The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.
Well, the book publisher Random House has bought into the fear and loathing bit with respect to the relationship between Islam and the MSM.
The publishing giant just canceled plans to publish the book “The Jewel of Medina,” by first time novelist Sherry Jones, fearing it may “incite acts of violence”. An eight-city publicity tour had been scheduled.
The novel traces the life of A’isha from her engagement to Mohammad, when she was six, until the prophet’s death.Ms. Jones said that she was shocked to learn that the publication would be postponed indefinitely. She added, “I have deliberately and consciously written respectfully about Islam and Mohammad … I envisioned that my book would be a bridge-builder.”
A spokesperson for RH claimed the company had gotten, “cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”
I mean a books not worth publishing if it doesn’t attract the attention of a small, radical element?
RH claims it made the decision not to go ahead to protect their employees, book dealers, and anyone involved in the distribution of the book.Jones has just completed the sequel to the novel examining her heroine’s later life. …Oh well?
The decision has sparked controversy on Internet blogs and in academic circles.