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Novelist’s anger at “censorship” by national Muslim Writers project

08-12-2008 11:18 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Junaid Bhatti

/ PR Agency: Ballencrieff House
Dr. Max Malik at Muslim Writers Awards

Dr. Max Malik at Muslim Writers Awards

“This is not the second coming of the Satanic Verses!” author asserts.

Dr. Max Malik, a former recipient of the Muslim Writer of the Year Award, has expressed his anger and deep dismay following the censorship of his debut novel “The Butterfly Hunter”. The Muslims Writers Awards, which claims to be a non-religious initiative, chose not to submit the controversial novel to the project’s independent judging panel for this year’s awards.

Dr. Malik was winner of the top prize in 2007, and was spurred on by his success to dedicate a year of his life to “The Butterfly Hunter” – an explosive work of fiction which frankly explores the “Clash of Civilisations” expounded by Islamic extremists and NeoCons alike. The book also covers controversial issues facing Britain’s Muslim community today – including suicide bombing, drug abuse, paedophilia and sexual assault.

The unpublished novel was submitted for review to the Muslim Writers Awards 2008. However, despite the book being shortlisted, the organisers of the initiative did not forward Max’s work to the independent panel of judges – which included respected authors and publishers.

Dr. Malik explains: “I’d received very positive feedback from organisers of the MWA and, being a previous winner, was advised I was hot favourite to win for a second year running. However, when I asked the judges for feedback on my novel they told me that it had not been included in the submissions they were asked to judge. It was only then that I realised my work was being censored by the Muslims Writers Awards project.”

“I’m angry at the treatment I’ve received,” stated Dr. Malik “because my creative effort is being treated as if it’s somehow unclean and unworthy. Clearly, the Muslim Writers Awards has decided that the novel is so unpalatable for them that it needs to be buried.”

“I’m deeply dismayed that a project like this, which is supposed to unearth new talent and celebrate artistic expression, has been hijacked by the puritan mindset. Yes it’s true that not all the Muslim characters in my book are model citizens. However, this is just a reflection of the realities we face today.” added the author.

“It’s unseemly that my novel is being treated as if it’s the second coming of The Satanic Verses. I have created a work of fiction, which is neither blasphemous nor disrespectful towards any particular group or individual.”

About Max Malik

Dr. Malik is a former GP, who hails from Birmingham. He received the (supposedly) prestigious Muslim Writer of the Year Award in 2007. Less than a year later, he completed his debut novel “The Butterfly Hunter”.

Max has professional experience of working with serving members of the armed forces, and on the day of September the 11th 2001 he found himself in lockdown at RAF Stafford – where he was assigned as a locum Physician.

Further information about Dr. Max Malik’s debut work is available at www.thebutterflyhunter.net.

Issued on behalf of Dr. Max Malik, by Ballencrieff House, London WC1N 3XX
For further information, please contact Junaid Bhatti on +44 (0) 7980 586 243
or +44 (0) 20 7193 5766. Email: junaid@ballencrieff.net

Junaid Bhatti
Director
Ballencrieff House
London
WC1N 3XX
+44 7980 586 243
+44 20 7193 5766

Dr. Max Malik is a UK-based author and former GP

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