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WSJ Wednesday - You Still Can’t Write About Muhammed
Posted: 07 August 2008 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121797979078815073.html

You Still Can’t Write
About Muhammad
By ASRA Q. NOMANI
August 6, 2008; Page A15

Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha’s life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of “The Jewel of Medina”—a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet’s harem.

It’s not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book. The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.

A strange story….

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Posted: 07 August 2008 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If we had a clever group in Washington they could turn this insanity against the Muslims and create even more fighting amongst themselves. The British were experts at this.

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Posted: 07 August 2008 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Two words for her: Self Publish
I’ll bet it would be a best seller. I would buy it just to put the money in her pocket for having the kahonas to go against this silly tide. This is setting a new low bar on religious political correctness.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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asanta - 07 August 2008 10:14 PM

Two words for her: Self Publish
I’ll bet it would be a best seller. I would buy it just to put the money in her pocket for having the cojones to go against this silly tide. This is setting a new low bar on religious political correctness.

Still pretty dangerous. I’d invent a fake mullah and arab business to sell it by and through.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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A Voice of Sanity - 08 August 2008 12:30 AM
asanta - 07 August 2008 10:14 PM

Two words for her: Self Publish
I’ll bet it would be a best seller. I would buy it just to put the money in her pocket for having the cojones to go against this silly tide. This is setting a new low bar on religious political correctness.

Still pretty dangerous. I’d invent a fake mullah and arab business to sell it by and through.

good idea! good point, but a very sad commentary of the time in which we live.

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Posted: 10 August 2008 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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.

[ Edited: 19 August 2008 05:03 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 10 August 2008 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I hadn’t heard of the Richard Dawkins site, but since I don’t have too high an opinion of him, even though we agree on some major points, I’m not interested in participating there.

Occam

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Posted: 10 August 2008 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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jholt - 10 August 2008 03:58 PM

There’s some fairly intense discussion that has expanded from this incident over on RD.net -  Novel on prophet’s wife pulled for fear of backlash

Last I looked they’re up to a rollicking five pages. I’m sure many who read or read and participate on this forum probably do the same at RD, I’ve always wondered how many…

In the Saturday 8/9/2008 WSJ they published a letter from Denise A. Spellberg, Prof. of History and Middle Eastern Studies at Univ. Texas at Austin, on why she objected to the book.

I Didn’t Kill ‘The Jewel of Medina’
August 9, 2008; Page A10
Asra Q. Nomani’s “You Still Can’t Write About Muhammad” (op-ed, Aug. 6) falsely asserts that I am the “instigator” of the Random House Press decision not to publish a novel about the Prophet’s wife titled, “The Jewel of Medina.” I never had this power, nor did I single-handedly stop the book’s publication. Random House made its final decision based on the advice of other scholars, conveniently not named in the article, and based ultimately on its determination of corporate interests.

As a historian invited to “comment” on the book by its Random House editor at the author’s express request, I objected strenuously to the claim that “The Jewel of Medina” was “extensively researched,” as stated on the book jacket. As an expert on Aisha’s life, I felt it was my professional responsibility to counter this novel’s fallacious representation of a very real woman’s life. The author and the press brought me into a process, and I used my scholarly expertise to assess the novel. It was in that same professional capacity that I felt it my duty to warn the press of the novel’s potential to provoke anger among some Muslims….

I think it is hard for non-experts like myself to understand the nuances, but to paraphrase P.Z. Myers, it is only a novel,  {not a non-fiction book}.  On the other hand, the reaction to Salman Rushdie’s book the Satanic Verses was also disproportionate.

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Posted: 10 August 2008 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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jholt - 10 August 2008 03:58 PM

There’s some fairly intense discussion that has expanded from this incident over on RD.net -  Novel on prophet’s wife pulled for fear of backlash

Last I looked they’re up to a rollicking five pages. I’m sure many who read or read and participate on this forum probably do the same at RD, I’ve always wondered how many…

rolleyes She was 9???!!!

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Posted: 10 August 2008 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The prologue is here, linked on this page.

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Posted: 10 August 2008 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m not quite sure why I’m quoted about the link, but Here - Being held Hostage to Faith is a bit more conversation on the issue.

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Posted: 10 August 2008 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Edited this post after further research. The opening in fact did not apply and other areas were answered below.

From a story I read Here , they are quoted as saying - “Sherry Jones and her literary agent are shopping the book to other publishers.” (more on this in next post)

Perhaps this would be a good place for Prometheus Books to step in.

[ Edited: 10 August 2008 09:55 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 10 August 2008 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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[ Edited: 19 August 2008 05:03 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 10 August 2008 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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jholt - 10 August 2008 08:27 PM

From a story I read Here , they are quoted as saying - “Sherry Jones and her literary agent are shopping the book to other publishers.” (more on this in next post)

Perhaps this would be a good place for Prometheus Books to step in.

Or Paladin Press?  LOL  LOL  LOL

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Posted: 10 August 2008 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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[ Edited: 19 August 2008 05:04 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 11 August 2008 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sherry seems nice enough. When she asks for people not to listen to Spellberg, it reminds me of the Fear and Loathing chapter in Pinker’s Blank Slate. Popular opinion becomes what the critics say you said rather than what you actually said. After reading the Fear & Loathing chapter, I was pissed off at the public protesting by people who didn’t even read what it was they were protesting. That is so us! sick


Edit: Fear and Loathing is Part II of the book - the chapter I’m referring to is chapter 6 (Political Scientists.)

[ Edited: 11 August 2008 09:06 AM by traveler ]
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