Yaqub Mohammed Quasimi

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I’m 50/50 Afghan and Danish. It doesn’t matter how long you have lived here, because you will always remain a stranger in the minds of others.

Everyone who has political intentions can and will abuse religion. I am a Muslim, but it is not what I prioritise the most. What I am concerned about is being a good person with a pure heart. I come from an educated family, and I grew up with books. Unfortunately 70% of Afghans in Afghanistan are illiterate, and ignorance is the root of fundamentalism.

If you can read and have an education, you see the world with open eyes. If not, you just make do with the priest’s words. It is like being in a dark house with just one window. Everything you know about the world comes through that one window. If you are educated and informed, you can see multiple windows, and your perspective will widen. Travelling also means that you will get new perspectives on the world. When I was young I went to Moscow to study, and when I returned to Afghanistan I saw the country in a new light. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have chosen the Military Academy, because I can’t use this education in Denmark. But it made sense at the time. The Mujahedins attacked Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan. I was young and patriotic and wanted to defend my country.

56 years / male / in a relationship / children / weapon engineer / bus driver / Roskilde / from Afghanistan / came to Denmark in 2000 / residence permit same year