Amis and McEwan – reinforcing stereotypes

Letter in today’s Guardian:

“Ian McEwan’s defence of his friend Martin Amis (Letters, November 21) rests on two arguments, which are conflated. The first is the freedom of speech argument. But just because one has the right to express an opinion does not mean it is right to express it. In any case, Ronan Bennett’s article (G2, November 19) did not argue that one should not criticise Islam or Muslims per se; rather, it was the manner of the criticism – sweeping generalisations and stereotypes, holding all Muslims responsible for the opinions and actions of just some – that he found objectionable, and rightly so…. McEwan’s logic would have us believe that a non-religious or secularised Muslim is an impossibility for fear of the repercussions – an Orwellian vision of a totalitarian Islam that is itself a stereotype. In defending his friend, he merely confirms that both of them do not really know what they are talking about.”

Dr Anshuman Mondal
Brunel University