My condolences to anyone who may have pre-ordered journalist Sherry Jones' novel, "The Jewel of Medina", from Amazon .com. As I'm sure those of you who did pre-order it are aware, Random House has canceled the publication of the book which writes of the Prophet Mohammad's child bride Aisha.
An article in reuters [Random House pulls novel on Islam, fears violence.] says,
"Random House deputy publisher Thomas Perry said in a statement the company received '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.' "
On her blog , Jones wrote,
"There have been no terrorist threats over THE JEWEL OF MEDINA. Only warnings of possible threats."
Was Random House being overly cautious (paranoid) in it's decision to cancel publication?
Would Muslims be insulted by what Jones wrote?
Who can say for certain?
I'm not the first to blog on this. One blog, which goes under the trashy title, smart bitches trashy books has the post TheJewelofMedina:ThePrologue which includes a link to the prologue of the novel in pdf format.
I'll be honest with you; I started to read the pdf but was unable to finish. The little I did read cannot be called pornography, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did find it in poor taste. Jones writes in the first person as Aisha and the assumption that she knows the thoughts of the girl comes across, to me, as disrespectful to Muslim sensibilities.
There are certainly enough places on the web where one can read more about Aisha and Muhammad ("Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad. She stayed in her parents' home until the age of nine, when the marriage was consummated.") and the speculation that she had committed adultery . We don't need Jones bodice ripper.
All in all, "The Jewel of Medina" just seems like a monumental waste of time for both reader and the author.
Random House pulls novel on Islam, fears violence
Controversy Surrounding The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones
Publisher Random House has pulled a novel about Islam over protest fears
Criticism of Muhammad