This Is The Call That Made Matt Stadlen "Ashamed To Be British"
5 February 2017, 09:36
The caller made a real impression on LBC Presenter Matt Stadlen after recounting his family's experience of increasing Islamophobia.
Caller Ahmed phoned Matt Stadlen to explain how the kind of rhetoric being used by Donald Trump has prompted an increase in Islamophobia.
Ahmed said: "It's in the system, it's in the media and since America is a world leader for other countries, as a Muslim living in this country, and other friends and family I know of, are really worried.
"When I am, for example, on my way to work on the Tube, I need to watch my back."
Matt said: "You really feel that Ahmed?"
Ahmed replied: "Absolutely. Definitely. I've never felt that before and now I have even decided that my child doesn't grow up in this country. And I am not going to tell you which country I am going to move to, but my background is a country which is not a very developed country.
"There is no necessary health and education. But compared to what the future looks like living in this country, I've decided at least my child would grow up in a country in which he won't be judged because of his faith or his look."
Matt responded: "Ahmed, as a proud Brit, I consider myself to be a proud Brit, I'm very very sorry to hear that. I'm shocked to hear that as well...this is a very shocking and distressing call that you're making.
"Tell me, do you think Donald Trump has some sort of role in that? In the way that you feel and your experience?"
Ahmed said: "Yes. Because he has legitimised it. And a lot of people who used to cover these things up have now taken it onto the street.
"You know what's happening in Canada, which is one of the best places in the world. In this country even, it's become, in Europe, it's become very, very public."
Matt said: "You say you have to look over your shoulder, have you actually ever experienced Islamophobia yourself Ahmed?"
Ahmed continued: "Yes. In the past me and my wife, my sisters, all of them, experienced it. It used to be just, you know, when you're on the bus, but now it's become a reality when you're in the Mosque, you're afraid there might be some...who would just walk in and do whatever they want."
He went on: "I just want to add one thing, people are always saying "Why Muslims are coming to this country? Why immigrant Muslims are coming to this country?"
"Just ask yourself one question. Were Syrians coming to this country ten years ago? No, they weren't. Why? Because of Western intervention. Because of Russian intervention. Isis who came about because of our intervention in Iraq."
Matt said: "Ahmed, I hope that you change your view of this country, and I hope that your experience of this country changes. It's a very distressing and very real call to take, and I am ashamed, listening to you, of my own country.
"I can count on the fingers of one hand, if that, the times that I've felt ashamed to be British, but if Ahmed's experience is anything to go by, then we have a lot of work to do in the United Kingdom to make people, like Ahmed, feel welcome."