Martin Amis’s views demand a response

Kamila Shamsie in The Guardian:

Kamila_shamsie I recall very clearly sitting with a cup of coffee in upstate New York one morning last autumn, reading the now infamous section of the Martin Amis interview and thinking, “Where’s the punch line which turns it all on its head?” I scanned quickly through the rest of the article, then returned to the quote about Muslims, reading very slowly now, sure I’d missed the moment when Amis pronounced those awful views only in order to excoriate those who held them. When it became clear that, far from distancing himself from the views, he was attempting to implicate the wider world with the rhetorical use of “There’s a definite urge – don’t you have it?” my first thought was to contact a newspaper in the UK and offer to write a heated response. But then, as I read the Amis article out to my roommate, and she (American and Jewish) responded with as much horror and disbelief as I (Pakistani and Muslim) had felt, I thought, it shouldn’t have to be me.

By which I meant, I was convinced that disgust for Amis’s remarks would be widespread enough in the UK that other British, non-Muslims – those implicated in the “don’t you have it?” line – would step forward and say, “No, I don’t, and it’s reprehensible that you do.” It would be a far stronger attack on him, I thought, to have someone other than a Muslim foreigner hold him to account. After all, of course I would object to him suggesting that I should be strip-searched, prevented from travelling, made to suffer for my failure to prevent Muslim boys from becoming suicide bombers (ah, Mr Amis, if only I had that power…).

More here.