Letter: The limits of protest

Sir: Did Yasmin Alibhai-Brown really mean to write, "Those people who burnt The Satanic Verses in Bradford were accused of censorship when what they were doing was expressing their rage at their own lack of any power in this country" ("Sex, politics and censorship", 9 September)?

If so, are we to assume that any act of protest, however marginal to the grievance, is admissible? The burning of Salman Rushdie's novel did nothing to help the cause of the disempowered community in Bradford because, for most people in this country, book-burning is an abiding symbol of Nazism.

Ms Alibhai-Brown would do well to consider the deeper implications of her glib pronouncements; just as those she defends might think harder about their methods, assuming that their protests were a reaction to disempowerment and not simply an example of extreme cultural intolerance.

MARK BRAUND

London SE7

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