Special reports | Raihan Al Faradhi, 19

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Raihan Al Faradhi, 19

Raihan Al Faradhi, 19

Tuesday November 30, 2004
The Guardian

Raihan Al Faradhi, 19. Student

I am a British Muslim, but only because the sentence ‘British Muslim’ is grammatically more correct than ‘Muslim British’. I live in east London.

When I graduate I want to earn lots of money, but also contribute to the community. It’s important there is a purpose to my life and I am working to ensure economic problems are addressed.

My parents came over from Bangladesh in the early 80s to work. My father is a headteacher, and my mother is a classroom assistant. I have four sisters.

Being a Muslim is the overriding factor in the way I live my life. It enables me to contribute positively to society. People perceive it to be a restrictive religion, but it encourages me to try to make a difference in all the spheres of life. It just gives you a sense of being alive.

I went to a private school, and the majority of my friends there were non-Muslims, and this diverse mix has made me who I am today.

I work for several Muslim organisations. One is the Young Muslim Organisation UK, which runs projects on drugs and women. I am also the London representative for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, as well as being involved in the Islamic student organisation at the London School of Economics.