Random House has pulled the plug on a novel that talks about the Prophet Mohammed's child bride for fear of a violent backlash from militant Islamists.
The book, The Jewel of Medina, was scheduled to be published later this month.
The book's author viewed the work as one that would build bridges between western society and Islam. But Random House, fearing that it would be viewed as offensive to some in the Muslim community, and concerned about potential violence, decided to not publish the work.
I haven't read the book and I don't know if it's "offensive." But since when is that a determining factor over whether work should be published?
I've read books that are offensive to the police. To gays. To blacks. To whites. To Jews. To Christians.
Some of the greatest literary works in the world are offensive to someone.
Ever read Mark Twain?
If concerns that a book, or a work of art, might be offensive to "some" within a community stopped the distribution of the work, we'd have empty libraries and museums (some people find Michelangelo, for exampled, to be offensive).
Worse, fear of violence should not be a factor in muzzling art or public discourse. Societies cannot properly survive if they kowtow to bullies.
Random House should be ashamed of itself for its decision. Hopefully writer Sherry Jones will find another publisher for her work.