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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Somebody Might be Offended, Somewhere

posted by on August 6 at 16:05 PM

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books brings news (along with Galleycat) that Random House is stopping publication of The Jewel of Medina, a book about one of Mohammed’s wives that was supposed to be released this week. Apparently, they’re frightened of Islammyfascists.

The book by Sherry Jones is a work of historical fiction based on the life of Aisha, one of the wives of the prophet Mohammed. Random House paid a $100k advance for the work but when UT Professor Denise Spellberg read an ARC, she denounced the book as a “very ugly, stupid piece of work” (note to authors: Don’t ask her for a cover quote. Ever.) and said, “I don’t have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can’t play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography.”

Wait, wait, before you pound your head on your desk, there’s more. Ms. Spellberg alerted Shahed Amunullah, a guest lecturer and editor of, who spread the word to a listserv of Muslim graduate students. From there that email appeared the website “Hussaini Youth,” and within three hours, a person published “a seven-point strategy to ensure ‘the writer withdraws this book from the stores and apologise all the muslims across the world.’”

I wonder if The Satanic Verses would be published by any major New York publisher in this day and age? Somehow, I doubt it.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Sweeney.)

RSS icon Comments


i want to read that book. softcore porn, hot.

Posted by douglas | August 6, 2008 4:22 PM

the publishing people who were killed or almost killed for working on the satanic verses probably wish major new york publishers were more sensitive back then

Posted by girlgerms | August 6, 2008 4:23 PM

@1, it's a romance novel! you can find plenty for $0.99 at half price books. they might have some juice residue though.

Posted by girlgerms | August 6, 2008 4:24 PM

Bunch of pussies. The way to combat those who would seek to curtail free speech is to use that right while we have it and expose them. Before you know it all news publications will be required to append all references to Mohammed (PBUH) with "Peace Be Upon Him" like the BBC did for a bit, ridiculous.

That pedophile fuck Mohammed (PBUH)

just to be fair:

That sick cocksucker Jesus
That senile Budha
That ridiculous Vishnu

Posted by Phil | August 6, 2008 4:26 PM

That kind of a jerk Anton Lavey
That poor dresser Elijah
That more or less decent but intellectually lazy Zoraster

Posted by Horace Walpole | August 6, 2008 4:36 PM

It's funny, for a religion that is supposedly full of peace, the islamist fascists or extremists are getting big corporations scared really easily.

meanwhile, extreme christians, extreme mormons and other religions scare no one.

Maybe this so called "peace" is non existent, the same way people say god, jesus, budha, ganesh, and so many other.

Posted by sir jorge | August 6, 2008 4:37 PM

crap...looks like i didn't finish my thought.

I meant that gods, don't exist like the peace doesn't exist...

i'm already looking like an idiot. I'm going to shut up now.

Posted by sir jorge | August 6, 2008 4:39 PM

I'm waiting for the cartoony manga of the book.

Which I plan to give away in Medina.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 6, 2008 4:43 PM

I'm still waiting for people to just grow the fuck up and stop believing all these silly little fairy tales.

Posted by Giffy | August 6, 2008 4:44 PM

Why is it so often the case that when a prophet gets down to the business of transmitting the wishes of the Almighty, one of the first things the Almighty demands is that his Prophet have free access to as many young, nubile sex-slaves as he wants?

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 6, 2008 4:53 PM


I believe it's called a "recruitment bonus".

Posted by COMTE | August 6, 2008 4:57 PM

You have to be careful. Muslims are very delicate. They're made of thin porcelain which, while beautiful, breaks quite easily.

Oh wait, I'm thinking of Royal Doulton figurines. I have to stop confusing them.

Posted by Breklor | August 6, 2008 4:57 PM

in the spirit of "no such thing as bad publicity" jones paid spellberg a contingency on future sales. should work beautifully.

Posted by ellarosa | August 6, 2008 5:23 PM

i wish oil never existed. then i wouldn't have to hear jack about islam.

Posted by max solomon | August 6, 2008 5:35 PM


budDha. 2 D's.

Posted by max solomon | August 6, 2008 5:37 PM

Is Spellberg a Jew?

"You can’t play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography"

Been there; done that!

Posted by Sirkowski | August 6, 2008 8:28 PM

One need do little to turn sacred history into soft core porn. Just look at a crucifix or a picture of St Sebastian.
Any literary portrayal of Mohamed or his family is already considered blasphemous by most Muslim. So why not go all out and make it racy?
Greek religion was so much more fun. Modern religion sucks.

Posted by kinaidos | August 6, 2008 10:32 PM

One of these days I've got to start building up my blasphemous book collection. I've really been neglecting it.

Posted by Greg | August 7, 2008 9:14 AM

Talk about over-reaction, just because a book is bad doesn't mean there needs to be a jihad against it. Bad books please so many people. The list is endless.

Posted by inkweary | August 7, 2008 12:53 PM

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