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Islamphobic Media Personality” (Islamic Human Rights

Commission, 2003)

deliberately entitled her book


(2006: x-xi). In


, Phillips targets South Asian

immigrants and “the concentration of Muslim immigrant

communities” (2006: xx) to blame for terrorism in Britain.

Published in the same year as Phillips’ highly racist book, Malkani’s


, whose title is uncannily like, but unlike, Phillips’


, deconstructs the myth of the Asian gang and shows it

to be as artificially constructed as the desi boys’ gang identity.

Commenting on some reviewers’ expectations that the novel

would be about the ghetto, and their refusal to let go of the idea,

Malkani believes that it is “an almost willful misinterpretation”

(Graham, 2008a). It is certainly a misinterpretation, but, to

Malkani, this misinterpretation is willful, as if the reviewers had

wished for it. “The obvious subtext was that,” as Malkani points

out, “as far as they were concerned, the only authentic British

Asian experience is that of the ghetto and anything more

complicated than that is invalid” (2008a). Malkani does not make

it explicit, but it is clear that racism is at work in the reviewers’

insistence on assigning South Asian immigrants to racialized

ghettos. To some extent, the reviewers’ willful misinterpretation of


as an example of ghetto fiction mirrors some

politicians’ (like T. Phillips’) and geographers’ (like Poulsen’s)

manufacturing of the ghettos in certain areas of concentrated

ethnic populations in British cities. As opposed to the ghettos of

reality, Ludi Simpson sees “ghettos of the mind” in these anxieties

about other people’s color and origins (2007: 423).

Susan Smith uses a phrase similar to Simpson’s “ghettos of the


the “imagery of ‘racial segregation’” (1993: 131). The

phrase is coined to underline the fact that imagined racial

segregation expresses and simultaneously reproduces racism in

Britain. It is true, as Ceri Peach points out, that some ethnic groups

have concentrated in certain urban areas of Britain, and yet, the

reality of residential differentiation should not be confused with