… declaring them to be wimps, prudes, and possibly chicken-poop racists.

If you’re moderately literate, you’ve probably heard of The Jewel of Medina, the scandalous book about Aisha, the child bride of Muhammad, which Random House pulled from their publication schedule … The book had reached the stage of galleys without anyone at Random House batting an eyelash, as far as can be told. The author, Sherry Jones, a journalist, requested that Random House send a review copy to Denise Spellberg, Associate Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies and the author of one of the biographies Jones read in preparation for writing her novel. Spellberg didn’t like it, calling it a “very ugly, stupid piece of work.”

Apparently, Spellberg torpedoed the book, and Random house caved. Some claim that The Jewel has more sex in it than The Last Temptation of Christ. (Wait… the Last Temptation has sex in it? I had no idea…). But this is not at all clear, and Stephanie Zvan dissects the evidence. Her unsettling conclusion? Click here to find out…

Comments

  1. #1 Jason Failes
    August 12, 2008

    “(Wait… the Last Temptation has sex in it? I had no idea…)”

    It depicts Jesus’ final temptation as the urge to not be the messiah, come down off the cross, marry Mary Magdeline, and have many, many kids. It, was, essentially, the temptation many of us feel to give up our youthful dreams and settle down.

    However, despite the complexity and depth of this theological “what if”, the religious right came away with only one message: Jesus has SEEEEX!

    It didn’t seem to matter that it was a fantasy sequence nor that it was notably marital sex.

    Some people are just obsessed.

  2. #2 pookie
    August 12, 2008

    Where did they think “Jesus fucking Christ” came from?

  3. #3 bernie
    August 29, 2008

    Think about it – Random House pees in its pants when there are barely 1% Muslims in this country. I wonder how many of us will continue to criticize Islam when there are 10% Muslims? Free Speech will mean say anything you like as long as you don’t blaspheme Islam.

    Just FYI, I linked to your article from When is Too Many Muslims?

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    August 30, 2008

    Bernie, you completely missed the point of the (my) blog post that Greg is linking to above. In fact, I doubt you read it. The person responsible for torpedoing this book is not Muslim, as far as I can tell, yet she presumed to suggest that Muslims would make it dangerous for the book to be published. This censorship was not about the behavior of any real Muslim, just a bunch of hypothetical ones–much like those you write about.

  5. #5 eddie
    September 27, 2008

    Jewel of Medina UK publishers burned down last night – according to bbc.

    But they were also publishers of mccain biography.

  6. #6 bernie
    July 5, 2014

    Yes, I read your article, but you did not read my comment. I did not say Muslims directly complained about the book. I wrote that Random House was afraid when the percentage of Muslims that might be offended is small and that the fear would be greater when the Muslim population increases.

    As for hypothetical Muslims that I write about, there were over 23,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11. Hypothetical? Really? How far up one’s butt does one have to stick her head, in order to be blind to the world around her? With all respect.

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