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Cultural isolation: Mohammad Chowdhury publishes memoir of journey as Western Muslim post-9/11

3 August 2021 Life Members

Mohammad Chowdhury, a Life Member who completed an MPhil in the Economics and Politics of Development at Clare Hall in 1990, has written a memoir titled Border Crossings: My Journey as a Western Muslim (Unbound, 2021).

The memoir sees Mohammad describe his experiences as a Western Muslim since the 9/11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda against the United States in 2001. Born in the UK and raised as an observant Muslim with liberal values, Mohammad writes about the cultural isolation he felt as a young man growing up in London as well as in Bangladesh, where relatives labelled him ‘the Englishman’.

Shortly post 9/11 when a friend referred to him as a Westerner, Mohammad was shocked that the importance of being accepted as Western had never occurred to him before.

On the memoir, Mohammad comments:

In visiting almost 100 countries during my career, I developed a unique view through a lens of being Western, Muslim and speaking several languages all at once. This is a timely publication at the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, especially given that racial and cultural tensions are so heightened in the world today.

As the memoir’s blurb describes, Mohammad’s story echoes the experience of thousands of Western Muslims, who since 9/11 have been subjected to a barrage of questions that cast doubt over the very goodness of their faith.

Mohammad Chowdhury is a Senior Partner at PwC based in Melbourne, Australia, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Mohammad has advised on the liberalisation of internet and connectivity in Pakistan, Poland, Slovenia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Myanmar and dozens of other nations, and today focuses on the emergence of the digital economy. A recognised industry expert, Mohammad is also a Trustee of the UK’s Institute for the Future of Work.

Learn more about the book at