The article employs a subjective personal approach to show that new racisms are alive in the twenty‐first century. Tracing my parents' journey from India and Pakistan to Britain, it explores the political effects of the racism they and their children faced. Locating these reflections in a post‐9/11 world, the article describes the turn my academic work has taken in response to media representations of Muslims, and calls for academic research on British Muslim identity to reflect the process of identity‐making and its contingencies. The West saw itself as a spiritual adventure. It is in the name of the spirit, in the name of the spirit of Europe, that Europe has made her encroachments, that she has justified her crimes and legitimized the slavery in which she holds four‐fifths of humanity. Yes, the European spirit has strange roots. Situating a Personal Perspective This article examines how the resurgence of Islamophobia in contemporary society has its roots in the concept of 'race' and the evolution of racism. To understand this, these issues are presented via a personal perspective to help the reader comprehend the human impact that racism has in society. Hence the growing academic literature on contemporary racism is approached and debated by employing a subjective evaluation. Given that academia is supposed to be rational, objective and scientific, the approach and conclusions may be open to criticism. However the writing of As'ad AbuKhalil (describing his most recent book on Bin Laden, Terrorism and Islam) may provide some thought to critics of a subjective approach: The style and tone of this book are emotional, and may strike the academic reader as odd. But hiding behind the cloak of objectivity is often used more to conceal than to reveal.