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‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam


Introduction: looking forward

‘There’s no need, really, to write about the future’, suggested Anthony Burgess in an interview he gave in 1973 to the journal Studies in the Novel. ‘ ou just loo! at the "resent and e#tend into a $ini$al world of fantasy the tenden%ies of the "resent and you get a so&%alled futuristi% novel’.1 'n 197(, in another interview, Burgess returned to the the$e of visions of the future being rooted in the "resent, with s"e%ifi% referen%e to his new ‘futuristi% novel’, 1985, whi%h was "ublished in that year. 'n the Britain of 1985 freedo$ and individuality are %rushed between over&$ighty trade unions on one side )the %ountry is ironi%ally %alled ‘Tu%land’ in honour of the Trades *nion +ongress, and the "ower of 'sla$ )based on Arab %ontrol of oil su"& "lies and $ass -usli$ i$$igration, on the other. ‘.o you really thin! this is going to ha""en/’ as!s the interviewer. ‘Ta!e it that ' $erely $elodra$ati0e %ertain tenden& %ies’ is Burgess’s %areful re"ly.1 'n Burgess’s futuristi% writings the "resent is the !ey to the i$agined future, and %ontinuities and re%urring "atterns under"in visions of futurity that gain e#tra resonan%e as $u%h through their fa$iliarity as through their strangeness.3 There is an i$"ortant distin%tion between the interview Burgess gave in 1973 and the one that too! "la%e in 197(, for the latter %onversation never a%tually o%%urred. 'n an e#hibition of ty"i%ally Burgessian "layfulness, the interview and the su""osed interviewer 2 an eager and thoughtful young A$eri%an 2 were both inven&

1 +harles T. Bunting, ‘An interview in 3ew or! with Anthony Burgess’, Studies in the Novel, vol. 4, no. 5 )6inter 1973,, ". 411. 1 Anthony Burgess, 1985 )7ondon8 9ut%hinson, 197(,, ". 117. 3 :eorge ;ateb illu$inates this "oint in a 1971 dis%ussion of Burgess’s dysto"ian 19<1 novel The Wanting Seed8 ‘' thin! that by "aying attention to this boo!, we %an %o$e to a $easure of %larity about "ossible "atterns of future e#"erien%e. But also about hu$an e#"erien%e as it has always been8 we distort our dis%ussion of $odernity by o$itting %ontinuities %o$"letely’. :eorge ;ateb, ‘=oliti%s and $odernity8 the strategies of des"eration’, New Literary History, vol. 3, no. 1 )Autu$n 1971,, "". 9(&9.


'sla$ was a re%urrent rather than a %onstant "reo%%u"ation of Anthony Burgess during his forty&year writing %areer. to save us fro$ ourselves’. 2 . the "ri%e of drin! and toba%%o being $ade ‘"rohibitive. but it is this vision of a world %hara%teri0ed by terroris$.. 3ew oil stri!es. 'sla$i% influen%e.. -i%robo$bs of i$$ense destru%tiveness "la%e in "ubli% buildings. and an understanding of Burgess’s attitude to the 'sla$i% religion and the 'sla$i% world is 5 Burgess. The Real Life of Anthony Burgess )7ondon8 =i%ador. but the bul! of the oil in the hands of the Arabs. e#%essive union "ower.idna""ing and s!yja%!ing by dissident grou"s. the se%urity state. and the rise of an assertive. $ass i$$igration. 133. the %onversation was a%tually invented in -ona%o. 4 @or Burgess’s life see Andrew Biswell. even an aggressive 'sla$ whi%h arguably has the greatest resonan%e for our own ti$e. +ons%iously %ontrived as it is. $en abandoning trousers as ‘ ves ?t 7aurent $a!es !ilts %hea" and "o"ular’. 1985.5 ?o$e of the "redi%tions Burgess $a!es in this e"ilogue are wide of the $ar! )‘jet travel on su"er +on%ordes’. 'sla$i% wealth. and given Burgess’s views on the de"enden%e of our views of the future u"on our e#"erien%e of the "resent it is no sur"rise to find that his words are very reveal & ing about the %onte$"orary "reo%%u"ations whi%h found their way into his new boo!8 industrial strife. "oliti%al instability. 'sla$i% religion taught in s%hools as a %ondition for getting oil. 6hen as!ed by his ‘interviewer’ what sort of events will fill the news bulletins that audien%es of the near future will wat%h on their wide s%reen televisions. 6hen viewed with the benefit of early twenty&first %entury hindsight so$e of Burgess’s %on%erns about the near future. everywhere8 restri%tions on hu$an dignity in the na$e of hu$an safety. a""ear stri!ingly "res%ient. -ore and $ore 'sla$i% "ro"aganda. Burgess re"lies8 . rooted though they are in the $id& to late& 197>s. This fabri%ated interview for$s the e"ilogue to the novel 19858 su""osedly re%orded in 7ondon.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam ted by Burgess as "art of the very "ie%e of fi%tion that the ‘interview’ dis%ussed. this double&voi%ed but single&authored interview has an authenti% feel of i$$e& dia%y. others have turned out to be $ore on target )govern$ents ‘telling us what words we $ay not use’. 4 but it was a very signifi%ant "reo%%u"ation. where the ta#&e#iled Burgess was living at the ti$e. ".. and where 1985 was written. -ore thorough fris!ing at air"orts and at %ine$a entran%es and on railroad sta& tions 2 indeed. 'sla$i% oil. 1>>4.

. had it ha""ened. # . at ti$es.. #evil of a State )19<1. re"elled. are the $ost notable. 1985 is the only one of Burgess’s novels in whi%h 'sla$ is a %entral the$e. and offered a sti$ulating and so$eti$es "rovo%ative field of enAuiry through whi%h he %ould e#"lore his %hara%teristi% the$es of good and evil. 'sla$ was %learly an subje%t of great intrinsi% fas%ination for Burgess. and there were ti$es when ' thought of being %onverted to it’. 5>7. Burgess be%o$ing a -usli$. aes& theti% attra%tion. ‘' thought of being %onverted to it’. and also serves to distan%e hi$ fro$ dire%t "ersonal res"onsibility for this "utative %onversion. ". rather than the a%tive ‘' thought of %onverting to it’. Little Wilson and Big &od' Being the (irst %art of the )onfessions of Anthony Burgess )7ondon8 9eine$ann. 'n "arti%ular the Auestion of the relationshi" between 'sla$ and the 6est is one to whi%h he re"eatedly returns in his fi%tion and non&fi%tion writing throughout his %areer.elantan he learned to write and read Arabi% s%ri"t and began to study the . alaya: ‘a gentle and !ermissi"e islam’ Between 1945 and 1949 Burgess lived and wor!ed as a tea%her in -alaya and Brunei. -alaya fas%inated. 1<>. 'n addition 'sla$ served as an obje%t of %ultural. rather than so$e& thing he a%tively did for hi$self.oran 2 indeed. and !arthly %owers )19(>. -alayan -usli$s.. the li$its and nature of hu$an free will. e#as"erated and enthralled hi$. 9e was drawn to the religion to the e#tent that while tea%hing in the -alayan state of . This e#"erien%e was of funda$ental i$"ortan%e in sha"ing his attitudes to 'sla$ and influen%ing the "la%e 'sla$ %a$e to o%%u"y in his writing. The !ne y in the Blan"et )194(.7 Burgess’s use of the "assive for$. a "oint he reinfor%es by stressing the role of a < Biswell. but it o%%u"ies an i$"ortant "la%e in $any others8 Ti e for a Tiger )194<.. he see$s to have given so$e %onsider& ation to be%o$ing -usli$ hi$self. ". would have been so$ething that -alaya did to hi$. suggests strongly that dee" religious %o$$it$ent "layed little "art in his notion of %onversion. and the relationshi" between the individual and authority. too! an easy&going attitude to their religious duties. Anthony Burgess. he noted thirty years later in the first volu$e of his autobio& gra"hy.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam essential to any balan%ed assess$ent of his wor!. Little Wilson and Big &od. 7 Anthony Burgess. Beds in the !ast )1949. drin!ing beer or brandy and eating ha$ and eggs8 ‘This was a gentle and "er$issive 'sla$. 19(7. right and wrong..< and a si$ilar $i#ture of res"onses was always to %hara%teri0e his res"onses to 'sla$. "oliti%al and histori%al interest for Burgess and a fo%us for hi$ of intelle%tual %uriosity and. II. Na$oleon Sy $hony )1975.

The "riest’s res"onse8 ‘9e "rayed for $e8 'sla$ was the old ene$y. in The Long #ay Wanes' A *alayan Trilogy )3ew or!8 6. was the way the "riest was treated by the lo%al 'sla$i% authorities when it was dis%overed that he had $inistered to a +hinese +atholi% who had be%o$e -usli$ on $arrying a -alay wo$an but had re"ented his %onversion on his deathbed8 ‘@ather 7aforgue suffered su$$ary evi%& tion fro$ his "arish and lived in the neighbouring state of Trengganu with a "oor +hinese fa$ily until the $oney %a$e through for his re"atriation. is a %o$$ent found in his 194( novel The !ne y in the Blan"et8 ‘There is very little do%trine in it’. 6. Cne was "ra%& ti%al8 ‘'f ' wished to stay on in -alaya after inde"enden%e. "". a $eans of short&%ir%uiting his inner s"iritual struggles. This turned $e against 'sla$’. if ' worshi""ed Allah the :od of the +atholi%s would leave $e alone’. hen%e ‘ ahya’ for ‘Bohn’.1> 'n the end. false. if only in -alaya. 1(1.oran’. The !ne y in the Blan"et )194(.11 The suggestion here is that what finally $ade Burgess reje%t 'sla$ was a reali0& ation that the "i%ture he had of the religion. 11 Burgess. as ‘gentle and "er & $issive’ was. Burgess did not %onvert to 'sla$. The religious "ra%ti%e of the ordinary "eo"le of the ( Burgess. 1> Anthony Burgess. as a $atter of outward observan%e rather than inward intelle%tual or s"ir& itual %onvi%tion. 5>7. ' thought. 9 Burgess. des"ite the %ounselling of religious toleran%e in the . being originally fro$ Afghanistan8 Biswell. ‘'sla$ is $ainly %usto$. to announ%e to the world who had re%o$$ended the %onversion’. a "osition %onsistent with his view of the 'sla$i% religion )at least in its -alay& an for$. Burgess rebuffed 7aforgue’s s"ir& itual advan%es by s"ea!ing of his wish to %onvert to 'sla$.. 1991. $ . Anthony Burgess. whi%h ' thought so$e& ti$es ' did. 9aji 7atiff was not a -alay. however. 19<5D "b!. edn. Burgess tells us. not be %o$"ared with watery substitutes for the true +atholi% faith’. 5>(. ". ". The other related to Burgess’s diffi%ult relation& shi" with his own native +atholi%is$8 ‘=erha"s.( Burgess gives two reasons for %onsidering %onversion to 'sla$. in urging that he a%%e"t 'sla$8 ‘9e had $y 'sla$i% na$e ready for $e8 ahya )whi%h $eans Bohn.. with the "atrony$i% bin 9aji 7atiff. 175. @ather 7aforgue. 3either of his reasons has $u%h to do with the tea%hings of 'sla$ itself. ".9 Be%o$ing -usli$ thus see$ed to offer Burgess. 5>(. Burgess’s real na$e was Bohn Burgess 6ilson. The e#"lanation he gives for this in Little Wilson and Big &od involves the story of a lo%al @ren%h +atholi% "riest. Little Wilson and Big &od. Little Wilson and Big &od. ". who. 3orton. Little Wilson and Big &od.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam friend. -ore signifi%ant than anything @ather 7aforgue did hi$self in influen%ing Burgess’s attitude to 'sla$. %onversion was essential’. in the end. $ainly observan%e’. 115. a%%ording to his own a%%ount. 9aji 7atiff. was ‘barely tolerated by the 'sla$i% leaders.

1>3&5. and do not %are to have it "ointed out to the$ that it says the o""osite of what they %lai$. "".on’t give the bloody thing another thought’. ‘6hen a -usli$ $arries a non&-usli$ wo$an. $ust she %on& vert/’ he would as!. whis!y. and Eurasians’.oran ‘the wor! of an illiterate’ and ‘a re"etitive far& rago of "latitudes’8 Burgess.:. as enfor%ed by the ‘'sla$i% authorities’. and when they affir$ed that yes. 315. . *odern (i+tion Studies. 173. "". were laughed off and his %ontra%t re$ained in "la%e ?ee Little Wilson and Big &od. ".13 is the dry observation of the for$er tea%hing %olleague of Burgess fro$ who$ this a%%ount %o$es.oran is a very bad boo!. although his reser& vations a""ear to have been "ri$arily literary8 ‘unfortunately the . whi%h he duly de"i%ted )transferred to an Afri%an setting. and that her husband $ust allow her to worshi" in her own faith. the law the =ro"het taught 2 G . in Brunei he found what he saw as an even $ore hy"o%riti%al for$ of 'sla$ "ra%tised there.elantan’. 17. G :reat is the law. the $inor hy"o%risies of -alayan -usli$s drin!ing al%ohol and eating ba%on. "". 9is satires. All e @aithful’ dire%ted at the Brunei :overn& $ent $inister res"onsible for edu%ation.. 9is %hara%ter Fu"ert 9ard$an in The !ne y in the Blan"et is even $ore dis$issive. Anthony Burgess. 533&4. 53(. 13 Biswell. Burgess did not thin! $u%h of the . no.uring this "eriod when Burgess was %onsidering and reje%ting %onversion. stout G And B. % . !ne y in the Blan"et. 534. 6hen they were %onfronted with the %entral tragedy of 11 Burgess. Little Wilson and Big &od. the hy"o%risy of -usli$s who are ignorant of what their own holy boo! says. vol. Burgess %ould a%%e"t. she $ust. Cn%e again the %harge being levelled at 'sla$ is hy"o%risy8 the hy"o%risy of a faith that "ro%lai$s but does not "ra%ti%e toleran%e. in%luding one atta%!ing lo%al -usli$ hy"o& %risy8 ‘-usli$s awa!e.oran to good use by "rovo!ing his -usli$ students with the %ontradi%tions between what they believed 'sla$ to tea%h and what the . and an insulting version of ‘Ch.oran. and Biswell. vindi%tive.A. There’s nothing $u%h to read in the . but 'sla$’s true %hara%ter. however. -alays. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. he would res"ond by Auoting %ha"ter and verse fro$ the . Cther %lassroo$ en%ounters %ontributed to Burgess’s in%reasing %onvi%tion that there %ould be no real $eeting of %ultures between East and 6est. %ruel and hy"o& %riti%al. Anthony Burgess. was very different8 intolerant. 6hen he $oved on to tea%h. would lead to the ter$ination of his %ontra%t to tea%h there.oran in whi%h it was $ade %lear that she need not. he was "utting his study of the .oran’D ?a$uel +oale. briefly. ".RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘So arred !ere all my ner"es’ Islam %ountry $ay have ta!en a "er$issive for$. 'ndians. in his 19<1 novel #evil of a StateD11 and the %harge of double standards be%o$es a %onstant in Burgess’s de"i%tion of 'sla$ hen%eforward. 9e atte$"ted to tea%h :raha$ :reene’s The Heart of the *atter to ‘a $i#ed %lass of +hinese.oran a%tually said. salute another day G Cf gin. At the end of 194( Burgess wrote and "erfor$ed so$e s%urrilous +hrist$as %arols for Fadio Brunei. but the hy"o%risy of the authorities of a religion that "rofessed toleran%e "ra%tising its o""osite re"elled hi$. %alling the . 1(1. +o$e. ‘This did not go down well with %ertain "eo"le in . ". even feel affe%tionate towards. 3 )Autu$n 19(1. 9e ho"ed these sen& ti$ents.

vol. 53. Theatre . 3>>. La ilaha illa. to %o$$uni%ate it to the$. the in%o$"rehension that %hara%teri0ed the relationshi"s between the various %ultures of the East and between East and 6est. Anthony Burgess. 't see$ed that the -alays were not interested in this liberal western %ulture. & .. in 194< )the boo! that be%a$e the first volu$e of his -alayan Trilogy. et the $ue00in too is %o$"ro$ised by hy"o%risy.. ". but what did anybody %are/’ The $ue00in.. the as"irations of 'sla$ to universal $eaning and unity )an as"iration itself %onstantly under$ined by hu$an "ride. loo!ing down both lit& erally and figuratively u"on the su""osedly -usli$ town. 1(<. Burgess be%a$e aware of the signifi%an%e of 'sla$ in under$ining the "ossibilities for the %reation of a %o$$on %ulture lin!ing East and 6est.1< The o"ening seAuen%e en%a"sulates the %haoti% inter$ingling of %ultures that Burgess found in -alaya.ournal. 14 Biswell. 9e %a$e to -alaya ‘with a fir$ belief in the liberal edu%ational ideals whi%h he felt it was his duty to disse$inate’. a $an in love with two wo$en who is driven to sui%ide. 3 )C%tober 1991. The boo! begins with the $ue00in giving the dawn %all to "rayer fro$ the $osAue in Burgess’s fi%tional -alayan town8 ‘ La ilaha illa. ". for his "ilgri$age was "artly funded by ‘judi%ious bets on ti""ed horses and very good 15 Anthony Burgess. indulge fleshly a""etites and furtively eat ba%on and drin! brandy.15 This %o$$ent by Burgess is a refle%tion on what a$ounted to a "ersonal loss of faith.lah. There is no :od but :od. re%alled Burgess in 199>8 ‘why. Anthony Burgess. his students not only reje%ted it but i$"osed their own in its "la%e8 the universal ideal of 'sla$.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam :reene’s novel.lah. even if it had been "ossible )as Burgess be%a$e %onvin%ed it was not. one who has $ade the "ilgri$age to -e%%a. 3ot least. $enda%ity and wea!& ness. he feels su"erior to the hy"o%rites who worshi" lo%al gods and s"irits. %ould he not $arry both wo$en 2 and two $ore if he wished/ ' saw then the falla%y of the notion of international %ulture’. Ti e for a Tiger. the students were un%o$"rehending and res"onded with a$use$ent. and re$ained ‘the %onsistent and unifying the$e of the trilogy as a whole’. 6hen "resented in Burgess’s literature %lasses with a %ultural ideal that was urged u"on the$ as universal. des"ises ‘his su"erstitious fellow&%ountry$en who. 6hen Burgess "ublished his first novel. 14 but his e#"osure to the realities of this "redo$& inantly 'sla$i% so%iety under$ined his belief in the universal validity of those ideals. ‘'t was $y -usli$ students who were %hiefly a$used’. they wished to !now. ostensibly -usli$. As a ha-i hi$self. this %olliding of %ultures in a $a0e of in%o$"rehension was its %entral the$e. no. ‘Euro"ean %ulture8 does it e#ist/’. 1<1. and over all. yet %lung to their ani$ist beliefs’. ". 1< Biswell. This arti%le is the te#t of a tal! Burgess gave on BB+ Fadio 3 on 5 A"ril 199>.

*nli!e Burgess. he does go through with his %onversion. ". and you %an say8 ‘6e’re old ene$ies. and hen%e they don’t %ount. and old ene$ies are $ore than new friends’.1> 6hatever Burgess’s diffi%ulties with his own native faith of +atholi%is$. he had little ti$e for =rotestantis$..19 9ard& $an. The !ne y in the Blan"et )194(. in The Long #ay Wanes' A *alayan Trilogy )3ew or!8 6. 19 Burgess. !ne y in the Blan"et. 6. 117. you +hristian bastard. but he had wanted to go to -e%%a and be%o$e a ha-i’. But you %an ta!e 'sla$ very seriously and you %an %o$"are old wounds and swa" "hotogra"hs. 't is not %lear whether Burgess used the real "riest’s na$e for his fi%tional %ounter"art. 17. edn.. ". !ne y in the Blan"et. but also refle%ting that +atholi& %is$ and 'sla$ have a "arti%ular histori%al relationshi". Ti e for a Tiger )194<. or a""lied the fi%tional na$e to an a%tual "riest when he later %a$e to write of the ‘real’ @ather 7aforgue’s e#"erien%es in his autobio& gra"hy. The fi%tional 7aforgue suffers the sa$e fate as the real one. ' .1( The +atholi% "riest @ather 7aforgue a""ears in the narrative. ". 6hereas 'sla$ is the old ene$y’. hara . in whi%h the notion of the ‘old ene$y’ features strongly8 ‘' feel less hurt about your entering 'sla$ than ' would if you were to be%o$e a =rotestant. 1( Burgess. ta!es u" and enlarges on 7aforgue’s "oint. in the for$ of $arriage to a ri%h -usli$ widow 2 and also unli!e Burgess. "". in dire%t %ontradi%tion of the 'sla$i% "rohibition of ga$bling8 ‘:a$bling indeed was forbidden. and there was a healthy $utual res"e%t Ibetween +atholi%is$ and 'sla$J K you %an’t ta!e 7uther or +alvin or 6esley very seriously. 1991. whi%h he %alled ‘a logi%al absurdity K ou %an’t justify it in 17 Anthony Burgess. %ounselling 9ard$an against %onverting. 9e has bought the %oveted and elite status of a ha-i with the "ro%eeds of betting and s"e%ulative invest$ent.. 1> Burgess. That is wrong. !ne y in the Blan"et. res"onding. for =rotestantis$ is a disre"ut& able younger brother but still of the fa$ily. whi%h is hotly urged u"on hi$ by his friend 9aiji Hainal Abidin8 ‘'t is the true religion. 3orton. Burgess’s abortive %onversion to 'sla$ is rehearsed in the %hara%ter of Fu"ert 9ard& $an. 9ard$an has a $aterial ai$ in view when he %onsiders %onver& sion. driven out by the lo%al 'sla$i% authorities for en%ouraging a"ostasy. The rest are $ere i$itations’. 11<&7. 't is the only one. 195.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam advi%e about rubber given by a +hinese business&$an’. 19<5D "b!.17 'n the se%ond volu$e of the -alayan Trilogy. arguing that as old ene$ies +atholi%is$ and 'sla$ have $ore to say to ea%h other than do +atholi%is$ and =rotestantis$8 't was a Auarrel between $en when all is said and done.

and then the +hristians fought ea%h other. )riti/ue. III. but nor does it gain sustenan%e fro$ being beleaguered. for +hristianity and for the 6estern %ivili0ation of whi%h +hristianity is the foundation. Burgess returns to this "oint in !arthly %owers )19(>.. or har$less be%ause nearby and neighbourly. 13 Bohn B. 17. 3 )Autu$n 19(1. The two faiths. ta!ing refuge instead in neutrality. and su%h %onfli%t is essential to the vigour of 6estern %ivili0ation. 'n the fa%e of an 'sla$ that is strong and that does drea$ the i$"erial drea$. ‘Better to be hot or %old8 1985 and the dyna$i% of the -ani%hean duoverse’. no. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. and has a%ted %ulturally and s"iritually as a sour%e of energy and vitality.13 The %onfli%t between 'sla$ and +hristendo$ is inevitable in itself.11 et the %lai$s of an all&e$bra%ing ‘+hristendo$’ were i$"ortant to his world&view. is a folly a!in to surrender. and the ne%essary o""osition between a +atholi%&%entred +hristendo$ on one hand and 'sla$ on the other is a the$e to whi%h he freAuently returned.11 ?u%h %onfrontations are essential to Burgess’s view of %ivili0ation8 ‘'t is i$"ortant to re$e$ber that Burgess sees %onfli%t as %reativeD it is in the %lash of the eternal o""osites that vitality is generated and $an is invested with a sense of his full hu$anity’. 77. in Burgess’s wor!. sworn ene$y of +hristendo$ K Cn%e the +hristians fought the -usli$s. ‘Essential o""osition8 the novels of Anthony Burgess’. The sense of interde"enden%e in the relationshi" between +hristendo$ and 'sla$ is also a Auestion he gra""led with re"eatedly. when the Angli%an Bisho" of :ibraltar 2 =rotestant "relate of a British en%lave on the ti" of +atholi% ?"ain that is also a +hristian stronghold on the edge of the -usli$ world 2 $uses on 'sla$8 ‘A desert faith. es"e%ially "". 3 )Autu$n 1971. Father. ". it was $art of Euro"e’s "ast.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam any way’. vol. 9e %ould never see it as so$ething irrelevant be%ause re$ote and e#oti%. ". are %learly in o""osition. so$e& thing Euro"e had in large "art defined itself through fighting against. 11 Tho$as 7e+lair. the lesson of history is %lear8 this. *od0 ern (i+tion Studies. Burgess’s histori%al %ons%iousness "revented hi$ fro$ being %o$fortable with 'sla$. 15 Anthony Burgess. of diale%ti%al %onfrontations.. ". ?tinson. no. @aith is hard to sustain unless it is either beleaguered or drea$s the i$"erial drea$’. 93. 1>9.. 11. !arthly %owers )19(>D 3ew or!8 +arroll L :raf. 79&(1. but their history of %onfli%t has %reated a for$ of "artnershi" between the two. 537. vol. 413. the two %ultures. This uniAue 11 +oale.. %o$"ro$ise and indifferen%e. ) . 1995. Ine"ita(le conflict: Islam’s ‘mailed fist’ This "la%ing of +hristendo$ and 'sla$ in interde"endent o""osition refle%ts the i$"ortan%e of o""ositional "airings. Burgess !nows that +hristianity no longer drea$s the i$"erial drea$.15 'n the $odern world.

he observed in 197(. 31 ?tinson. %reating in 'sla$ a religion both essentiali0ed and universal. the shar" edge that %uts through %on& fusion and %o$"le#ity. ".1< The sour%e of 'sla$’s e#"ansionist energy and "oten%y is. This arti%le was "ublished in 19(1. * . 41<. ". ‘Better to be hot or %old’. its e%ono$i% "ower based on oil and its ideologi%al "ower based on religious %onvi%tion. 17 +oale.31 The 'sla$ of 1985 is i$"erialisti% and aggressive. %hara%ter s"ea! of his reali0ation that 'sla$ ‘%on& tained everything and yet was as si$"le and shar" as a sword’. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. 1< +oale. you %an see the attra%tion of this very austere religion’. 53(. ". $ired in $oral and religious relativis$. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. its austerity and rigour8 ‘if you’re living in the East.19 These wea"on&i$ages are not %hosen at ran& do$8 'sla$ offers the si$"li%ity of the blade. %ontrasted throughout 1985 with the ‘$uddle and the $ess’ 3> of %onte$"orary Britain. and the i$"li%ation is that su%h an environ$ent "rodu%es %larity.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam "la%e held by 'sla$ in Euro"e’s "ast history and "resent identity $eans that Burgess a%%ords it a res"e%t and status he denies to other faiths re$oter fro$ that histori%al e#"erien%e. 3> Burgess.14 By ‘"retty %lose to us’ he $eant %lose both geogra$hi+ally and histori+ally. As 1985 $oves towards violent %on& frontation Burgess has a )-usli$. he "ointed out. %ould easily have been in%or"orated lastingly into the 'sla$i% world8 ‘the whole of Euro"e %ould have been 'sla$i%i0ed 2 the whole of ?"ain %ertainly was’. The 6est. in Buly 197(. Euro"e. ". ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. -odern Euro"eans $ay %hose to forget the fa%t. 1( and in !arthly %owers he has a )+hristian. Burgess argues. "". ‘but ' %an go along with 'sla$. 57<. ". ‘' %annot go along with 9induis$ at all. be%ause it’s "retty %lose to us’. if you’re living under hot s!ies and desert sands and %a$els. 1( Burgess. 19 Burgess. 53(. inde%isiveness and feebleness.17 The desert is a world of absolutes. but +oale notes that the interviews on whi%h it was based too! "la%e )in -ona%o. the wea!ness and irresolution of a so%iety that has rea%hed its "oint of %risis through ‘sheer drift’. nor with Buddhis$’. %hara%ter e#"ound on the attra%tions of ‘the s%i$itarli!e si$"li & %ity of +hristendo$’s an%ient ene$y’. 1985. ". !arthly %owers. but in the "ast the -usli$ world had not $erely la""ed the shores of Euro"e but had e#tended its authority over vast areas of the %ontinent. 19. resolution and %onvi%tion in religious belief and "ra%ti%e. 53(. 1985. 197. 4>(&9. be%o$es a "assive witness to the %y%les of history whi%h ine#orably "rodu%e 'sla$i% do$inion8 14 +oale. @ro$ austerity %o$es 'sla$’s strength.

. a faith with $ailed fists. 6ith the death of institutional +hristianity will %o$e the s"read of 'sla$. But 'sla$ will not have lost any of its rigour K ?u"er& nature abhors a su"erva%uu$. . 7oo!ing into the near future. 35 Burgess. with new %ults and i$"ossible -oon&ty"e leaders. 1985. 31 Burgess. 1985. 1+ . with a "owerful religious ideology whose $ailed fist "un%hed +hristendo$ in the . 539.31 Burgess’s own res"onse to this "ower is %hara%teri0ed by a$bivalen%e8 he both ad& $ires 'sla$ and fears it. leaving the 6est in%reasingly vulnerable to the rising "ower of 'sla$. The young will still be after the bi0arre and the $ysti%al. and %ontrasts it with the 6est’s wea!ness. i$"osing itself by for%e. ta!ing advantage of 6estern wea!ness. ". 135.35 Burgess sees +hristianity destroying itself fro$! Ages and $ay yet rei$"ose itself on a 6est drained. a s"ir& itual and %ultural va%uu$ is being %reated. ". ". <1. The +hristian e%u$eni%al $ove$ent will have rea%hed its li$it. That "ower %onstitutes both an internal and an e#ternal threat. it is a ‘"owerful religious ideology’. -ore than a reli& gion. 6ith the %olla"se of +hris& tianity in the 6est and the de%line in the 6est’s self&%onfiden%e and self&belief. innately and inevitably. e"ito$i0ed in the refor$s to the +atholi% +hur%h brought about by the ?e%ond Mati%an +oun%il )whi%h he des& "ised with all the 0eal of the la"sed +atholi%. 'sla$ has ‘"un%hed’ the 6est before and.33 At the sa$e ti$e he sees 'sla$ as. than!s to the ?e%ond Mati%an +oun%il. will readily do so again. $eaning that +atholi%is$ will have turned into =rotestantis$ and =rotestantis$ into agnosti%is$. of solid and belligerent belief. in%oheren%e and la%! of %onvi%tion. insidious 'sla$i% "ro"aganda and indo%trination. the oil wealth of the -iddle East and the stranglehold of 'sla$i% states u"on the 6est’s energy su""lies. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. Burgess argues that the "ower of 'sla$ is "oised to fill that e$"tiness with $eaning.yna$i% and aggressive. a threat to +hristendo$ and to the 6est. through -usli$ i$$igration. 33 +oale.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam And where does the "ower lie/ The literal "ower that drives the $a%hines slee"s in 'sla$i% oil K 'sla$ is one of the genuine su& "erstates. 9e ad$ires 'sla$’s strength and rigour.

11 . !ne y in the Blan"et.34 The %o$"arison with the authoritarian =rotestantis$ asso%iated with Bohn +alvin is also $ade by @ather 7aforgue in The !ne y in the Blan"et8 ‘Cne %ould $a!e $any %onverts here K But 'sla$ is so re"ressive. 54(&9. and in others with vo%al and influential -usli$ "o"ulations. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. The for$s of 'sla$ that he found $ost attra%tive hi$self were "re%isely the %o$"ro$ised.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam Authority and strength arise in large $easure. and "ra%tising a syn%reti% for$ of 'sla$ whi%h e%le%ti%ally blended ani$is$. being beheaded. behaving with a degree of se#ual freedo$. The -ushdie Affair: Islam’s ‘gangster tactics’ 'n early 19(9 Anthony Burgess was %aught u" in an event that saw literature. very si$ilar. fol! religion and ele$ents fro$ non&'sla$i% traditions with the outward observan%es that 'sla$ reAuired. 3< Burgess. obviously. ". "". where it has to stand on its own and jostle u" against other religions. The a""roa%h to 'sla$ whi%h Fushdie %hose to ta!e in this novel "rovo!ed a hostile rea%tion a$ong $any -usli$s. then it’s rather re"ulsive. drin!ing al%ohol and eating ba%on. I. et it is "re%isely the strength asso%iated with ‘ta!IingJ it really seriously’ that $a!es 'sla$ a for%e to be re%!oned with in the world. The news about "eo"le whi""ed "ubli%ly. Burgess suggests. ?ee how it gets on K But when it be%o$es $onolithi% and a genuine state religion. $any of whi%h be%a$e violent. Burgess understood. 't is very li!e +alvinis$’. when it is authoritarian and rigorous. fro$ resistan%e to %o$"ro$ise. But there’s a %har$ about 'sla$ in a %ountry li!e -alaya or Borneo. ' $ean they ta!e it really seriously there. =rotests too! "la%e a%ross the 'sla$i% world. with so$e ending in the deaths of 34 +oale. it be%o$es ‘rather re"ulsive’. as in ?audi Arabia. where ‘-ost of the -usli$s ' !new K had been %orru"ted or influen%ed by the British way of life’. a refusal to give way to la#ness. 179. The Satani+ 1erses was banned. 'n a nu$ber of -usli$ %ountries. was not to ta!e 'sla$ seriously8 ou %ouldn’t find this in ?audi Arabia.. rela#ed for$s he had en& %ountered in -alaya. "oliti%s and authoritarian 'sla$ %o$e dra$ati%ally together8 the %ontroversy surrounding the novel The Satani+ 1erses by the British author ?al$an Fushdie. There is no freedo$ of %ons%ien%e.3< 6hen 'sla$ "ossesses a $ono"oly ba%!ed by state "ower. in a way in whi%h +hristianity is not. To live in su%h a way. 't’s very $u%h li!e +alvinis$ in :eneva.

and "ub& lished in o""osition to 'sla$.3( 'n %ase the lure of su%h s"iritual rewards was insuffi%ient.39 'n Britain.ho$eini issued a fatwa. "". or for$al -usli$ judi%ial ruling. 17. The Rushdie Affair. Bust two days after the fatwa was issued. ". or even )as in the %ase of so$e "ro$inent $e$bers of the British :overn$ent and the a%ade$i% establish$ent. and the Nu’ran’. Boo!sho"s were threatened and so$e "hysi%ally atta%!edD -usli$ "rotesters in 6estern %ountries. "". was forthright and un%o$"ro$ising in his e#"res& sions of disgust with and o""osition to the fatwa. burned %o"ies of the boo! and %alled "ubli%ly for the !illing of Fushdie. 1< @ebruary 19(9. 3( The te#t of the fatwa as Auoted here %o$es fro$ =i"es. he "ublished an arti%le under the headline ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’ in The 2nde$endent news"a"er.ho$eini de%lared. %ravenly a""easing.. as well as in the -iddle East and ?outh Asia. ‘is its own affair’. in his %ha$"ioning of free s"ee%h and in his reje%tion of any 'sla$&ins"ired atte$"t to i$"ose thought&%ontrol u"on the "eo"le of a non&'sla$i% %ountry8 ‘6hat a se%ular so%iety thin!s of the "ro"het -oha$ed’. @urther$ore. with university "rofessors and -e$& bers of =arlia$ent bla$ing Fushdie for having brought his "light u"on hi$self and a%%e"ting sy$"atheti%ally and at fa%e value the %lai$s of boo!&burning. the rather $ore worldly in%entive of hard %ash was also on offer8 large su$s of $oney were "ro$ised by 'sla$i% organi0ations within 'ran and elsewhere to the 0ealous -usli$s who su%& %eeded in their holy tas! of $urder. The Satani+ 1erses.5> Burgess. and its author and every& one else involved in the "rodu%tion of the boo! who was aware of its %ontent ‘are senten%ed to death’. after si# $onths of "rotest and tur$oil. Fush& die’s ado"ted ho$e %ountry. ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’. 1>><. if the$selves !illed while %arrying out the senten%e. The $essage of the fatwa was very si$"le8 it soli%ited $urder in the na$e of 'sla$. the 'ranian leader Ayatollah . however. 1>>3. . 12 . Anthony Burgess was not slow in his res"onse to these develo"$ents. ‘has been %o$"iled.aniel =i"es. 5> -elanie =hilli"s.37 Cn 15 @ebruary 19(9. ".RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam "rotesters and others. would be a%%orded the status of $artyrs. The 2nde$endent. $u%h of the res"onse to the fatwa was highly eAuivo%al. The Rushdie Affair' The Novel3 the Ayatollah3 and the West )199>D 3ew Brunswi%!. whi%h %onde$ned The Satani+ 1erses as blas"he$ously insulting to 'sla$. "rinted.51 37 . ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’. 17. he de%lared. Londonistan' How Britain is )reating a Terror State Within )7ondon8 :ibson ?Auare. $urder& in%iting -usli$s that they were the vi%ti$s of an outrage rather than the "er"etrat& ors of one. 54&(8 a "ole$i%al but fa%tually a%%urate a%%ount. the =ro"het. . 51 Burgess.. 19&3<.ho$eini en%ouraged ‘0ealous -usli$s to e#e%ute the$ Aui%!ly’ and stated that ‘:od willing’ the $urderers. on 1< @ebruary 19(9. 39 Anthony Burgess. 3B8 Transa%tion.

. They forget what the 3a0is did to boo!s 2 or "er& ha"s they do not8 after all. 1991. and $ight have been e#"e%ted to "rovo!e resent$ent a$ong anti& Fushdie -usli$s. of 'sla$ as a signifi%ant nu$ber of its adherents %hose to e#"ress or ena%t it during the Fushdie affair. 5 )C%tober 199>. %ensorshi".51 Burgess’s words "resent. "". an unflattering i$age of 'sla$ )at least. e#%uses and a""ease$ent. They res"ond with shee"li!e do%ility and wolf& li!e aggression.. 1# .ho$eini’s fatwa as ‘a de%laration of war on the %iti0ens of a free %ountry’ $otivated by ‘"oliti%al o""ortunis$’. 2nternational Affairs. ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’. as well as a$ong other -usli$s who $ay have felt that he was generali0ing unfairly and insultinglyD but it was also greeted with hostility by those in the 6est whose attitude towards 'sla$i% e#tre$is$ and totalitarianis$ tended. %ros$e+t *aga4ine. 7(>. it is surely one Anthony Burgess would have been ha""y to a%%e"t. ‘7iberalis$ and its li$its’. 9e had no $ore sy$"athy for those "re"ared to %o$"ro$ise with 51 Burgess. intoleran%e and unreason8 ' gain the i$"ression that few of the "rotesting -usli$s in Britain !now dire%tly what they are "rotesting against. 9e was harshly %riti%i0ed for ta!ing a si$"listi% view of freedo$ of e#"ression and for rea%ting to the boo!&burnings and death&threats with. and A$eri%an foreign "oli%y’ )un"ublished essay. thought or anything $ore intelle%tual than the throwing of stones and the stri!ing of $at%hes’. Burgess’s arti%le was roundly atta%!ed as an ignorant and "rejudi%ed anti&-usli$ diatribe. vol. and una$biguously labelled -usli$ rea%tion to Fushdie’s boo! as the "rodu%t of ignoran%e. 3> )-ay 199(. ‘Fe%onsidering the Fushdie affair8 freedo$. even in the fa%e of violent "rotests and in%ite$ents to $urder. no. de"lorably.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam Burgess %onde$ned . and dis$issed -usli$s’ anti& Fushdie "rotests as ‘unjustified by argu$ent. The dis$issive referen%e to ‘an auto$ati% defen%e of liberty and free s"ee%h’ %o$es fro$ =is%atori.. ‘The Fushdie affair and the "oliti%s of a$biguity’. <<. 9e was %lear about the vital i$"ortan%e of the 6estern values of free s"ee%h and toleran%e whi%h were un& der atta%!. so$e of their %o&religionists a""roved of the 9olo%aust 2 and they sha$e a free %ountry by denying free e#"ression through the vindi%tive agen%y of bonfires. towards indulgen%e. Their '$a$s have told the$ that -r Fushdie has "ublished a blas"he$ous boo! and $ust be "unished.D Fi%hard 6ebster. ‘an auto$ati% defen%e of liberty and free s"ee%h’. 53 Ba$es =is%atori. no. by any standards. 779&(>D as$in Alibhai&Brown. ".53 'f that is indeed a %riti%is$. arti%ulating a %ari%atured view of 'sla$ and ta!ing an arrogantly insensitive attitude towards -usli$s who sin%erely felt Fushdie’s boo! to be a dee" insult to 'sla$.

inti$idation and violen%e8 ‘There is so$ething not very li!eable about a faith that is so Aui%! to order assassination’.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam the intelle%tual totalitarianis$ the fatwa re"resented than he did for the edi%t itself. a %onfli%t of %ultures. in%o$"rehension. he de%lared a holy war against argu$ent. 't is u"on this that he bases his %lai$ to "ossessing the authority to judge . 54 Burgess. . infor$ed by $ore than thirty years of thin!ing and writing about 'sla$. Burgess sees the fatwa and the anti&Fushdie "rotests as signifying an 'sla$ that has lost the self&%onfident strength he ad$ires. This is unworthy of a $ajor religion. at a funda$ental level. 'sla$ on%e did intelle%tual battle. 9is insolen%e is an insult to 'sla$.55 'n ta!ing this "osition.ho$eini. instead of arguing. he argued. 1$ . 3ow it "refers to draw blood. K ' would $u%h "refer that . 9is res"onse to . and to i$"ose a narrowly totalitarian inter"retation of 'sla$ u"on -usli$s and non& -usli$s ali!e. But. tension and %onfli%t 2 %ontinued to be a$ong his fore$ost %on& %erns. %onfli%tual but always fertile and $utually invigorating rivalry and intera%tion between 'sla$ and the 6est. ado"ting instead the gangster’s ta%ti%s of threats. that what the fatwa re"resented was so$ething "rofoundly dangerous to any so%iety in whi%h freedo$ was valued. Burgess is setting -usli$ res"onse to The Satani+ 1erses against the ba%!ground of twelve %enturies of %o$"li%ated. .. The %o$"le# intera%tion of different %ultures 2 "arti%ularly in a %onte#t of $isunderstanding. 't see$s to have lost its $ajor strength only to resort to the ta%ti%s of the gangster. ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’.54 . ‘'sla$’s gangster ta%ti%s’.uro!e and ‘the !resence of the old enemy’ @or Burgess the Fushdie affair was $ore than just a %ontroversy over a "arti%ular boo!8 it re"resented. was drawing on the $ost re"ressive traditions within 'sla$ in this atte$"t to e#tend the rea%h of 'sla$i% authority a%ross the non&'sla$i% world.ho$eini argued rationally with the infidel 6est in the $anner of the great $edieval Arabs. and to find it wanting in ter$s of 'sla$i% %ivili0ation and %ulture itself.ho$eini’s de%laration refle%ted his %onvi%tion. 'n A"ril 199> Burgess e#"lored these issues in a BB+ radio tal! entitled ‘Euro"ean %ulture8 does it e#ist/’ 9is answer was a Aualified ‘yes’8 a unified Euro"ean 55 Burgess.ho$eini’s a%tion.

‘Euro"ean %ulture’. +alvinisti% and Hwinglian refor$s. 5( Burgess. 1% . The influen%e of that ‘rather nar& row %on%e"t that ends where the Berlin 6all on%e stood’. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’. not long after the fall of the Berlin 6all and with the "ost&war East&6est division of Euro"e in the "ro%ess of "ea%eful dissolution. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’. 6ith the 1954 division of Euro"e into de$o%rati% 6est and totalitarian East. 3>4. for %ultural unity re%ogni0es and is enri%hed by differen%es rather than see!ing to disregard or eli$inate the$. a Euro"e united only in its substru%ture. not ideologi%al. ". 3>>&1. and the +o%a&+ola %an 2 whi%h should bring Euro"e and Asia %loser together. he argues. 57 The logi% of Burgess’s "osition is that the unity of Euro"e is essentially %ultural. al& though we $ay as"ire to ‘a %ontinental %on%e"t that restores the old unity 2 not +hristian but at least liberal and hu$anisti%’. ?till. ?ignifi%antly. "oliti%al or e%ono$i%. Bat$an. '’$ thin!ing of a sy$biosis sustained through re%ognition of dif& feren%es. 57 Burgess. As '’ve des"aired of finding a %ulture 2 other than that of Barbara +artland. 3>>.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam %ulture %ertainly had e#isted in the "ast. so ' a%%e"t. in whi%h the liberal hu$anis$ whi%h he saw as the essen%e of the $odern %ulture of Euro"e had its roots8 The %ulture of our %ontinent was %ertainly unified when Euro"e was !nown as +hristendo$. he writes. it re$ained +hristian. 't suffered its first fra%ture with the 7utheran. ". K The se%ular liberalis$ of the Euro"e we !now ste$s fro$ +hristianity. a stability %onfir$ed by %entrifugal for%es. he as%ribed $u%h of the res"onsibility for the e$ergen%e of that %ulture in the "ast to the unifying agen%y of +hristendo$.5( 5< Burgess. Burgess argues for a new vision of the %ontinent that refle%ts and draws u"on this old notion of ‘+hristendo$’ in its %atholi% unity. re$ains. ". with no sense of des"air at all. 3>1. but the Auestion of its %onte$"orary reality was far $ore "roble$ati%. 'ndiana Bones.5< 6riting at a tu$ultuous ti$e in Euro"ean history. the $odern %on%e"t of Euro"e be%a$e essentially "oliti%al rather than %ultural. ta!ing a narrower for$ than that e$bodied in the old %on%e"t of +hristendo$.

Burgess believes $odern Euro"e has its roots 2 de$ands a re%ognition that. 3>1. or A$eri%ani0ation. 6hat ' see! is a %ontinuu$. 'sla$. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’. 3>1. %atholi%. 'sla$ has been its )that is. see Bohn B.59 The ‘$erging’ Burgess wishes to see does not $ean ‘sub$erging’ beneath the for%es of unifor$ity. in %ultural any $ore than in "oliti%al ter$s. 3orton. ‘An interview with Anthony Burgess’. all&en%o$"assing %ultural fra$ewor!. in $ore abstra%t for$. 1& . 6. 54>. ‘inveterate foe’. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’. The i$"li%ation is that 59 Anthony Burgess. of divisions. the se%ular future for the 6est. 'n this novel Burgess refle%ted on the o""ositions and divisions of +old 6ar Euro"e8 ‘' a$ tired of %ategories. in both senses of the word. This ' a$ old& fashioned enough to regret’. and a histori%al understanding of the signi& fi%an%e of Euro"ean +hristendo$ 2 in whi%h. Renas+en+e. Cr vi%e versa’ 4>. Euro"e is all -ani%hees’. @or Burgess a la%! of histori%al sense is at the root of $any of the world’s ills. just as fir$ly as he does the totalitarianis$ of authoritarian "oliti%s or religion. 3>1. ?tinson. the $erging. of o""osites K That they inter"enetrate is no real "alliative. and Burgess $aintains that it is %ertainly a +hris & tian or at least +hristiani0ed %ulture. 'n the Euro"ean %onte#t that all&e$bra%ing %ulture %an be seen as. 'sla$. 4> Burgess.. 1<. no oint$ent for the %ut. no. as we have seen. ". "olari0ing %ategories whi%h Burgess had arti%ulated in his 19<5 novel Honey for the Bears. Burgess writes that $odern Euro"e ‘is a Euro"e whi%h has to ad$it the "res& en%e of the old ene$y.41 Burgess’s vision of Euro"e involves those ‘subtleties and a$biguities’ e#isting within a larger. as one of the %onstituent stru%tures.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam This notion of Euro"e as a ‘stability %onfir$ed by %entrifugal for%es’ is a new ver& sion. ". Cn -ani%heeis$ in Burgess. of %ulture )‘A$eri%an eAuals international. 41 Burgess. Honey for the Bears )3ew or!8 6. ?u%h internationali0ation threatens to i$"ose a uni& for$ity of banality and to bring about ‘the eli$ination of the various subtleties and a$biguities whi%h $a!e u" a national %ulture’. ". of the vision of a Euro"ean %ontinuu$ over%o$ing divisive.43 As we have seen. "". 41 +oale.. lies in so$e !ind of +hristianity’. ". histori%ally. Euro"e’s and +hristendo$’s. the notion of 'sla$ as ‘the old ene$y’ is dee"ly rooted in Burgess’s wor!. ‘The -ani%hee world of Anthony Burgess’. Burgess reje%ts the totalitarianis$ of the internationali0ation. 19>. 37&57.41 Burgess’s e$"hasis on the %entrality of +hristendo$ returns hi$ to the inevitability of %onfli%t with +hristianity’s an%ient adversary. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’. ". 1 )Autu$n 1973. vol. 43 Burgess. 9e held to this "osition des"ite his own reje%& tion of both the +atholi%is$ within whi%h he was brought u" and that of the $od& ern "ost&Mati%an '' +hur%h8 ‘' thin! the only future for the 6est. 19<5.

All r#ghts reser"ed$ Th#s essay %an &e re'rodu%ed (or #nd#"#dual resear%h and (or edu%at#onal 'ur'oses only$ No other re'rodu%t#on 'erm#tted !#thout the 'r#or 'erm#ss#on o( the author$ No %ommer%#al use 'erm#tted$ http://www. 44 Burgess. @or hi$ the warrior 'sla$ of aggression and e#"ansionis$ was never so$ething distin%t fro$ the 'sla$ of the $odern world 2 it was an intrinsi% "art of its nature. ". ". and the 6est has never been able to %o$e to ter$s with it’. 1. 0 -al!h 1arrington 2++). The s"ea!er is a British %onvert to 'sla$8 Burgess understood very well that those who freely join a religion through %onversion will often be nu$bered a$ong its $ost 0eal& ous and intolerant adherents. 1' . ". 3>>. 4< Anthony Burgess.I. 1985. ‘. does not have the lu#ury of ignoring what Anthony Burgess has to say.o you thin! the 9oly 6ar ended in the -iddle Ages/’ he has a -usli$ "ara$ilitary leader as! as the 'sla$i% ta!eover of Britain rea%hes its %li$a# in 1985.45 . will always be in the end an ant& agonisti% one8 ‘'sla$ will not be absorbed into 6estern %ulture. is o"en to debateD but the a%tions of so$e of 'sla$’s own adherents have ensured that it is not a "oint of view that %an si$"ly be disregarded. ‘7iving for se# and danger’. not with s%i$itars but with hija%!ed airliners. an a$bi& valent and %o$"le# relationshi" hallowed by history. /onclusion: a faith of ‘scimitared marauders’ 9is awareness of this history of rivalry and %onfli%t left Anthony Burgess unable sin& %erely to believe in the "ea%eful %o&e#isten%e of 'sla$i% %ivili0ation and the 45 Burgess.artificialhorizon. as relev& ant in the twentieth %entury as when its ‘$ailed fist first "un%hed +hristendo$’ in "ast %enturies. 1> -ay 199>.4< 9ow valid that "er%e"tion $ay be. 'sla$ was always at its heart a faith of ‘s%i$itared $arauders’. ‘Euro"ean %ulture’.44 @or Burgess. A world still dealing with the lega%y of that day in ?e"te$ber 1>>1 when the $arauders %a$e ar$ed. whether as a $eans of understanding Burgess’s own ti$e or our own.RALPH HARRINGTON · ‘The old enemy’: Anthony Burgess and Islam the relationshi" between the Euro"ean %ulture Burgess defends and 'sla$. Boo! Feview se%tion. 197. New 5or" Ti es.

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