The Islamic Community in Serbia said on Monday it was not satisfied with the withdrawal of Sherry Jones’ novel, The Jewel of Medina, from the country’s bookshops. Referring to the book released by Belgrade publisher Beobuk three weeks ago, the organisation’s leader Muamer Zukorlic said it was “offensive to Muslims” and demanded all of the published copies be handed in. He also called for director Aleksandar Jasic to repent for what he had done.
After an initial complaint from the Islamic community, Jasic apologised saying the company "had no intention of insulting Muslims in Serbia" and announced the book would not be available in any bookstore in the country. But Zukorlic said on Monday that this was not enough. […]
The book was due to have a world premier in Serbia, since its US publisher decided against selling the book fearing the reaction of radical Muslims. […] The novel is a love story about the life of Aisha, the seventh wife of the Islam prophet Mohammed, and follows her life from her betrothal to the prophet when she was six-years-old.
After sending out advance editions of the novel THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, we received […] 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 […]. We stand firmly by our responsibility to support our authors and the free discussion of ideas, even those that may be construed as offensive by some. However, […] in this instance we decided, after much deliberation, to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.
The very need for such apologias and the very fear felt by Random House condemn the violent principles of the gangsters they’re appeasing. [Dan Brown’s novel] The Da Vinci Code spends its nearly five hundred pages trashing the central beliefs of the Christian community. But for all the hysteria in intellectual circles over fundamentalist Christians, no one had to cower before them or make mealy-mouthed excuses.