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Way In

That's All Faulks

Has Sebastian Faulks talked his way out of becoming the next Salman Rushdie?

Well, no. You can't imagine it ever having got that far. But reactions to his comments on Islam have meant that his novel A Week In December (reviewed in next month's Third Way), was launched to a fanfare of furious backpedalling.
In the novel, the son of rich British Muslims is drawn to terrorism, and Faulks told the Times how he read the Qu'ran as research: 'It's a depressing book. It really is. It's just the rantings of a schizophrenic.' He talked of 'the barrenness of the message', the lack of stories and said 'it has no ethical dimension'.

Fish Tank

The following day Ajmal Masroor of the Islamic Society for Britain told the Sun, 'The consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe'.

The next day, Faulks was apologising in the Telegraph, saying 'The Prophet Mohammed was the most prodigious of all voice-hearers…. But to me the idea that anyone could have achieved what the Prophet achieved… while suffering from an acute illness of any kind seems completely absurd.'
Does the fact that it all blew over demonstate his skill at reversing? Or that British Muslims are not generally so militant as some people fear them to be?