Books,  Islamism

Academic Confused by Real World

A famous literary theorist can’t get to grips with a phenomenon common to authors he used to admire:

I’m interested in the way a whole stratum of the liberal literati (Rushdie, to some extent Ian McEwan, A C Grayling, obviously Amis and Hitchens) – the very people you’d have expected to be guardians of the liberal flame of tolerance and understanding – have, at the very first assault, rushed into these caricatured postures driven by panic. I’m very struck by how those who are making ugly, illiberal, supremacist noises about the superiority of the west are precisely the sort of literary and liberal characters from whom you’d expect more imagination, openness and sensitivity.

Ignoring the fact that one man’s ‘ugly supremacist noise’ is merely another man’s stated preference not to have his books burnt, his translator murdered and a fatwa pronounced on him – can anyone help the Distinguished Professor out with his mental blockage?