“Modern” in this story refers to a specific historical period, like “the age of enlightenment” or “the gothic era.” In the long run, you ought to consider yourself lucky if you can name your own historical era something positive (as in the former example), rather than have it named something negative by your descendants (as in the latter).

↓ Transcript
Panel 1: Zaynab (off-camera): “…And Maria.” Maria: “Hiya.”
Panel 2: Safia: “Maria’s a Christian, but we’re her only friends, so we just count her as one of the Muslimat.”
Panel 3: Maida: “Hi. Hi.”
Panel 4: Jewana: “Safia was worried you couldn’t speak Yingish.” Maida looks at Jewana in alarm.
Panel 5: Safia: “What! That’s not what I said!” Safia looks alarmed.
Panel 6: Maida: “Um. I learnt Modern English in School. Yingish is a bit different, but I’m catching up.” Safia: “‘Modern’ English! Aiya!”
Panel 7: Close-up on Maida. Maida: “Martian Swahili is my first language.”