Bunglawala steps towards the light
Inayat Bunglawala, and Assistant Secretary-General of the MCB, writes “in a personal capacity” in this comment piece in The Guardian. So, unfortunately, his words cannot be taken as the official MCB line.
Bunglawala admits he “used to be a book burner”, and took part in the anti-Rushdie demonstrations in 1989. However, he now admits he was misguided:
Looking back now on those events I will readily acknowledge that we were wrong to have called for the book to be banned. Today I can certainly better appreciate the concerns and fear generated by the images of book-burning in Bradford and the calls for the author to be killed.
Our detractors had been right. The freedom to offend is a necessary freedom.
Credit where it’s due. This comment piece marks a significant step in the right direction from a leading member of the MCB.
Now if only “Boo Hoo” Bari would stop referring to Rushdie’s knighthood as a “provocation”…
UPDATE: (21 June) Several people whose opinions I respect think I may be giving Bunglawala too much credit. Here’s one.