Few British mosques are places of mosaic or minaret. They are not fine
buildings from which muezzins call. They are the adapted back rooms or
upstairs quarters of working-class Muslims. The carpet I sat on in the
Handsworth district of Birmingham on Aug. 10 was woven through with a
religious motif, but was threadbare.
I was part of a circle of 20 barefoot men, their palms turned upward in front of their chests, making their dua for two brothers killed in “riots”
the night before. The prayers were now led by the murdered men’s uncle,
replacing their father, who was ushered away in distress.
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