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Sunday, 7 September 2008

UK and US Publishers will both publish Sherry Jones's The Jewel of Medina in the Autumn.

by Suzan Abrams

Remember the cacophony of arguments that resulted in publishing and reader circles worldwide when Random House USA decided to suddenly pull the plug on their publishing contract with author Sherry Jones's controversial novel The Jewel of Medina?

The writer had angered many Muslim sources when she imagined and subsequently drew up explicit details of the Prophet Muhammad's engagement and marriage to his 11-year old bride Aisha.

Well, Sherry Jones has now found new publishers.

Gibson Square Publishers will release her book in the UK from between mid-to end October.
Beaufort Books, a New York independent publisher will follow suit; releasing the American version of the book later in the fall which means roundabout the same time.

Last year, Beaufort Books published O.J. Simpson's controversial, If I Did It after it had been dropped by HarperCollins. It was successfully rewarded with lucrative sales and a good profit.

I'm afraid I'm one of the few who stand with Random House USA in their decision.
Having been born in a Muslim country and while holding on to a Christian faith, I am only too aware of the sensitivities involved.
Yes, there is such a thing as censorship but there is also the other term of lawlessness.
Isn't there a far more graceful way to exploit the idea of truths and universal freedom for art's sake.

I don't understand why the writer who seemingly grasps nothing at all on the philosophies of the Islamic faith should attempt to wound its already obvious complexities and cause more pain, when there exists fierce apparent scars on many concerned observers and fearful believers, thanks to the misconstrued versions of the religion.

It will be a subject, that may be eagerly jumped on by Islamic extremists to milk new political agendas.

Yes, it will bring Jones her desired fame and glory not through any literary brilliance but through the brazen invasion of privacy. That will always stay her opened door to the limelight while her golden key was the subject of sex insensitively imposed on a private world with delicate teachings.

Plus, innocent civilians might end up getting killed on her behalf. If that happens, I hope Sherry Jones will still get her good night's sleep.

Below are my previously reported posts on the subject:
My earlier post
My later post

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