‘No, I am not a racist’ claims Amis

Martin Amis (2)Martin Amis responds indignantly to Ronan Bennett: “I DO NOT ‘ADVOCATE’ ANY DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT OF MUSLIMS. AND I NEVER HAVE. And no one with the slightest respect for truth can claim otherwise.”

Sure, Martin, sure. When you said that stuff in the interview with Ginny Dougary (“The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order. What sort of suffering? Not letting them travel. Deportation – further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan. Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community”) you were merely “adumbrating”, engaging in a “thought experiment”.

Mart goes on to claim that his hostility is solely towards Islamism as an ideology (needless to say, he equates Islamism with terrorism) and that his words in the Dougary interview were “not racist but simply retaliatory”. Which makes it difficult to explain his proposal for “strip-searching people who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan”.

And how would Amis characterise this statement from the interview? “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.” As Terry Eagleton pointed out, this is almost indistinguishable from the sort of paranoid fantasies you expect from the BNP.

Guardian, 1 December 2007