A paranoid, abhorrent obsession

“Last week Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-Dutch polemicist, spoke to a gathering of what The Spectator called ‘Britain’s biggest brains – politicians, editors, academics’. She told them that they were ‘actually at war, not just with Islamism, but with Islam itself’. Apparently, a good Muslim has no choice but to strive ‘to establish Sharia law’. Martin Amis, too, has recently informed us that moderate Muslims, if they ever existed, have lost out to radicals in Islam’s civil war. In any case, Islam is ‘totalist’: ‘There is no individual; there is only the umma – the community of believers.’ Never perhaps in history has so much nonsense been so confidently peddled about a population as large and diverse as this planet’s billion-plus Muslims.”

Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian, 8 December 2007