Shortly after the attack on the free speech meeting in Copenhagen earlier this month, I gave an interview to Anton Geist of the Danish newspaper Information. It was published last week. Here is a rough translation (my interview was given in English, so parts of this have undergone a double translation, from English to Danish and back to English again). If we say it’s wrong to give offence, we provide terrorists with their arguments by Anton Geist, Information, 21 February 2015 A […]
As a coda to my debate with Anshuman Mondal on free speech, here are three videos and an audio clip in which I explore some of the issues, particularly in the context of the Rushdie affair. The first is a short film I made for Faculti, the academic video site, about my book From Fatwa to Jihad. The second is a debate about the Rushdie Affair that I had with Tariq Modood on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week in […]
Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton is published tomorrow. (Joseph Anton, for those who don’t know, was the name that Rushdie adopted during his years in hiding, a name borrowed from two of his favourite writers, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov.) Joseph Anton is not simply a memoir; it is a vital piece of social history. It is Rushdie’s first real account of the years under the shadow of the fatwa, the story from the inside of a changing world. I will review […]
Categories: Free Speech • Tags: bradford, free speech, hanif kureishi, islam, islamism, joseph anton, muslims, my beautiful laundrette, penguin books, peter mayer, rushdie affair, salman rushdie, sher azam, spycatcher, the satanic verses, william nygaard
For no reason other than that I had never realised this video was online, here is my conversation with Hanif Kureishi at last year’s Festival of Asian Literature in London, in an event entitled ‘Saying It Like It Is: Culture, Free Speech and Power.’ And here, too, is the essay I wrote, at the time of that conversation, about my debt, and that of my generation, to Kureishi’s writing.
For many, Hanif Kureishi is a fine comic writer, a superb scriptwriter and an important essayist. He has produced a number of masterpieces (The Buddha of Suburbia, My Beautiful Launderette) and, inevitably, a few duds too. For British Asians of a particular generation, however, he is much more than this. For those of us who came of age in the 1980s, Kureishi is one of the writers who helped us discover our voice, one of the writers through whose words we […]
In the post comes a copy of Hanif Kureishi’s Collected Essays. I am ‘in conversation’ with Kureishi on the final night of the Festival of Asian Literature, an event I am very much looking forward to. I interviewed him three years ago for my book From Fatwa to Jihad, and what he said then still resonates today. So, I’m using this as an excuse to rerun that interview. ‘NOBODY’, HANIF KUREISHI SUGGESTS, ‘WOULD HAVE THE BALLS TODAY TO write The Satanic […]