back downstairs, Somali boys came to me grinning. “Salam alaikum,” they said, hoping I would recognise them, for they clearly recognised me. “It’s been years,” one of them replied when I finally ventured, “Long time no see.” These boys have grown up since I saw them last, when this was my local mosque. I suppose I have too.