Defending her role in the unpublishing of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina, Denise Spellberg writes “I do not espouse censorship” in The Wall Street Journal (“I Didn’t Kill ‘The Jewel of Medina’“). Nevertheless:
. . . I felt it my duty to warn the press of the novel’s potential to provoke anger among some Muslims.
There is a long history of anti-Islamic polemic that uses sex and violence to attack the Prophet and his faith. This novel follows in that oft-trodden path, one first pioneered in medieval Christian writings. The novel provides no new reading of Aisha’s life, but actually expands upon provocative themes regarding Muhammad’s wives first found in an earlier novel by Salman Rushdie, “The Satanic Verses,” which I teach.
It’s a novel. N-o-v-e-l. Couldn’t she just call it a bad novel and leave it at that?