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Lyllapur to Luton

My Luton childhood made me a secular British Muslim. I don't recognise the new generation

By Sarfraz Manzoor   December 2001

I grew up in a working-class family in a working-class town. During the 1970s and 1980s, Luton was a charmless place of terraced houses and manufacturing industry. It was celebrated for two things: an airport that was a national joke, and the Vauxhall car factory which had been in the town since 1905. Because the plant provided work for the unskilled it was ideal for the town’s immigrants. Among those employed on the line at Vauxhall was my father. He had emigrated from Pakistan in the early 1960s, leaving behind his wife, two young children and a modest career in…

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