“The more that the West demands change from outside, the more it makes such issues as women’s rights the litmus test of reform, the more difficult it makes the task of those pushing for change from within. The more it resorts to terms such as ‘Islamofacism’ and ‘mediaevalism’, the greater its ignorance of the pressures and the possibilities of societies in flux today. There are no generalities, just particulars, specific to place, person and moment.
“You would have thought that the novelist of all artists would understand this. Apparently not. But at least McEwan, Amis and the rest are showing one thing: that the condemnation of that which you have no wish to understand is as much the prerogative of the secularists as it is of the religious.”
Adrian Hamilton in the Independent, 26 June 2008