Imam Quari Tayyab Qureshi: what it means to be a true Muslim

I was invited to Peshawar, once, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, by Imam Quari Tayyab Qureshi to debunk all the stereotypes about Muslims and Islam together.

After a really stimulating interview I can only say that we have more things in common than we think.

Peshawar is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world because of the huge black market for weapons and heroin but above all for the terrorist attacks suffered in the past by the Taliban.

I was invited to the city by the Imam of the oldest mosque in Peshawar to explain to me what it really means to be a Muslim.

I am the only tourist in the city but I feel absolutely at ease: polite looks, street food and … handshakes.

If there is one thing that distinguishes Pakistanis is their generosity.

They are: handashakes! For them it’s a sign of respect and that’s why everyone shakes my hand.

All fantastic of course. The handshakes, the food … but I can’t contact the Imam. Today there is a protest in the city and they have cut the net: no internet, no calls. I don’t know how to get there but Pakistan is truly an amazing place!

I got lost in the middle of the city and I didn’t know where the Imam mosque was, but then Kaleem appeared. He is thinking of taking me to the Imam. He saw me a little lost in the middle of the city and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take you to the Imam.” And now he does slalom among people. Without helmet of course. Here the helmet is “prohibited”.

We are finally here: we found it. It should be here in Peshawar Madrasa.

Many children around me but it cannot be otherwise: Madrasa is the religious school where all children study the Koran every day. A bit like an oratory.

After a day of research, we are finally here, the interview can begin.