Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Jewel of Medina Kerfuffle

The latest in the saga of The Jewel of Medina.

The Serbian publishers of the book were forced to pull copies after protests.

A Danish publisher hopes to publish it.

An American book prize, The Langum Charitable Trust, has decided to blacklist Random House until the book is published. In a statement, founder David Langum said :
No one should expect that publishers print every piece of trash that comes into their offices, and The Jewel of Medina may be neither good literature nor good history. ... That is beside the point since Random House had already paid a $100,000 advance, arranged for book club publication, and foreign publication. It changed course and self-censored solely on the political grounds of fear of offending Muslims or fomenting violence. ... That form of cowardice will only lead to more and more of this form of self-censorship and is an attack on the integrity of literary publication. ... We must stand up to it, in whatever ways are available to us. The form that was available to our small foundation was to put Random House out of the running for our prizes.
I agree with what Langham says about self-censorship and cowardice and how we musn't bend to it - but must say I would prefer to be fighting on behalf of a novel which was better written!

2 comments:

Greenbottle said...

hmmm... many centuries ago Imam Bukhari went far and wide in the muslim world interviewing people who had known people who had known people who had met the prophet to record and write the sayings of the prophet (which were compiled into what is now known as "Sahih Bukhari"

and he took extreme care to make sure that the sayings of the prophet as related by the person he met had an unbroken link of narrators that can be traced back up to the prophet himself.

not only that, he had to ascertain that the narrators of the sayings of the prophet were of impeccable and of the utmost upright moral character...

and not only that, even after all this rigorous discipline he went on to look for a different chain of narrators and only then, once he had found several different chains of narrators narrating the exact same thing would he commit to writing of the sayings of the prophet which is known as a "hadith" .

and not only that , he went an extra length to classify his hadiths even after this extreme care into 'weak, or good or a sahih (confirmed true) so that readers will know which was a definite sayings of the prophet, which is only possibly true atc...

and not only that, before he commited anything on writing he prayed two rakaas of prayer asking Allah's fogiveness if he had written something in error.

so, you can see how extra careful muslims are when it comes to the prophet. it's beyond good muslim's intellectual comprehension to say anything or write anything about the prophet muhammad lightly for fear that we are saying somethings that the prophet did not say or do. we revere him that much and more.

so it is incomprehensible for to find that people especially non-muslims so easily make fun of our prophet and put words in his mouth in fictional writing.

it is deeply offensive and makes us terribly angry and sad...so in a small way i hope you can understand the good muslim anger.

i do not condone any violence but i perfectly understand my fellow muslims' reaction to this kind of disrespect and insensitivity.

peace...

Kevin M said...

Greenbottle: Your comments are precisely why your religion is an embarrassment to bipeds everywhere.

Stone-age superstition must never win over the market of ideas or free speech.

Take disrespect and insensitivity and shove it up your arrogant ass. Your ridiculous religion has caused for more damage on this planet than the whole of trash fiction.