More of Martin Amis’, er, insights into Islamism, in the Guardian.
‘Well, I do have a solution,’ he says. ‘It’s basically consciousness-raising in Islamic women. There’s a huge sexual element in this. It’s about Islamic masculinity; it’s to do with powerlessness and humiliation. When the last Islamic king was booted out of Spain, his mother said, “Do not cry like a woman for what you cannot maintain.”
‘That goes to the heart of the existential crisis of the Islamic male. You go back into your past and you see that it was always there. Yes, there was that Pakistani girlfriend and, yes, there was that Iranian girlfriend … Ian Hamilton [the poet and critic who died in 2001] converted to Islam so he could marry. He didn’t buy it in his heart at all, but he went to Riyadh.
‘I remember him telling me about the social atmosphere in Saudi Arabia, how it was on the brink of violence all the time. You’re driving along, you’re in the back of the car with your wife, then someone cuts across four lanes of traffic to scream something at your driver: “Tell that bitch to put some clothes on.” But there was still a palpable feeling that we were getting more rational. Now, religion is back.’
While the West is ‘punch-drunk’ on 30 years of multicultural relativism, the extremists of the Middle East are enjoying an Osama-inspired ‘power rush’. It is, he believes, time for a revival of snobbery. ‘Not class and all that shit. Intellectual snobbery, aesthetic snobbery. Roger Scruton [the right-wing philosopher] says the West is suffering from a kind of moral obesity. It can’t act.’