British novelist Martin Amis has expressed regret that his late sister did not embrace Islam to save herself from self-destruction. Everyone is understandably confused.
To begin with, Amis is not a neutral figure on Islam and women: he thinks that Muslims should be masterminded into becoming “more like human beings.” He likes the idea of being a “gynocrat,” a feminist self-styling so unconvincing even the most naïve will feel cynical about his political predilections. In an interview with Abu Dhabis’ The National, Amis revealed that his sister Sally, who died in 2000, was “pathologically promiscuous” and had severe depression and alcoholism. Amis believes that Islam would have come to her rescue, despite her conversion to Catholicism.
There are many problems with Amis wishing that his late sister had been a Muslim. First, despite his negative views of Muslims, Amis views Islam as a rehab program for troubled souls who needs to be “fixed.” According to him, “The continence of Islam, the austerity, the demands it makes” on Muslims may prove to be an excellent regimen for “such an uncontrollable girl” like his sister. Amis is perhaps unaware or refuses to acknowledge the fact that an overwhelming number of Muslims make a conscious choice about practicing Islam, rather than seeing that Islam makes demands of its adherents. The Islamic austerity that he cooks up in his imagination is partly mythical and wildly unrepresentative of any religious group.