When he reviewed Salman Rushdie’s novel Shalimar the Clown for the New Yorker last year, John Updike praised Rushdie for ‘animat[ing] Islam’s tenacious rage with faces and life stories.’ In Rushdie’s book, the eponymous protagonist, a Kashmiri circus performer, is cuckolded when his wife runs off with the former American ambassador to India. Shalimar swears revenge and subsequently joins a Jihadi training camp where he encounters the ‘iron mullah,’ an Islamist zealot made entirely out of metal, and hones his skills as a murderer until such time, he says, as ‘I have become death.’

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