Wednesday, 27 August 2008

"The Jewel of Medina" rises from the ashes.

Just when you thought it was over and the dust was settling, "The Jewel of Medina" hits the headlines once more.
Wow! Some people are suckers for punishment. Talk about living dangerously!

A publisher in Denmark is in talks over purchasing Sherry Jones' “The Jewel of Medina”, a novel about the child bride of Muhammad. It was abandoned by Random House in America and removed from bookshops in Serbia.

I think it’s terrible that art should be suppressed due to pressure from fanatics, but I also have to admit I’m one for treading a safe path. The problem is, free speech ain’t so free after all, not in the real world – take the case of Salman Rushdie. You have to ask yourself, is a story worth risking a life for?

“The Jewel of Medina” is apparently a about Aisha, one of Muhammad's wives, from the age of six to 18 when Muhammad dies. It was originally purchased by Random House US for an advance of $100,000, but put on hold after the publisher was advised by experts that publication was potentially more risky than Salman Rushdie's “The Satanic Verses”.

I wonder if Sherry Jones realised the hornet’s nest she was poking as she struggled to put words together? One thing’s for certain, the publicity has put her in a world-class position for her next offering. You know what they say about no publicity being bad!
Whether "The Jewel of Medina" is ever available on the market or not, I think I hear best-seller clinking on the horizon. Well done, Sherry, you've achieved what most of us would give our eye-teeth for. Notoriety!

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