Last weekend, Ian McEwan, the award-winning British author of Atonement, found himself in hot water because of an interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in which he defended his friend Martin Amis. Amis, you may recall, is himself in hot water for his criticism of militant islam in his essay “The Age of Horrorism” and elsewhere (he was accused last year of being Islamaphobic after he said that “the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order”).
Here’s what McEwan had to say (in part)…
“As soon as a writer expresses an opinion against Islamism, immediately someone on the left leaps to his feet and claims that because the majority of Muslims are dark-skinned, he who criticises it is racist,” he said in an interview in “Corriere della Sera.”
“This is logically absurd and morally unacceptable. Martin is not a racist. And I myself despise Islamism, because it wants to create a society that I detest, based on religious belief, on a text, on lack of freedom for women, intolerance towards homosexuality and so on – we know it well.”
Source: Telegraph UK
After reading McEwen’s defense and the criticism leveled at Amis and him by Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, I decided to dig up Amis’ essay and see for myself if he is guilty as accused (by Bunglawala) of “…advocating that the Muslim community be made to suffer ‘until it gets its own house in order’.
Actually, I found nothing of the sort (notice the not-so-subtle shift in “voice” between what was actually said and what was restated in the accusation itself — emphasis mine) .
What I did find was a deeply satisfying exposé on “islamism.” I can see why Bunglawala is offended because Amis pulls back the currently popular veneer so carefully crafted by the defenders of Islamism to reveal what the defenders hoped you wouldn’t discover.
You may not agree with all his points but you will agree (I think) that this essay is powerfully and beautifully presented. IMO, we will all walk away from this article with a much clearer picture of the existential threat of radical islam.
Here is a brief excerpt (link below)…
Suicide-mass murder is more than terrorism: it is horrorism. It is a maximum malevolence.
And it remains an accurate measure of the Islamists’ contortion: they hold that an act of lethal self-bespatterment, in the interests of an unachievable ’cause’, brings with it the keys to paradise. Sam Harris, in The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, stresses just how thoroughly and expeditiously the suicide-mass murderer is ‘saved’. Which would you prefer, given belief?
‘… martyrdom is the only way that a Muslim can bypass the painful litigation that awaits us all on the Day of Judgment and proceed directly to heaven. Rather than spend centuries mouldering in the earth in anticipation of being resurrected and subsequently interrogated by wrathful angels, the martyr is immediately transported to Allah’s garden…’
Osama bin Laden’s table talk, at Tarnak Farms in Afghanistan, where he trained his operatives before September 2001, must have included many rolling paragraphs on Western vitiation, corruption, perversion, prostitution, and all the rest. And in 1998, as season after season unfolded around the president’s weakness for fellatio, he seemed to have good grounds for his most serious miscalculation: the belief that America was a softer antagonist than the USSR (in whose defeat, incidentally, the ‘Arab Afghans’ played a negligible part). Still, a sympathiser like the famously obtuse ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh, if he’d been there, and if he’d been a little brighter, might have framed the following argument.
Now would be a good time to strike, John would tell Osama, because the West is enfeebled, not just by sex and alcohol, but also by 30 years of multicultural relativism. They’ll think suicide bombing is just an exotic foible, like shame-and-honour killings or female circumcision. Besides, it’s religious, and they’re always slow to question anything that calls itself that. Within days of our opening outrage, the British royals will go on the road for Islam, and stay on it. And you’ll be amazed by how long the word Islamophobia, as an unanswerable indictment, will cover Islamism too. It’ll take them years to come up with the word they want – and Islamismophobia clearly isn’t any good. Even if the Planes Operation succeeds, and thousands die, the Left will yawn and wonder why we waited so long. Strike now. Their ideology will make them reluctant to see what it is they confront. And it will make them slow learners.
Source: “The Age of Horrorism” by Martin Amis (Guardian UK)