Siddiqui’s journey took him from a divided India to a welcoming Canada — until the cataclysm of 9/11 hardened attitudes to Muslims around the world. His personal story weaves through growing Islamophobia in both India and North America.
Canada has no official culture. It follows that there's no standard way of being Canadian, beyond obeying the law. In My Name is Not Harrry, Haroon Siddiqui shows how Canada let him succeed on his own terms.
Coming from India in 1967, he refused to forget his past. He didn't change his name, didn't dilute his dignity, didn't compromise his conscience or his dissident views. He championed immigration and multiculturalism when that was not popular. He upbraided media colleagues for being white-centric, Orientalist. Haroon pioneered cross-cultural journalism, bridging divided communities. Haroon also insisted it was un-Canadian to use free speech as a licence for hate speech while staunchly opposing the limitless American war on terror.
In this far reaching memoir, Haroon Siddiqui shares remarkable journalistic forays into the corridors of power, war zones, and cultural minefields. He also takes the reader along his personal journey from British colonial India to the evolution of Canada as the only Western nation where skin colour is no longer a fault line.
Siddiqui's experiences in the corridors of power in newsrooms and warzones are threaded with insights about historic changes in the last seventy years in India and Canada. His native and adopted lands serve as metaphors for what can go wrong and what can be made right.