So it turns out Ian McEwan totally had his friend Salman Rushdie's back twenty years ago, after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie for Satanic Verses. No wonder McEwan is so anti-Islamist.
According to a New Yorker profile, not online but summarized in the Guardian, McEwan sheltered Rushdie for like a day in a cottage in Cotswolds, England. But it was a critical day, almost immediately after Iranian death sentence for purported blasphemy:
Rushdie was at the start of many years of internal exile. "I'll never forget - the next morning we got up early. He had to move on. Terrible time for him. We stood at the kitchen counter making toast and coffee, listening to the eight o'clock BBC news. He was standing right by my side and he was the lead item on the news. Hezbollah had put its sagacity and weight behind the project to kill him."
McEwan would go on to also totally have the back of Martin Amis after that author said Muslims should be denied travel, deported, strip searched and generally made to "suffer" until "they start getting tough with their children." Which was far worse than any of Rushdie's imagined crimes.
This sort of very public loyalty is why Ian McEwan is almost as famous as Amy Winehouse, and is thus "England's national author," according to the New Yorker. Which is true: Literary merit aside, fights + a posse = press.