Blitcon

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Blitcon is a collective portmanteau term invented to describe the political tendencies of Britain's three most prominent novelists (British literary neoconservatives). It was coined by the Muslim writer Ziauddin Sardar in December 2006.

Writing in the British left-leaning political weekly the New Statesman, Sardar charged that Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan "dominate British literature - and they're convinced that Islam threatens civilisation as we know it". While the triumvirate's generational sway over the commanding heights of British literary affairs is largely undisputed, the novelists' approaches to and descriptions of Islamism could be seen as more nuanced than Sardar's contentious article gave them credit. Amis has been especially careful to distinguish between Islam and radical Islamism, stating that:

"We can begin by saying, not only that we respect Muhammad, but that no serious person could fail to respect Muhammad - a unique and luminous historical being... Judged by the continuities he was able to set in motion, Muhammad has strong claims to being the most extraordinary man who ever lived... To repeat, we respect Islam - the donor of countless benefits to mankind ... But Islamism? No, we can hardly be asked to respect a creedal wave that calls for our own elimination ... Naturally we respect Islam. But we do not respect Islamism, just as we respect Muhammad and do not respect Muhammad Atta." [1]

Amis, Rushdie and McEwan were also included in the original 1983 Granta "Best of Young British Novelists" list. Amis also served as the literary editor of the New Statesman, where he worked alongside longtime friend Christopher Hitchens, whose energetic support for the Iraq war and other interventionist foreign policy causes him to be categorized as a neo-con on occasion.

External links[edit]

  • [1] 'Welcome to Planet Blitcon', Ziauddin Sardar, New Statesman, 11 December 2006
  • [2] 'Planet Blitcon? It doesn't exist', Robert McCrum, Comment is free, 7 December 2006

References[edit]