The Making of Mr Hai's Daughter: Becoming British

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Yasmin Hai, The Making of Mr Hai's Daughter: Becoming British, Virago, 2008

As a second-generation British Asian, Hai describes the project her Pakistani Muslim father embarked upon in the 1970s, aimed at turning his children into model British citizens. As part of 'Operation English', Mr Hai's children were discouraged from speaking Urdu, taking an interest in their Muslim past, having Asian Muslim friends, attending Qu-ran classes - anything that might make them seem as anything other than 'proper' English people. Hai describes the impact of this regime of 'becoming British' on her relationship with her mother, a 'good Muslim wife' and with her father, who pstensibly was not religious, and examines its contradictions. She describes the changes that took place amongst the young Muslims she knew in the 1990s with the emergence of political Islam. In the latter parts of her memoir, Hai goes on to reexamine her father's project in the light of the assimilation debates which have raged in the wake of the events of 9/11.