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Rejecting "The Jewel of Medina"

Is the romance novel about Muhammad a religion story?

When Random House dropped the The Jewel of Medina, a romance novel about Muhammad and his child bride, they said it was because it "could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment." Were they talking about literary critics?

A Wall Street Journal op-ed quotes the professor who, according to the article, sparked fears of violent retribution, saying the novel was "a very ugly, stupid piece of work. . . . You can't play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography."

NPR posted an excerpt of the prologue of the book, now to be published by Beaufort Books: "Scandal blew in on the errant wind when I rode into Medina clutching Safwan's waist. My neighbors rushed into the street like storm waters flooding a wadi." Ugh.

Further down in the passage, Muhammad is reverently and sympathetically portrayed. But kind intentions and literary mediocrity didn't render the book passable in Serbia, where a publisher pulled the book and apologized to an Islamic society that was getting ...

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