Amis finds another supporter

Henry Porter joins the likes of Ruth Dudley Edwards in rallying to the defence of poor misunderstood Martin Amis:

“Amis prefaced his remarks with: ‘There’s a definite urge – don’t you have it too? – to say…’ He was confessing to an urge that millions of people felt after the 7 July attacks or the attempts to blow up a nightclub full of young women in the summer. He was not recommending a campaign of persecution but owning up – bravely, as it turned out – to what amounted to a revenge fantasy. This is what writers are meant to do – to experiment, to give vent to the things so many of us feel but do not express, to allow reason to assert itself and to come out the other end with a view.”

Observer, 21 October 2007

For Amis’s actual words, see here. You’ll note that, in the same interview, Amis also came out with a “Muslims are outbreeding us” line that was plainly inspired by paranoid right-wing fantasists like Mark Steyn: “They’re also gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now and by 2025 they’ll be a third. Italy’s down to 1.1 child per woman. We’re just going to be outnumbered.”

But that’s par for the course with Amis. Just over a year ago, to take another example, he wrote an article for the Observer containing formulations that were indistinguishable from the sort of bigoted nonsense that appears on sites like Jihad Watch:

“Until recently it was being said that what we are confronted with, here, is ‘a civil war’ within Islam…. Well, the civil war appears to be over. And Islamism won it…. Islam, in the end, proved responsive to European influence: the influence of Hitler and Stalin. And one hardly needs to labour the similarities between Islamism and the totalitarian cults of the last century.”