July 13, 2010


Woke up feeling crap. Really forboding feling most of the morning. I think maybe I should just be awake at night. I felt better when I left the house on a wander through London checking out helmets and locks in motorcycle shops. I just remembered I put a two hundred quid deposit on a Norton in Delhi ten years ago. Shit. Anyway no matter where was I? Right. On my way to Southall to film with Abu Waleed.

We met at Southall station and went to the same restaurant where he greeted the owner.

"Its OK to film out the back?"

"Yes, but no plotting!"

We parked up on a long table next to a huge golden wedding sofa and ordered some food.

I spoke briefly about what I wanted to ask Mr Waleed, which mainly involved films like Four Lions and the Infidel, neither of which he had seen. Thankfully he had a lot he wanted to talk about so we went with that. Waleed shoots from the hip with lots to say. He is easy to talk to but I think he's going to be difficult to edit. No matter. We had done about half an hour when food arrived along with a few more from his study circle.

Over dinner one of the guys was telling me the thousand reasons why I should become a Muslim. I have sort of developed the same answers over time but having been a christian myself I do understand how important it is to take the opportunity to talk when you believe really strongly that hell awaits the unbeliever. None of them could believe that I could listen to Abu Hamza for such a long time without wanting to become a Muslim. I remember he was telling me about things Mohammed said in the Koran which had later been proved by science. He was also pleased that he had a purpose in life and questioned mine. I have a sort of stock answer for that now too.

" I don't know my purpose but my purpose has led me here, I you had told me I would have spent so much time filming Hamza and Atilla even six months before I started I wouldn't have believed it. Post 9/11 news and the invasion of Iraq led me to want to talk to Muslims and communicate with grass root Republicans for myself."

although I don't do either very much these days any more.

Anyway, nice bunch of guys.

"Are you worried about authority at all?" I asked.

"We are totally open about everything we do."

They apparently have a study circle of fourteen or fifteen guys. Hopefully I can film with them in situ some time.

"Were any of you lot with Hamza or Bakri back in the day?" I asked the guy I was talking to the most. (sorry forgot the name)

"No I am seventeen." he answered.

"Wow. Just goes to show what a beard can do for you eh. You wouldn't think I am I am ten years older than him would you?" I said pointing at Mr Waleed.

"I thought you were in your twenties." he answered.

"Just shows you what riotous living does for you. I should be trying to convert you lot eh."

So we have maybe half an hour of film coming. I know I have promised this before, I'll have to look at it first but I think this time it is pretty good. I got a good feeling when we were talking anyway.

On the way home I realised I had forgotten everything which was disturbing me. I got a bit stoned with the gang and listened to Kurdish music on Last FM which was really cosmic.


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