Cover my hair is pink under this veil

“In 1977, one of the girls at my infant school in Kent asked me if I was a golliwog. I said I wasn’t sure. In 2015, when I ran to be mayor in Tower Hamlets, a smartly dressed middle-class man saw me wearing a headscarf and asked me what colour my hair was underneath it. I gave him a big smile. ‘Pink,’ I replied. Did I win his vote? I rather doubt it.”

Engaging and sharply observed, My Hair Is Pink Under This Veil gives a candid insight into the life of a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in modern Britain.

Writing with grace and humour about her family’s experiences building a new life in Britain in the 1970s, Rabina Khan then turns her gaze outwards to explore the politics of the veil, white privilege and intersectional feminism, before charting her battle to build a successful political career against a backdrop of blame, bias and misogyny – including from her own community.

Clear-sighted and often deeply affecting about the struggles facing Muslim women, My Hair Is Pink Under This Veil is at its heart an inspiring story about the power of self-belief and determination to create a fairer world.


“A funny, engaging and moving memoir. Rabina captures nuances and shatters stereotypes.”

Fatima Manji, Channel 4 News

“Rabina is an inspiring and powerful role model who has smashed glass ceilings with her strength, grace and tenacity. This book gives an important insight into the experiences of British Muslim women, whose voices are too often marginalised. Rabina’s charming childhood experiences of home-made nativity costumes, bad perms and dressing-up parties are gently interwoven with the painful realities of everyday racism in 1980s Britain, all told with matter-of-fact reflection and optimism for the future.”

Jo Swinson, former leader of the Liberal Democrats

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  • Hardback, 304 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785906466
  • 20 May 2021
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