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.


#NaBloPoMo #26: The Journey to University of York



So apparently journeying to York, (beautiful “city” two towns over), even for the purposes of self-improvement and intellectual betterment is really impressive! Especially to one of the key respondents who luckily journeyed back to Bradford with me on the train!

Amazing day, totally helpful to my thesis topic. Hope supervisor Dr. Sayyid will be okay with me opening self up to other topics and adjacent conversations. All though does remind me I have a long, long, way to go! If only I could quit work and family to concentrate solely on myself. Oh well, too late to turn back now.


#NaBloPoMo 20 Surrogate – Job Applications & Career Aspirations

So working back in retail has been a very rewarding and interesting experience. Being on the frontline of the new launch of the first ever Westfield development outside of London, in my very own hometown Bradford, West Yorkshire..  has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience amazing! Reflecting on best practice and application of skills within a busy environment codes of best practice are being drawn and re-drawn daily, as the flow of people and goods has yet to find a organisational bed to lay in, is so my ‘cup o’ tea’. As i keep implementing new strategies to increase productivity within my team and the click and collect service I am responsible for.

However I am also increasingly aware of how much further I am walking away from my ultimate career goal, which is to be a researcher in the media production and it’s effects on cultural and gendered norms, within our wider global society. Especially as one of the mid-millennial generation, who has just  left the bustling metropolitan centre that is London, where it seemed opportunities were endless and I had a great network around me. Though I guess I still have those networks and communities, I guess I am finding it a little more difficult that I realised fitting back into the conservative and sometimes a little too harsh North. I mean only recently I was faced with disparaging comments about my potential knowledge of Star Wars, because I was “An Asian Lass”; my sexual orientation and sexuality, oh and general knowledge of Gay/Trans .. like please get to know me, my interests and affiliations please before you judge me for my looks and your prejudiced stereotypical notions. Oh but don’t fret I was the picture of charm itself while facing these and many, many more silly comments.

Silly is a little harsh I know, but I think it’s the best English idiom, as I am again faced with the same circles of “truthisms” and segregated knowledge and power struggles I faced as I grew up in the North.

Little instances that deny me access to cultural products or historical references, are just everyday cases of otherings that deny my personal narrative. They set me apart and call into question my journey to become a citizen and an individual, who faces the same struggles and mental processes as everyone else. Though I must say that it is normally men of a certain background who tend to display these thoughts and actions, maybe it has more to do with patriarchy?

Oh well, I do love to rise to a challenge. Plus, I cannot claim to be part of the movement of “Equality for all” if I don’t work to change prejudices on an everyday micro-level. Above all and especially when I feel most despairing, I must rise with poise, professionally and perfectly formed intuitive retorts to stand my feminist ground.

Also, quick bit of good related news,  I have been spending hours, especially before and after work, study and gym applying for positions with educational environments. I know I have the passion, drive and enthusiasm for learning spaces and supporting fellow students of life, if only I could get an interview. *Fingers crossed and lots of prayers* please 🙂


Trying to add different media and help motivate my drawing, creative eye and most of all – SHARING!


An Open Letter to Naz Shah

Dear Naz Shah,

I don’t know you, but I’m glad you have won. You have risen up through the sexist, derogatory campaign ran by many, to be democratically elected in Bradford. In doing so, you have given me renewed hope for a better Bradford.

A Bradford built on free discourse and open to all. Regardless of their gender, tribe, culture, race, age, past, family history, ‘biraderi politics’ or ranking in the community. Regardless of these unwritten terms of access felt by me and many others in that collection of small disparate burroughs, each with their own uniquely felt unspoken code of conducts. Though often repeated down the years, in the searching judgemental gazes of mistrusting and themselves misunderstood beings. Persons who are lost in the between the cracks of education, work and society. Worlds unknown to the rest of the UK.

As we grew up in that hinterland, which existed continually as a melting pot that was never ready. A city judged for it’s history of rioting, racial tensions and never allowed to move on or attain a place in the touristic roster.  A place where you are pre-emptively judged by the inner-city postal codes you reside in, or by the suburban towns and village if you happen to be socio-economic or culturally deemed fit and able to live in the likes of Thornton, Eccleshill, Fagley, Pudsey etc.

I myself, became in part like them. Desolate in my defeated optimism, having my trust tarnished by the continual spirals that I never thought would clear in Bradford. I felt that here was a part of me, of this beautiful country that would forever be caught in the loop of uneducated, loud, brash men, without social consciouses for their community or a belief in full gender, sexual and racial equality. A loop of continual inequalities that can never be shared or highlighted for fear of the neighbours judgements.

So thank you Ms. Shah for proving my own judgements wrong, by winning the hearts and minds of Bradford. It has only been 5 days and I am already proud that you won, that you did it on policy and that you still continue to defy the nay-sayers and ill-wishers barking at your office door.

You and your family’s plights, read by me after coming upon your open letter. I’m ashamed to say I fell into that wiki-hole of no return for hours. Reading up on you work and life fanatically. My heart goes out to your past self and your entire family, in particular your mother. Your plights read to me and echoed in parts stigmas that I have encountered in my 25 years and am still dealing with and coming to terms with in my own past. Comparatively slight, but the constant struggle that occurred growing up, particularly for strong women, with whom I looked emotional and physical obstructions. Especially to hinder our autonomy and wielding of any power forever haunts my actions, my confidence and my being.. But your win gives me hope and trust. So thank you for that.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, as a keyboard fanatic, for the hope you have instilled in me for better future in this jewelled part of the North that I forever keep vividly green close to my heart. I hope that in winning as a female Labour candidate you will work (equally) hard as you have done supporting the disenfranchised, lost, destitute people through commissioning for the NHS and the amazing charity Sharing Voices.

I hope also that you do well in the coming months. I believe you will achieve your aims. I pray that God Willing the shameful “legal” charge by Galloway does not hinder you. My faith and optimism in a Bradford improved under your guidance is vast and I hope is not wasted in empty promises of change.

Yours Sincerely,

A fellow Bradfordian Woman.