American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Free speech is so last century…

Posted by Paul Woodland | 3 Comments

Jewel of MedinaWSJ has an interesting opinion piece on cowardly self-censorship by Random House, which halted the distribution to bookstores of the “The Jewel of Medina” by author Sherry Jones.

The book’s scheduled release date was August 12, 2008. Random House recalled the book, because it includes a FICTIONAL treatment of Mohammed and his 9 years old child bride Aisha, which might offend Muslims.

“In an interview about Ms. Jones’s novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it “disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now.” He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received “from credible and unrelated sources, 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.” -WSJ

God forbid it become the next Satanic Verses. Random House might actually turn a profit. I know what I’ve got on my reading list for August. I’ll let you know as soon as I find a copy.

*Update* A helpful wiki article has popped up and you can read the prologue at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. The comments at Smart Bitches are lengthy and worth a look.


3 Responses to “Free speech is so last century…”

  1. Josh Friedlander
    August 21st, 2008 @

    Probably better this way, though. There’s some trashy romance novel crap in this book that one of the articles reprinted. It’s all speculative and certain folks would be right to get upset about it. Well, maybe not too upset. But upset. The same kind of scene could be written about some biblical jews and wouldn’t be too happy making back at the ol’ hebraic farm.

  2. Josh
    August 21st, 2008 @

    (I’m using happy making as a verb.)

  3. Jack
    August 21st, 2008 @

    Come on. You don’t stop publication of a book, because it offends people. You print more!

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