I can’t imagine how anyone would be surprised by this, but hey.
Times Online – Real life is unfolding like fiction, by Helen Rumbelow<br/> If you want to follow the twists and turns of what is happening on Britain’s streets, turn to these novelists
And again in 2003, Brick Lane by Monica Ali was published. In her novel, Nazneen, an innocent Bangladeshi girl, arrives in London as the bride of another Bangladeshi immigrant. Pretty soon she acquires a lover, Karim, a British Muslim, and the two men’s attitudes could not be more different. When her husband gets an extremist leaflet through the door trying to raise money for the families of suicide bombers in Palestine, he is furious. He came to Britain to succeed on Western terms, to fit in, and he fears this kind of agit-prop will turn the natives against him.
“What is all this mumbo-jumbos? Are they mad? Poking these mad letters through white people’s doors. Do they want to set flame to the whole place?”
By contrast, Karim has all the natural-born confidence of a handsome Londoner. He is not grateful for what he has got and wants what he thinks he has not got — equality. Karim is made militant by what he sees as British prejudice and persecution of Muslims. At one point Nazneen tells him that Allah forbids suicide bombing. Karim replies: “It’s not suicide, yeah. It’s war.”
I had Brick Lane as an Amazon ad to the right for a long time. It’s a terrific book.
When the Prime Minister was asked at his press conference whether the threat to Britain was “home-grown”, he came to the conclusion that “obviously the inspiration for it, as it were, comes from outside this country”.
I disagree. I think these writers — all black or Asian, all either born or brought up in Britain — are trying to tell us differently. Their work reveals exactly why this terrorism was home-grown. Less escapism than reportage, these books show that the rage of the second-generation immigrant is greater than the first. The fictional men who turn against their fellow Britons draw their ire from their experience of Western society, not from their isolation from it.