Rebuking obnoxious views

Terry EagletonTerry Eagleton explains his recent much-publicised polemic against Martin Amis and replies to critics:

“In an essay entitled The Age of Horrorism published last month, the novelist Martin Amis advocated a deliberate programme of harassing the Muslim community in Britain. ‘The Muslim community’, he wrote, ‘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 and they start getting tough with their children…’

“Amis was not recommending these tactics for criminals or suspects only. He was proposing them as punitive measures against all Muslims, guilty or innocent. The idea was that by hounding and humiliating them as a whole, they would return home and teach their children to be obedient to the White Man’s law. There seems something mildly defective about this logic….

“Suicide bombers must be stopped forcibly in their tracks to protect the innocent. But there is something rather stomach-churning at the sight of those such as Amis and his political allies, champions of a civilisation that for centuries has wreaked untold carnage throughout the world, shrieking for illegal measures when they find themselves for the first time on the sticky end of the same treatment.”

Guardian, 10 October 2007

Here at Islamophobia Watch we are of course rooting for Professor Eagleton. However, in the interests of accuracy, we should point out that Amis’s disgraceful comments in fact appeared in an interview with Ginny Dougary published in the Times Magazine in September 2006.