From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy Hardcover – 1 Apr 2009
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"'One of the most interesting and perceptive voices operating in the disputed territory where science, culture and politics meet... Few targets escape the reach of his forensic intelligence.' Andrew Anthony, Observer"
The Number 1 international bestseller updated and reissued. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
This book explains all. If you ever wanted to know how we got to where we are then this is the book to read. A really interesting and informative read. To be recommended.
More specifically, Malik's book charts the rise of the AYM's and novelist Tariq Mehmood refers to it as at pages 48-52: "...We can't have this, we can't leave our future in the hands of people we hated like community leaders or Labour Party types'. That was then, he says, 'the seeds of the Asian Youth Movements began to be formed'..." Incidently, Malik also mentions in the concluding paragraphs of chapter two at page 79: "...The AYM, a beacon in the 1970s, of united struggles against racism, split up, torn apart by such multi-cultural tensions..." Very true, is the case. Sadly, Malik fails to grasp the true facts of Sheffield Asian Youth Movement (SAYM), formation and who founded it, and he incorrectly mentions this one particular member of the Sheffield Asian Youth Movement (SAYM) 'as a founder member' at page 79 in the book. The truth of the matter was that the SAYM was initially referred to as the Asian Youth Council (AYC) - due to its original founders being youth workers and (I was there also) I/we were inspired by the visit/meeting/discussion held on Sunday, 12th October, 1980 and held at the Attercliffe (Asian) Youth Club in Sheffield by two Bradford AYM member(s) Anwar Qadir and another member only referred to as "another colleague", to set up another AYM in Sheffield; two years prior to the actual formation of the AYC after the Shizan restaurant attack in June, 1982. However the ongoing Ahmed Khan campaign and the second planned AYM Demonstration in February, 1983 and with the re-formation of AYC in late 1982 as the SAYM. Also, archival evidence on the Tandana Glow website: 'Archiving Social and Political rights' and articles articles in the Burngreave Messenger backs this up.
Finally, despite these minor investigative journalistic lapses, Malik sums up in a nutshell that the legacy of the Rushdie Affair carried into the post-9/11 and present, Malik makes his incisive political analysis and then continues to challenges the many cultural myths that are tied up in the Satanic Verses Controversy/Rushdie Affair that are actually the precursor to a wholly new kind of political narrative. Malik in fact, charts the rise of 'radical' AYMs and does the same to the rise of "Radical Islam" and the factors involved in the Rushdie Affair that have undermined free speech and freedom of expression. Excellent exposition of the The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy and with razor sharp argument and debate. Definitely the number one international seller!
What made Malik's book so powerful for me is that this is the first account of the Britain of my youth which I really recognise. The racism, the Paki-bashing, the national front, the bigotry, far from being as isolated as some would like to suggest, were pervasive through my youth - and I hated every second of it. I grew up far enough away from Brixton to be aware that there were problems down the road, but close enough to experience the distasteful vagaries of racists and bigots. Malik has supplied me with a book where I can say, 'You want to know what the Britain of my youth was like ... there you are.' I can think of no better compliment to pay a writer.
The more complex problems that Malik investigates are intriguing. Some of his secular friends have become religious and, so Malik seems to suggest, have found an identity, albeit perhaps an inauthentic one (if that is not a disingenuous phrase) in a new form of Islam that is seen as a revitalisation of an old form. Such has the problem of identity become that as in the case where a novelist writes a book, like Monica Ali, it is questioned whether or not she is representative of the community from which she comes. Such an attempt to question whether a novelist should be allowed to write is an offence to every thinking person, to humanity as a whole. It is as much where we are like others, as much as where we differ that makes us who we are. And besides all that a novel is a work of fiction and should be treated as such.
The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing. The Book Prize judges for 2010 were Jonathan Heawood (director, English PEN), Andrew Holgate (literary editor, Sunday Times) and Francine Stock (writer and broadcaster).
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