“This house is full of rats! Would someone like to call the council!”

That was the forlorn cry from one of my Muslim neighbours (not one with a ‘can-do’ attitude perhaps). Hey, someone has to listen to these people. Well, I just walked on by (she can call the council herself).

I currently live in a largely Muslim area. There is a mosque on my road. The shopkeepers won’t sell anything with pork in it (although sometimes you can get sausages with beans if you’re lucky and they have forgotten to purge the shelves of all pig product).

It’s not all bad here. There was a Hindu lady who would always stand at her window and watch whatever was going on. She was always there whatever was happening. I really warmed to her when I walked past her house down to the shop and back. In the end I decided that I would pluck up the courage to smile at her. So I walked down the road and she was there at the window as usual. I smiled my nicest smile. She looked back at me with a look of disapproval. Oh well, I tried.

There is a Christodelphian church near the shop. They put up weekly signs which usually read: ‘The truth about the trinity’, or something like that. Sometimes they will have an interesting sign, but I always think it is a little sad that most of the people around here don’t realise that the Christodelphians aren’t exactly Christian enough to believe in the trinity.

It is very multicultural. In all the time I’ve lived here the worst abuse I’ve had was for one Asian youth to shout “English!” at me. They seem to resist all urges to plant a terrorist bomb in my flat. Some of them are really quite friendly.

So, you see, when I watch the news and see how militant and violent my Muslim neighbours are, I can only admit that I must be incredibly naive. Because I think that the portrayal of Muslims (at least in this country) is almost as ridiculous as the portrayal of Christians.

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