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British Islam after Rushdie

As I found out in a journey across Britain, the central conflict in Muslim communities is not between secular and Islamic values, but between the generations of the Muslim families who live here

Read Kenan Malik’s interview with Hanif Kureishi in our current edition here

Twenty years ago, Ayotallah Khomeini pronounced his notorious fatwa against Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. It was the climax of a controversy that had raged for several months, and would continue to do so for another year and more. In hindsight, the Rushdie affair marked the beginning of a new political assertiveness amongst Britain’s Muslims. As one Islamist noted at the time, with some satisfaction, “young Muslims who had been worrying the older generation with their indulgent ways—pool, pop and Pepsi—are now returning to the…

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