Saturday, August 09, 2008

Muslim-Themed Novel “Shelved”

It seems to me that, after 9-11, there was a lot of talk about the fact that terrorists could only succeed if they managed to cow us, bow us, influence our course. Yet here we are again. From The Guardian:
A romantic novel about Aisha, the child bride of the prophet Muhammad, has been withdrawn because its publisher feared possible terrorist acts by Muslim extremists.

The Jewel of the Medina, a first book by Sherry Jones, 46, was to have been released on August 12 by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House. But the publishers apparently panicked after Islamic scholars objected to the work.
From all accounts, we’re talking about a fairly innocuous historical novel. Think Gone With the Wind with a lot of veils and sand. It was never meant to be an “important” book and the author appears to have no political agenda. From BBC News:
Jones has never visited the Middle East, but spent several years studying Arab history and said the novel was a synthesis of all she had learned.

“They did have a great love story,” Jones said of Muhammad and A'isha.

The author, who has just completed a sequel examining her heroine's later life, is free to sell her book to other publishers, Random House said.
So while the word “postponed” has been used a few times, Random has clearly pulled the plug and, for the moment at least, The Jewel of Medina is dead in the water. Chalk up another 10 points for the thought police. We live in dangerous times, indeed.

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Anonymous John Pritchett said...

The key word here is "fear." Shame on Random House! Are we America, the land of the free and the home of the scared? Another example of how the mainstream media is failing this country.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 12:19:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous FRANCISCO RONDON said...


Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 12:23:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great example by Random house, to show terrorism does work

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 12:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger drsmoker said...

It seems that Random House has given in to fear. Hopefully, some other publisher with a stronger sense of commitment to both its authors and readers and with a more ethical outlook on its contractual responsibilities will have the bravery to publish Ms. Jone's book. If the Islamic scholars disagree with elements of the book or the story, (remember it is a novel!) let them publish their objections in formal reviews of the book. What happened to letting the public decide what's suitable to read? This is just another sign that Osama Bin Laden has won the battle, if not the war.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 12:55:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've read excerpts, & this book promotes pedophilia, so who gives a shit that its postponed. Muhammad married a 6 yr old & had sex with her at 9. The book describes this consummation and pathetically tries to paint it as "love" The author is sick.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 1:03:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

& I should add, Islam is equally as sick if not more so since it promotes this in real life

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 1:05:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a violent religion!!! they will start killing if someone writes a book about them??

Religion is all violent based, even the Christians, without religion there would be few wars as most are based on religious views

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 1:51:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Iranian American woman (and Muslim) I think the decision by Random House is appalling. For the past 30 years my homeland has been under the rule of Islamic Fundamentalist mullahs who have no respect for human values. Millions of us left the country to take refuge in democratic societies that value freedom and liberty.
It is a shame that western countries are so easily giving in to the extremist Islam. They have done this by "engaging" the clerical regime of Iran for the past 30 years as well, as if the west could change their ideology and behavior through the so-called engagement.
Let's not appease these murderers any more. We will pay for it sooner than we think if we do not stand up to them and to their backward ideology.
Random House should be ashamed!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 2:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

I'm almost as bemused that RH would pay a six-figure advance for a story about Aisha (not the first ever written - Assia Djebar's been there, done that very well already with Far from Medina) and not consider whether they were publishing something that some might find controversial, if not offensive.

It's not just the cowardice that's amazing, it's the lack of forethought involved. Why didn't this ever occur to them before someone said "this is radioactive"? Are they that out of touch?

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 3:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ammount of ignorance displayed by some of you people is astounding. Society back then was very different than what it is now.

Firstly, adolescence is very much a new concept, not long ago there was no transition period between childhood and adulthood.

Secondly the exact age of Aisha when she was taken in to the Prophets home was unknown all that was was that she was no longer playing with her toys, thus no longer viewed as a child.

Thirdly it was not uncommon in that time, in the arab world or anywhere else for girls to be married at young ages.

Forthly, some of you people seem to be suggesting that all muslims are violent, while RH is fearing a fundamentalist backlash. Islam does not condone that kind of violence.

Lastly I find reading the comments left after articles published in the US quite amusing, seriously the ammount of ignorance and plain stupidity is kind of funny while also being exteremly sad seeing your country is supposed to be the world superpower.

So congratulations

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 6:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

Here's a response from the scholar who initially critiqued the novel and whose critique was cited by the publishers as one of several that led them to drop the book.

Monday, August 11, 2008 at 11:57:00 AM PDT  

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