If only that so many dead lie round

Martin Amis writes on Islam and Islamism in The Observer:

It has been seriously suggested, by serious commentators, that suicide-mass murderers are searching for the simplest means of getting a girlfriend. It may be, too, that some of them are searching for the simplest means of getting a drink. Although alcohol, like extramarital sex, may be strictly forbidden in life, there is, in death, no shortage of either. As well as the Koranic virgins, ‘as chaste’, for the time being, ‘as the sheltered eggs of ostriches’, there is also a ‘gushing fountain’ of white wine (wine ‘that will neither pain their heads nor take away their reason’).

He refers to Philip Larkin’s Aubade and Church Going, neither of which I’d read before, both of which are well worth reading.

Amis thinks that Islamism is best tackled by raising the consciousness of Muslim women, which sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure how you’d go about it. One can imagine that attempts to imitate Lysistrata will result in more women being on the receiving end of the belt he speaks of.

He ends with yet another call for people to take on the Invisible Friend followers:

Even so, the time has come for a measure of impatience in our dealings with those who would take an innocent personal pronoun, which was just minding its own business, and exalt it with a capital letter. Opposition to religion already occupies the high ground, intellectually and morally. People of independent mind should now start to claim the spiritual high ground, too.

Amen to that.

Edited to add: Steven Scholl takes issue with Amis’s generalisations.

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