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The commander searched my belongings. “Indian?” “British,” I replied. I asked in a Syrian dialect if he spoke Arabic; he did and we stayed with it. In the top pocket of my rucksack he found wooden prayer beads from Baghdad. “Muslim?” he asked. Na’am, yes. He handed back my things and told me I was welcome to go anywhere I wanted in the Islamic emirate, apologising and asking if I was upset with him