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BRICK LANE controversy: writers defend Ali and protesters have their say

As the controversy over shooting the film version of Monica Ali‘s BRICK LANES shows no signs of abating, the Guardian’s Maev Kennedy reports on a letter of support by the English branch of the PEN writers’ association signed by various literary luminaries – including Salman Rushdie, Hari Kunzru and Hanif Kureishi.

“Though legitimate protest and expression of views is just fine, English PEN trusts that this time should there be any concerted physical attempt to stop the production – as in the case of the play Behzti in Birmingham – the police, with the full backing of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will stand squarely behind the film, its author and the right to free imaginative expression,” they wrote.

But Ajmal Masroor echoes some of the criticism of the movie on the Guardian’s comment blog, saying “the book [and by extension, the film] doesn’t talk about my reality or the reality of many Bangladeshis living in and around the area.” But Masroor is also quick to point out that this isn’t about censorship, but ” it’s all about being sensible.”

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