Well, that the claim made by ex-leftist-turned-Bush-supporter Christopher Hitchens, who rallies to the defence of his friend and fellow writer. Let us remind ourselves what Amis said in his September 2006 interview with Ginny Dougary:
“There’s a definite urge – don’t you have it? – to say, ‘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…”
So how does Hitchens justify this appalling rant? He tells us that “the harshness Amis was canvassing was not in the least a recommendation, but rather an experiment in the limits of permissible thought”.
In a letter in the same issue another friend and author, Ian McEwan, also attempts to defend the indefensible.
For Yusuf Smith’s response to Hitchens, see Indigo Jo Blogs, 21 November 2007