An open letter to the writer and senders of the ‘Punish a Muslim’ letter,

I’ll be honest as a fellow born-and-bred Yorkshire woman, I’ve always been told to speak my mind but remain polite. Yet I’m equally aware of how passionate and loud we can be on average, so this is going to be a difficult task. Bear with me.


I’m not going to do what others have done, condemning your letter outright, or calling it ‘disgusting’ and ‘sickening’, though in my opinion it is that too, of course. Instead, I’m here to have a conversation, over why you’d want to send letters out to Bradford, Leceister, London, Cardiff and your own hometown Sheffield. I say hometown, because the only identifier we have is that letters have the Sheffield postmark, indicating that they were sent from there. I’d especially like to highlight what a shoddy exercise in communication you’ve committed, and how once again Yorkshire faces some negative press, because well you couldn’t mind yourself. A quality of a truly respectful neighbour, in any part of the world but especially our home county.

But that aside, I’d like to start by thanking you for being so overtly racist, in fact. In a way that only those who’ve experienced the escalation from strange looks, patronisation, or disdain to outright verbal abuse and beatings, could ever truly know. But I’ve got some thoughts, (and heck even some pointers for you) if you really are hell bent on helping those who’ve suffered, and to stop people from somehow mutating into sheep. A hellish thought, not least for motorists on our narrow country lanes.


Firstly, clarity. I’m sure like the rest of us you were put through painfully long English classes on writing a good letter. The importance of addressing your audience, and to make the subject of your sentence clear. Perhaps you were even tested on it, I think even I was and I went to the worst school in Bradford at the time. But mate, I have to say you letter is confusing the hell out of me, who are you talking to? You open up with:

‘They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer.
They have caused you pain and heartache’

But who exactly is the ‘they’ you mean? All muslims or only some. I ask simply because some of your letters were sent to muslim addresses and houses like Councillor Riaz Ahmed’s business address. The best word for this is ‘confusing’ right? Once it could have been a mistake, but many addresses and it’s confusion. Perhaps you’re wanting to reach out to some of these people to join in your game, or give them forewarning, both noble ideas. I hope someone in your collective (if it is that) has some conscience and was trying to do exactly this. The forewarning, not increasing the number of game players for popularity’s sake. I mean are you wanting your followers to punish some muslims and not others, to help prove they’re not sheep?


This leads me to my second point. You seem to be insulting the very people who you are wanting to play your “game”. The saying ‘catching more flies with honey…’ springs to mind, remember no-one ever played with the name-calling class bully.  But seriously, someone whose printed out letters on fancy paper, embedded a table and heck even put in two logos (including a crest) into a letter, has to see the irony in what you’ve done right?!

For clarity’s sake, I’ll make it clear – you’re asking them to not be sheep, to not ‘follow orders’ or be ‘easily led’ and then you’re leading them to do things for points. It’s just absurd. Especially as you’re not even coming forward to make it clear who you even are. We may be warm, open folk in Yorkshire but we’re not gullible enough to follow a shadowy someone who’s not even doing the courtesy of looking you in the eye, shaking your hand or buying you a pint/coffee. For some reasons ‘blind leading the blind’ echoes in my head.

Not to mention the fact that all of the acts you’re dictating are crimes, meaning there’s a high chance someone is going to jail. Knowing how these things play out it’ll be those who foolishly follow your ‘actions’,  but hey they can’t point to you as the leader of this nefarious plan can they? So no doubt they’ll go to prison and you’ll keep on hanging out in Sheffield or down in 102 Petty France, London (who knows?), leaving the poor daft one to suffer alongside their heartbroken, abandoned family because of they hurt they inflicted on another. Wonder if you’ll send another letter clarifying that it is now you, dear writer, who has inflicted the ‘pain and heartache’?


Now the third point, may sound trivial but it’s important, your game has a serious fundamental flaw, your scoring process. Seriously, when did you last play a game? Maybe, I hit the nail on the head earlier, by noting that many people don’t play with bullies, and considering your bullying tone, perhaps this is the reasons why you’ve created a seriously messed up game (in more ways than one!). But I can’t let this one alone, it bothers me something awful…

How can throwing acid on someone be worth less than beating them up? Similarly, how have torturing using electrocution be worth less than using a knife? I’ve read enough crime novels, and watched enough action and horror movies to know that there are some forms of violence that are easier than others.   Also, burning a mosque or bombing it is worth the same amount of points. Do you seriously not know how to value anything? Well I mean of course you don’t, you’re expecting people to take away another person’s life, as well as a significant portion of their own life, all to follow your seriously flawed “game”.


Finally, who is keeping score? Is there going to be a final scoreboard, a bit difficult considering your not exactly putting yourself forward as a ref, and shaking your player’s hands before setting them off to play a game for the day. By ‘day’ do you mean only during daylight hours, or is the night included too. No matter what you think about the premise of the movie “The Purge’, you have to give it to them they at least had the decency to create a structure, and to communicate it well, as well as allow open discussion and criticism. It is in this spirit that I’m putting myself out there to engage with you, as someone who didn’t receive the letter so can only assume I’m a target, but may well have considering some of my fellow muslims in Yorkshire and London did. Because I don’t want a Sharia led police state either, no I’ll be bolder I don’t want any form of police state, I want a democracy. But all democracies are built on ethics, open communication and due process, not badly engineered games, without effective scorekeeping and shady puppet-masters, so why not come forward for your democractic due process and I’ll buy you a cuppa, over which we can discuss the murkiness of your ideals and communication. Doesn’t that sound nice?


Kindest regards,


Mariam Kauser

Originally from Bradford, but currently on a short spell in London.


Signed: From one tortoise to another.

I realise now why we fell apart

Finally now, tonight, this moment…

I realise now, in the shower just immediately before now,

Sorry that was a faulted start…

I realise now why we drifted,

no oops we broke,

Broke down and drifted apart.

We got co-opted by the politics of production.

We’d been taken,

Enamoured welders of the power of production,

And it got manifested through our communication,

The communication of production.

See, we’d turned into our parents you see,

Though they’d never meet,

They shared much similarity.

Respectable, but frozen.

Caring, empathetic Idealists,

who’d never quite broken of conservatives

Who’d internalised their capitalistic tools of trauma

Through softly projecting,

Projection and silencing,

Using caring but carefully crafted weaponised trauma,

Trauma that uses tools in a variety of ways.

So benign and loving,

So free and over-coddling,

They’d triggered such triggers but had lovingly helped us get bigger,

Be lovers, be freer.

But not without embedding such poisons of shame and fear.

We’d stopped,


No pricked not snapped,

A prick that fractured,

Such pricks that festered,

And such socio/psychos that only vision of cunts,

though I must stop.

That word births such traumas from the past,

Even recent traumas,

This word is violent.

The violence in that word makes me trigger and hurt…

What I intend or meant,

Instead… is there are hurts caused by both pricks and deep gashes.

Worse are the gashes for they’re rarely anticipated.

But often wound so terminally.

Or else leave unhealing scars that remind us of ancestral traumas and historical scars.

But further… let’s go… we need this to be known,

For other is not our lore.

These weapons, these hurts… pushed us and bashed us,

Broke us and cost us…

Due to them the insidious capitalist production was swept forth,

over our threshold capitalism, ownership and manipulation polluted our floors.

Hurting us more, for it came from allies, sisters, brothers and fickle fictions,

All that we’d seen helped others before,

Factors of social models,

Models that naively I’d thought would allow our us space and a hoover,

To picture visions of discovery and excitement,

Factors to help adorn our love with air, light and free openness,

But instead it was production,

Communication and production,

Of the erasure and weakening of our visions,

So we wouldn’t see the others sense.

it was forward-notions that was used to strangle our hearts,

Production of communication,

Manufactured and tasteless,

Communication of production,

The politics of insecurity and insistence.

Of individualism brought forth by ambition and competition,

We’re not entirely blameless, we could’ve done more,

We didn’t unlearn as we’d done so easily before,

Together forever in liking and lovingly alone.

But also outside and not just behind doors.

We’d stopped listening and looking,

Wondering and sharing,

The blissful visions of how we’d seen the day.

Instead we’d pout and warily stay aware.

Protecting the other through words of ambitious, development and social mobility,

No longer communicating to explore, to love, to connect our lives and quests,

And picture the other in broader roads of idealism and no individualist conquest.

I know I’ve gone on and on,

It was shorter in the shower, I swear it was brief.

Feel free to question,

it’d hell to build our dialogue and give it space for dialogue and digestion,

Of curious questions, and celebration in the challenging space of all connections.

I feel we’re returning,

Adoring and exploring,

But I need to know, that you care about where I’m going,

So that you’d occasionally join me for an odd poem…

And I could return the favour by being your companion, your critically cheerful cheerleader,


Tools of violence

Identity violence

Symbolic violence

Communication violence

Historic violence

Revisionist violence

Repetitive violence

Infantilising violence

Nostalgic violence

Communication violence

Prejudiced violence

Tiring violence

Destructive violence

Sexual violence

Gendered violence

Religious violence

Spiritual violence

Class violence

Linguistic violence

Colourist violence

Male violence

White male violence

Co-opting violence

Toxic violence

Co-opted toxic violence

Ideological violence

Paternalistic violence

Patriarchal violence

Symbolically patriarchal violence

Promotional violence

Just violence

Violence violence

Tiring violence

Too tired coz I’m broken and it’s the result of all the above and more violence

Mental violence

Inferred violence

Implicit violence

Bright-eyed violence

Broken souls violence

The once you had bright eyes but then you got co-opted and are stuck but still need peeps and I get it but don’t you get that I get it, so why you gotta erase the stuff we excavate and stop us entering and flinging open the doors-no revision check, not open the doors break all these fracking symbolic capitalistic colonial walls – so that we can all evolve together and your tired eyes can weep and rejoice in celebration with us all, bold beautiful and brave and bound to the forward March of completing our shared ancestors abolitionist principles and journeys to create a new fair fresh deprogrammed society so we keep being we and us, and you and me, happy and free together… urgh! Gah! For f***! *sigh* but you can’t and that’s violent, violence.

So instead here we stand. Ina pyramid and I keep trying to educate and create and collate and collaborate while we survive and you thrive but I don’t even cry coz I’m proud inside that at least someone who got one part of our ancestral spirit souls good side to the table where it’s all about whose there to dine, and whose outside… not about our fellow people who die and are also pushed towards pipelines to die. Whether quickly or slowly, that’s for us all to see with our eyes.

I’m too tired to speak, so I’ll leave it to that… and sleeps for the night.


Standing by Believing

I stood by you
through thick and thin
gave you my soul
amidst all this external din

shielded you from the daggers and slices
attracted by views
that we’re engaged in pure vices
from both our families of hawk’s’ and mice’s


what of my brother?

What of my Brother?

Whose life has moved along many different lines…
Whose experiences could use up all of England’s inkwells,
Whose linguistics could have surpassed even the Bard’s lines,
What of him the large precariat Lion, strong but inwardly howling..

What now? What of his life? What then?
Where should he hide? Why?

Whose only conceivable crime was to be different to the gingerbread cutout for me and my kind.
Who struck out so lonesome a visionary vanguard, misunderstood from every side.
Who wasn’t able to traverse the systems that push him, kick him down and kill his mind, his spirit his chance at life..
Melting and moulding, stuffing it all inbetween and amongst the camps of the lower classes, of the “people-like-me’s” and our kinds.
Whose ambition comes like a seasonally treated windup clockwork, buffed up to a new shine,  But like every internal working it brings attention to itself again, sure as an apple falls from a tree.
Here it is, it stretches out, is hacked at, splutters and withers, congeals and dies.
Every year whenever the sun shines.
The end heralded by a ticking of the clock and an addition of a ‘1’ to the numerical understanding of his life.



Year 2021.. Or so it begins


Year 2021

The world is a different place. A place of Cultural creators. Cultural tasters. Cultural dictators. Where it is your link to belief that assigns where you reside. Where birth-right is the only thing that is certain and right. No more mobility. No more integrating. No trust. No hope. In short the world of status quo and neo-colonial control.. Or rather the struggle for control.

The green, green lands of Blightly have been touched severely by years of tension, civil unrest and unsound policy making. Until the landmark year of 2020, August 2020 to be precise.

But most of all a place where culture has ripped away at all that could be, could ever have been and is now used to discourage any integration, mixing or appropriation.. Unless a case is made and upheld in the secular centres of the British Isles.
In the midst of it all. The laptop chimes, beh-beh-buehmm .. those Skype ringtones are old and classic. Though Zaika makes a mental note for the millionth time this month about changing it after this call, she already knows she most likely, probably, most definitely won’t. She can’t seem to pin down what it is, familiarity, nostalgia, laziness or what, but that sound.. That silly old-school bubbley logo, she patched in 18 months ago, that animates round and round.. Buzzing over that S. All of it. Everything. Makes her entire body beam with delight, her life for one brief moment seems light. Lighter than the beams of golden speckled beams shining through the french dormer windows.. Catching all sorts of hazy transient bits of fluff in their nurturing rays. Enveloping her cold pert breast, warming her nipples into some form of biological submission. Making her feel at one and at a loss, simultaneously. Her life is not her own. Her life is not a whole.

All this and more she thinks in the 1 minute and 45 seconds she can bear the ringing sound coming from her comically tall looming white Ikea desk. With the fluid movement of someone who has performed this task a million times, Zaika pushes her slender, naked form off the floor. Her knees and toes taking most of force as they act like fulcrums, while her rough fingers reach out to the soft black shawl, on top of which she had been sat in absorbed contemplation. As her body turns the 65 degree angle needed to silence the monotonous ringing that has faded into the patchwork of her life sounds, Zaika has managed to drape the shawl loosely but competently around herself. Managing to even pin the ends tightly around her face, to build the illusion of constant observance to protocol. Just in time to answer the call to her young overseas nephew.

“Bore da, Yayah”
“Asa’laam walaykum Khala”
“Walaykum Asa’laam Yayah, how are you doing?”

Oh this call is not going to go well she thinks, already her young 11 year old nephew’s eye have narrowed with the intensity of her mother’s. She wonders what sermon will be filtered to her in today’s conversation, she has already dissected the 15 seconds of interaction and found herself to be be seen as wanting. If only she’d just smiled happy and allowed him to begin the conversation. She mutters a hurried prayer to God Allah that her constant interaction down at the centre will at least carry her pakistani and arabic verbal skills through the next 25 minutes. Perhaps for once she can bring some pride to them, and leave a call feeling loved. Her eyes swell a little with tear.. As a flash-forward of herself looms large in her mind’s eye. Zaika is laing naked on the flower, curled up against a hot water bottle and teddy.. Crying like a broken water-works doll.


Oh sickening spirit.. Leave me.. I beseech thee.

I see a spirit so independent and true,Fighting within fortunes so similar

A life path through the challenging bush,

But dissimilar too, the essence of our awkward roots,

a legacy that we inhabit,

yet to given

To be seen to take fruit.
This wandering mind,

anguishing in hells your imagination could barely reside in,

Your powerful strides strapped to an ever-questioning mind, dissatisfied by seemingly having nothing good to find.

Our certainties gone, withered and lost, the day we forsook thankfulness, gave up the greatest gift given by God, this here our deep love.

That now flows ever-present, causing doubtfulness and depression,
As we work, in wakefulness without the others presence.

Incapable to come to terms with our shattered brittle spirits.

To you your road and me my own.
One should have learned by now,

There can never be a companion on this sickeningly septic journey, in which even an 11-year old me has been,

But whose horrors you have neither heard of nor seen.

Goodbye my love. Goodbye my dream.

As I always said you must leave me.


An ode to a lost love

I cannot seem to escape thee

Your majesty compels me

My root fixated in being with you,

Fibre-optic news of your being blowing upon every breeze,

I remain forever frozen unsure of what to do,

Head down, fangs snarled, head pumping,

running for eternal coverings,

picky as I sit confused in quagmires, unwilling to accept willingly shared offerings,

Undaring to dream of countless substitute hauntings,

Uncaring as I spend unknown hours inflicting slow suffering,

Undoing the work of these past months faring,

As my head turns and yearns in a direction I lost,

I’m broken and alone,

With no chance of igniting you to bring me home,

You’ve moved on like a bejewelled whore,

Words and sweet love were never your goal,

I am cast ashore,

Head bursting from this great fall,

I await patiently my next opened door,

Crippled with unproductive, unusable hope,

awaiting to be turned onto passion-filled lifetimes,

Heady lifelines,

anxiously enticing my spent imagination,

As I wonder who you go a-courting,

My love surrounded by owners of a thousand shirt-tails.