Kenan Malik

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LM network resources
Kenan Malik in 2009

Kenan Malik is a sometime academic and now writer and is associated with the libertarian and anti-environmental LM network. He stood as an RCP candidate in the 1987 and 1992 general elections (1992 in Birmingham Selly Oak, coming sixth and last with 84 votes and 0.2% of the vote[1]), was active in Workers Against Racism in the mid 1980s, has written for Living Marxism and Spiked [2], spoken at Spiked events, the Battle of Ideas and the Brighton Salon and Leeds Salon. He studied neurobiology (at the University of Sussex) and history and philosophy of science (at Imperial College, London).[3]

Free speech and racism

One of the signature positions of the LM network is that they say they are defenders of free speech. In general, however, it is the free speech of the right which is at the top of their agenda. Malik is no exception. In an early example - in 1996 - Malik was invited to debate with Chris Brand the then Edinburgh university Psychology lecturer, whose book The g Factor argued that black people were less intelligent than whites. The debate was organised by the Edinburgh branch of Cafe Cyberia. This was a company run by Keith Teare of the RCP whom Malik first met when he used the pseudonym Keith Tompson in the 1980s through the RCP and Workers Against Racism. Following consultations with the police the event was cancelled, to the delight of the Anti-Nazi League which was then running a strong campaign against Brand. According to the Press Association: 'The event was being hosted by Channel Cyberia, a 24-hour scheduled Internet web service. They said: "It is with regret that the organisers have taken this action as freedom of speech is the singular most important quality of the Internet." They had acted on the advice of Lothian and Borders Police who said they could not guarantee the safety of people attending the debate.[4] The Scotsman reported:

Keir McKechnie of the Anti-Nazi League said he was delighted. "It has denied Brand the platform that he so desperately seeks. Brand saw it as an opportunity to get his book back on the agenda."[5]

Malik was quoted as saying: "We condemn the Anti-Nazi League for its attempt to suppress free speech. The last time someone tried to suppress one of our meetings it was the National Front."[5] A few days earlier Malik was reported as having 'offered to put the book out on his web site on the Internet.' "I think it would be a good idea if it is published because it's a debate that should be held," he reportedly said, "...all the different arguments should be available."[6]

Some years later - in 2001 - Malik gave the following account of the abortive meeting in Edinburgh:

Then there was the time I was invited, with the writer Marek Kohn, to debate with Chris Brand, an Edinburgh University psychologist and self-styled "scientific racist". A disciple of Francis Galton, the 19th-century founder of eugenics, Brand believes that black people are genetically less intelligent than whites. We never got the chance to challenge these pernicious views. The Anti-Nazi League protested that there should be "no platform for racists" - and the organisers complied.[7]

Given that this was an event organised by a company owned by core RCP members this might not seem the whole picture.



  • The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western Society (Palgrave / New York University Press, 1996)
  • Man, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us About Human Nature (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000 / Rutgers University Press, 2002)
  • Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate (Oneworld, 2008)
  • From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy (Atlantic, 2009 / Melville House 2010).


Press articles



Articles from 1996 to present are available on Malik's own site: here. this compilation is of articles prior to that.

  • WATCH THIS CYBERSPACE The Independent (London), May 19, 1996, Sunday, SCIENCE; Page 46, 2582 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Kenan Malik 'An unintelligent debate' The Spectator, 11 May 1996.
  • SCIENCE BOOKS: A hive of activity The Independent (London), April 21, 1996, Sunday, REVIEW; Page 39, 747 words, Kenan Malik
  • BOOKS : A democracy of his own; ON THE EVE OF THE MILLENNIUM by Conor Cruise O'Brien Simon & Schuster pounds 7.99 The Independent (London), March 17, 1996, Sunday, SUNDAY REVIEW; Page 36, 728 words, KENAN MALIK
  • BOOK REVIEW / The eve of destruction; THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: Biodiversity and its Survival by Richard Leakey & Roger Lewin Weidenfeld pounds 18.99 The Independent (London), February 18, 1996, Sunday, BOOKS; Page 34, 836 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Too many killings to ignore; We see the riot but we should be looking at the deep sense of grievance that caused it. By Kenan Malik The Independent (London), December 17, 1995, Sunday, COMMENT; Page 21, 1547 words, Kenan Malik
  • Brixton opts for a kind of apartheid ... The Independent (London), December 17, 1995, Sunday, AFTER THE RIOT; Page 8, 784 words, Kenan Malik
  • Football? I'd rather be at Sadler's Wells; Here we go again: lottery money is awarded to an arts institution(shock!), it is a lot of money (horror!), and the beneficiary is a dance company (elitist!). Here Kenan Malik despairs of knee-jerk reactions to the funding of high arts, while Scott Hughes solicits opinion from leading players in the dance world The Independent (London), October 17, 1995, Tuesday, FEATURES; Page 7, 538 words, KENAN MALIK/SCOTT HUGHES
  • Labour in legal wrangle over race The Independent (London), September 25, 1995, Monday, NEWS; Page 6, 315 words, James Cusick and Kenan Malik
  • Minorities face 'wall' in soccer The Independent (London), September 17, 1995, Sunday, BRITAIN; Page 9, 402 words, Kenan Malik
  • If you're poor, they'll keep an eye on you; Kenan Malik watched the police watching the residents of Newcastle's deprived West End The Independent (London), September 3, 1995, Sunday, BRITAIN; Page 5, 1110 words, KENAN MALIK
  • SAME OLD HATE IN THE NEW BYWORD FOR BIGOTRY; Community is the buzz word of the moment. But its values hide the new language of racism, says KENAN MALIK The Guardian (London), August 12, 1995, THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 25, 1587 words, Kenan Malik
  • Fifty years on, a poet relives his horror in Hiroshima; Kenan Malik meets a survivor of the 'procession of ghosts' who is still healing himself through words The Independent (London), July 30, 1995, Sunday, NEWS; Page 13, 810 words, Kenan Malik
  • REAL LIFE: I'm not a mugger ... I'm an estate agent; Kenan Malik talks to victims on the sharp end of a police assumption that black equals criminal The Independent (London), July 30, 1995, Sunday, FEATURES; Page 21, 1843 words, Kenan Malik
  • What really angers young Asians; It's no culture clash: they're quite comfortable with Islam and Michael Jackson. But disrespect they won't accept The Independent (London), June 25, 1995, Sunday, REAL LIFE; Page 23, 1982 words, Kenan Malik
  • Why Asian youth feels alienated in Bradford Manchester Guardian Weekly, June 25, 1995, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR; Pg. 2, 457 words, Kenan Malik, London
  • LETTER: BRADFORD'S BURNING ISSUE The Guardian (London), June 13, 1995, THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 12, 800 words, Kenan Malik.
  • No such thing as a born killer Against nature Nature trail isleading us off the path Of mice and men Doing what come naturally Natural order of things It ain't natural naturally?; Refutation: There is more to us than genes and environment, argues Kenan Malik The Independent (London), February 14, 1995, Tuesday, COMMENT; Page 15, 636 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Real Life: 'It's one thing that unites us'; An implacable opposition to abortion crosses the divide in Northern Ireland. Kenan Malik reports The Independent (London), November 13, 1994, Sunday, FEATURE PAGE; Page 24 , 1188 words, By KENAN MALIK
  • Vive la France, but only for the French; In the village of Folembray in Picardy, a group of Algerians are being held as part of the French government's clampdown on terrorism. But why do they include a man who sells pizzas and a geology lecturer? The Independent (London), August 26, 1994, Friday, FEATURE PAGE; Page 25, 1530 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Somers Town: where lessons go unlearnt The Independent (London), August 21, 1994, Sunday, BRITAIN PAGE; Page 7 , 916 words, By KENAN MALIK
  • Creating a sense of Us and Them; The buzz concept of 'community values' is no social cure-all, says Kenan Malik, but an attack on individualism The Independent (London), August 8, 1994, Monday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 15 , 1000 words, KANAN MALIK
  • Muslim rally angers Jews; Islamic body accused of racism The Independent (London), August 7, 1994, Sunday, BRITAIN PAGE; Page 8 , 915 words, By KENAN MALIK
  • So who said cricket was fair? ; Cheating has always been rampant, argues Kenan Malik, whatever they say at Lord's The Independent (London), July 26, 1994, Tuesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 14 , 1103 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Rwanda's unnatural tragedy; Outsiders laid the path to slaughter - and may fuel wider carnage, says Kenan Malik The Independent (London), July 20, 1994, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 14 , 1027 words, KENAN MALIK
  • BOOK REVIEW / Squashed into the cage of real racism; James Baldwin - David Leeming: Michael Joseph, pounds 20 The Independent (London), July 7, 1994, Thursday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 18 , 586 words, KENAN MALIK
  • A miracle no prince can perform; Britishness will confound any royal attempt to embrace all faiths, says Kenan Malik The Independent (London), June 26, 1994, Sunday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 14 , 1087 words, KENAN MALIK
  • No way out of the black ghetto; The OJ Simpson case articulates the racist fears of middle America, says Kenan Malik The Independent (London), June 21, 1994, Tuesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 16 , 1052 words, KENAN MALIK
  • All mouth and trousers - the rise of Joe Bloggs The Independent (London), June 19, 1994, Sunday, BRITAIN PAGE; Page 9 , 941 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Asians denounce media myth of the corner shop ; One in five driven to seek self-employment The Independent (London), June 12, 1994, Sunday, BRITAIN PAGE; Page 9 ,
  • BOOK REVIEW / In the imperial sunset: arms for the poor; 'Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism' - Frank Furedi: I B Tauris, 34.50 pounds The Independent (London), June 8, 1994, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 16.
  • A Britain still at war with Germany The Independent (London), June 6, 1994, Monday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 15
  • The real racists do not wear swastikas; 'Stop the BNP' campaigns ignore greater dangers in everyday British life, argues Kenan Malik The Independent (London), May 4, 1994, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 16
  • The second age of unreason; Tom Paine's great polemic has startling resonance 200 years on, says Kenan Malik The Independent (London), January 27, 1994, Thursday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 22
  • Saying 'yuk' is so much easier than facing facts The Independent (London), January 12, 1994, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 17.
  • Not in front of the masses, please The Independent (London), December 8, 1993, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 17 , 617 words, KENAN MALIK
  • New racism finds a Yardie stick; The idea of a black and white yobbo 'underclass' is dangerous, warns Kenan Malik The Independent (London), November 3, 1993, Wednesday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 18 , 898 words, KENAN MALIK
  • Making sense of Millwall's vote; There is a cold logic to the Isle of Dogs election result, argues Kenan Malik The Independent (London), September 23, 1993, Thursday, COMMENT PAGE; Page 34
  • Somalia's tragedy is our blindness ; The Third World is what we make it, argues Kenan Malik The Independent (London) July 25, 1993, Sunday SECTION: COMMENT PAGE; Page 22
  • The West knows best - and don't forget it The Independent (London) June 17, 1993, Thursday SECTION: COMMENT PAGE; Page 26
  • Are they more racist than us? The Independent (London) November 29, 1992, Sunday SECTION: EDITORIAL PAGE; Page 24


  • Kenan Malik 'Lifting the siege', 'Book of the Month', Review of Keith Tompson, Under Siege, Penguin, Living Marxism, November 1988, No. 1, p. 36.



  1. Election 1992: The full results The Independent (London) April 11, 1992, SaturdaySECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 31
  2. "After the fatwa, the free speech wars", Spiked website, accessed 2 May 2010
  3. Kenan Malik About Me, accessed 7 January 2011
  4. Jackie Brown, PA News 'RACE DEBATE SCRAPPED ON POLICE ADVICE' Press Association, August 22, 1996, Thursday, SECTION: HOME NEWS
  5. 5.0 5.1 Robert Mcneil Police call off Brand debate after protests from anti-Nazis The Scotsman August 23, 1996, Friday SECTION: Pg. 8
  6. 'Scientific racist' must not be gagged, say opponents. Byline: Ros Wynne-Jones The Independent (London) August 18, 1996, Sunday SECTION: NEWS; Page 5
  7. Kenan Malik 'Protect the freedom to shock' New Statesman, Published 13 August 2001