At a restaurant in Knightsbridge last week, I saw more Arabs on the streets than I do when I am in Dubai Mall in the Emirates. I am proud that London is the top holiday destination of choice for our Arab friends. On holiday, most of the young Arab women discard their face veils (niqab), black cloaks (abaya), and men do away with white robes to enjoy the freedoms offered by our city. Muslims from around the world hold London in high esteem and wish to send their children to our universities.
I have just returned home to London after three years of living in New York. There, I met American Muslim leaders fully at home in the US and among the most patriotic Americans I know. They support their soldiers at home and abroad. Jews and Muslims dine together in kosher restaurants and major mosques are twinned with synagogues to display mutual respect.
But what I see and hear among activist Muslims in London worries me. At mass demonstrations for "Free Palestine" at the weekend, some chanted, "Obama, what do you have to say? How many kids have you killed today?" on a day when the US government was trying to rescue Yazidis in Iraq. If Palestine is to be freed, it should be freed from Hamas.