Kureishi: ‘Immigrants Have No Face, Status or Story’

Published: 2 June 2014

Country: UK

Hanif_Kureishi“Immigrants now have no face, no status, no protection and no story”, declares the writer Hanif Kureishi in an essay for the Guardian Review. He writes that it is becoming impossible to speak up for the immigrant or, more importantly, hear him speak for him or herself. “Everyone, including the most reasonable and sensitive, has made up their mind that the immigrant is everywhere now and he is too much of a problem.

Kureishi, the Bromley-born son of an immigrant Pakistani father and an English mother, has long placed issues of race and immigration at the heart of his fiction. His first novel, The Buddha of Suburbia, confronted racial politics head on at a time when immigrants were treated as intruders. Read the Guardian Review essay here.

Kureishi sets out his views on the current immigration debate in a week that has seen immigration pushed to the forefront of political debate after the UK Independence party’s success in the European elections.

The Guardian has published a new data showing that the proportion of Britons who admit to being racially prejudiced has risen since the start of the millennium, raising concerns that growing hostility to immigrants and widespread Islamophobia are setting community relations back 20 years.

The data from the NatCen’s authoritative British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey is in stark contrast to other indicators of social change such as attitudes to same-sex relationships and sex before marriage. By those measures, the UK has become a more accepting, liberal country, writes the Guardian.