Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More on 'The Jewel of Medina'.

On her blog [Author!Author!] Sherry Jones said that she has decided to stop her discussion of her controversial book, "The Jewel of Medina". She writes:
"Instead of debating the contents of 'The Jewel of Medina', the world seems to be arguing over everything but. People bicker over whether I should have been allowed to publish in the first place. They scream about my "disrespectful" treatment of religious icons. They shout over what they assume are my depictions of pedophilia. I've been called names you wouldn't imagine."
I've been to quite a few blogs where her book has been the topic.More often then not, the 'name calling' has been directed towards Denise Spellberg , the associate professor of history who is alleged to be "the instigator of the trouble." ( In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, Spellberg counters "I Didn't Kill 'The Jewel of Medina'" ).
I know how Jones feels about the name calling.....on one blog, I was the recipient of an atheist's rant on the Blessed Sacrament - an attack that I found so vitriolic that I haven't returned to that particular blog.

Commenting on my previous post,
"Anonymous said...
It should be no big deal. THEY have to get over it not us. Was the Roman Catholic Church happy with the publication of "Sex with the Virgin Mary", did they threaten to bomb It is their problem not ours. We have free speech and we must protect it."
Someone felt this was a particularly strong argument.....a version of this same comment was posted in several places on the Internet by someone going under the name of 'brendan doherty'.
Prior to reading this comment, I had never heard of the book by Charles Webb and I'm not familiar with the reaction to it from the Catholic Church.
Contrary to what so many believe, there have not been acts of violence committed by anyone because of 'The Jewel of Medina'. On her blog, Jones herself, explains "And let's remember: There have been no terrorist threats over THE JEWEL OF MEDINA. Only warnings of possible threats."
My take on this has been that, certainly, Jones has the freedom to say or write whatever she likes just as Random House has the freedom to choose what the company will publish. That being said, the company should have realized from the beginning that Muslims would have found this book objectionable. Judging from the parts I've read, the book is trash and not worth reading. There is no honor in deliberately defaming or insulting anyone.
Jones has written,"So much discussion over a book no one has read!"
True enough........we haven't read the entire book, but a pdf of the book's prologue is available online. I had provided a link to another site that has the pdf, but I decided to put the pdf on my own website so I can be sure it remain available.
That link can be found here:

Relevant links:
The Tale of The Jewel of Medina


Michael Labbe said...

I thought I would come over and visit your page, having been described as an offensive atheist who attacked the blessed sacrament.
I would prefer to say I "made fun of" your blessed sacrament, and find religious belief patently infantile in the 21st century.
What is truly unfortunate, is that here in the United States of Jesus, one has to lie and say they believe in order to gain public office. That leaves out the intelligent from the very places they're most needed.
And yes, your wafer IS a delusion.

Michael Labbe said...

I'm well aware of your difficulty with names, but I think, despite the coward she is, Dr. Denise Spellman deserves to have her name correct.
Or is that one of those old jokes, Spellman...Spellburg, it's all the same to me?

RTS said...

Hi Michael,
According to the articles I linked to above, the correct name is Spellberg.
I do not know her personally, so I can only assume this is correct.
If I have misspelled the name elsewhere, I am sure that you will be more than happy to point that out.
Take care.

Michael Labbe said...

I owe you an apology. You're absolutely correct about the good Doctor's name.

RTS said...

Thank you.

Saqib said...

I am all for free speech but we need to draw a line somewhere, especially when free speech has the potential to ignite violence which may harm our own. This is not much different than getting a speeding ticket, in a free country why aren’t we able to speed as much as we want? Because over speeding is dangerous not only to the person who does it but also to others that are not.
Also, It is hypocritical to defend writers (by shouting ‘free speech’) who disrespect Islam or its most sacred figure, but damning writers/public figures who deny “holocaust “or even talk ill about it. British writer David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison at an Austrian court for denying the Holocaust. So why are we sensitive towards the Jewish faith and not the Islamic faith? You are a professor of World Religion you should be better able to answer that.
We brag about being the biggest proponents of peace in the world. What peace will this book bring to the world? Haven’t we learned from the violence that engulfed the Muslim world after the publications of Sulman Rushdie’s book and the Danish Cartoons (disrespecting Muhammad)?
There are many other peaceful and decent ways to start a dialogue between us and the 1.61 Billion people of the Muslim world. It should be done with mutual respect and not with controversial, inaccurate and disrespectful text of this book “Jewel of Media”.