The controversy over the book, "The Jewel of Medina," by Sherry Jones, was highlighted in a column by former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani in that news publication. "You still can't write about Muhammad," she wrote. Nomani said Random House bought Jones' novel for $100,000 in a two-book deal and plans were begun for an eight-city tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of the "tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet's harem."
But, Nomani wrote, "It's not going to happen. … The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world."
She concluded Random House feared the book would become a new "Satanic Verses," the 1988 novel by Salman Rushdie that "led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book's Japanese translator, among other horrors."
Thomas Perry, a deputy publisher, said after sending out advance copies, the company got "from credible and unrelated sources cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment," Nomani wrote.
She added "This time, the instigator of the trouble wasn't a radical Muslim cleric, but an American
Nomani said Spellberg was upset that the novel "made fun of Muslims and their history" and asked the editor of a Muslim website to warn Muslims. Apparently her concerns were raised by a written description of Muhammad's consummation of his marriage to Aisha, who had not yet reached 10 years old.
Spellberg said, "You can't play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography," according to Nomani. Er, excuse me, since when can't you do that? In the US? Oh yes, since Muslims got in there in big numbers. That's when.
The complaints went viral immediately, and within hours a seven-point plan had been proposed to force the author to apologize to Muslims.
"If I searched around right now, I could probably find eight or 10 books that outrage me," Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch wrote. "But the idea of bringing pressure upon a publisher not to publish them would be inconceivable to me. Those of a totalitarian mindset, however, do not hesitate."
On Spencer's forum page, a contributor wrote, "I thought we had freedom of speech and freedom of the press in this country. I forgot – we're living under sharia law!"
This is how Muslims in the West will achieve their goals. In essence they’re saying, ‘we’re not violent, oh, no. But trouble is, if you publish this stuff we won't be able to control the violent minority among us. So best if you just cave in’
And that what we’re doing, big time.