Page 104. " What had it been? A Lord Mayor's dinner? "
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It was a dinner at the Mansion House on 20 June 2007.  At the time, Gordon Brown was still Chancellor of the Exchequer, although he would become Prime Minister seven days later.

My Lord Mayor, Mr Governor, my Lords, Aldermen, Mr Recorder, Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen. Over the ten years that I have had the privilege of addressing you as Chancellor, I have been able year by year to record how the City of London has risen by your efforts, ingenuity and creativity to become a new world leader... So I congratulate you Lord Mayor and the City of London on these remarkable achievements, an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London... We are unquestionably an enormously talented and creative country. Historically, we've been one of the most inventive nations in the world. And as the City shows with its high skills, if we are to be what I want Britain to be - the great global success story of this century - our first priority, and this is the theme of my final speech to you as Chancellor, must be to use the talents of every individual in our country far better than we do today by ensuring we become world class in education...

 

Page 106. " adept at tajwid "
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Page 109. " And who was Edward the Confessor? "
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 Edward the Confessor (1003-1066) was the second last Anglo-Saxon king, dying just a few months before the invasion of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings.

He was declared a saint in 1161, and designated a Confessor (a saint who lived a holy life and died in peace, and therefore cannot be categorised as a martyr).

Page 116. " Then I had a road to Damascus -- road to Mecca, more like -- moment "

A reference to the Conversion of Paul (known as Saul) on the road to Damascus:

 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.  And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Acts 9:3-9

 

Mecca is the most important sacred site of Islam.