Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Jewel of Medina - censored

First it was the publication of The Satanic Verses, a novel by Salman Rushdie, which resulted in a fatwa placed on the life of the author by the Ayatollah Khomeini. The fatwa resulted in at least one attempt on the life of Mr Rushdie, and the book consequently sold in its millions.

Things went relatively quiet for a while, mainly until the Danish cartoons about Mohammad which elicited threats of violence, then caused actual violence, and led to demands for censorship. The Danish cartoonist, not to mention the newspaper and its editor, have since become internationally known, and circulation is very healthy indeed

But now there is a novel by one Sherry Jones – The Jewel of Medina – about Mohammad’s relationship with his youngest wife Aisha, to whom he was betrothed while she was around the age of six, and whom he married when she was around the age of 11. It is somewhat racy, and Cranmer has read an excerpt which is certainly on the peripheries of literary pornography, but the Wall St Journal tells us that the publisher, Random House, abruptly called off publication of the book (someone should tell Amazon). ‘The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world. Random House feared the book would become a new "Satanic Verses," the Salman Rushdie novel of 1988 that led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book's Japanese translator...’

But it was not any objection by radical Muslim clerics which have caused Random House to withdraw from the deal, but an American academic: ‘In April, looking for endorsements, Random House sent galleys to writers and scholars, including Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Jones put her on the list because she read Ms. Spellberg's book, "Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr.

‘But Ms. Spellberg wasn't a fan of Ms. Jones's book. On April 30, Shahed Amanullah, a guest lecturer in Ms. Spellberg's classes and the editor of a popular Muslim Web site, got a frantic call from her. "She was upset," Mr. Amanullah recalls. He says Ms. Spellberg told him the novel "made fun of Muslims and their history," and asked him to warn Muslims.

‘In an interview, Ms. Spellberg told me the novel is a "very ugly, stupid piece of work." The novel, for example, includes a scene on the night when Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha: "the pain of consummation soon melted away. Muhammad was so gentle. I hardly felt the scorpion's sting. To be in his arms, skin to skin, was the bliss I had longed for all my life." Says Ms. Spellberg: "I walked through a metal detector to see 'Last Temptation of Christ,'" the controversial 1980s film adaptation of a novel that depicted a relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. "I don't have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can't play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography."’

It then seems that the Islamic blogosphere swung into action, for the very next day a blogger known as Shahid Pradhan posted on a Web site for Shi’ite Muslims – ‘Hussaini Youth’ - under a headline, ‘upcoming book, “Jewel of Medina”: A new attempt to slander the Prophet of Islam’.

This was swiftly followed by a seven-point strategy to ensure ‘the writer withdraws this book from the stores and apologise all the Muslims across the world’.

And so Random House has done, to its great shame, and to the dishonour of the founding principles of the Constitution of the United States of America.

There is manifestly no freedom of speech or freedom of expression where Islam is concerned: there is a de facto unwritten blasphemy law in operation throughout the Western world.

But if this is the response to a positive portrayal of Mohammed’s love life, what would be the response to the story of his other wives and concubines, especially those of Jewish heritage? What would be the response to the telling of the tales of systematic genocide, beheadings, barbarism and butchery; to the stories of children raped and sold off into slavery; to the gang rape of wives and daughters; to the looting and destruction of property; to the forced conversions on pain of death?

It is all in the Qur’an.

Cranmer awaits the film. The response to ‘The Life of Brian’ will seem like a comparative walk in the park. The distributors would not need to spend a penny on marketing or promotion, for the news would spread like wildfire. It would be a marketing strategy to die for.


Anonymous Stefan said...

This censorship is inexcusable.

I would not waste my money buying it, however. Depictions of child rape aren't really my thing.

20 August 2008 at 12:54  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Your Grace,

Although there is no complete consensus by Islamic scolars and historians over Muhammad's betrothal and subsequent consummation of his marriage to 'Aisha, it is generally agreed according to the most authentic hadith report with the most reliable multiple chain of verifiable narrators, that 'Aisha was 6 when betrothed and 9 (not 11) when the marriage was consummated. See Sahih al-Bukhari 1/551 and Talqih Fuhum Ahl il-Athar by Ibn al-Jawzi, p.10 for confirmation.

'Last Temptation of Christ,'" the controversial 1980s film adaptation of a novel that depicted a relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. "I don't have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can't play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography."’

What she means is that she doesn't have a problem with historical fiction involving Christians, but she doesn't endorse historical fiction involving Muslims which might endanger her tenure if tacit support were given only to be revealed at a later date. I wonder whether she endorsed the story behind The Passion?

20 August 2008 at 14:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's not the prophet, he's just a very naughty boy.

- G. Glitter

20 August 2008 at 14:46  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

wait until
you see greet wilders being interviewed an bbc news hardtalk , still one of the few tough interview shows left , useually on late at night though .

you see , you create, division supression and curtail freedom of speech and this is what you get .

nu labours britain

20 August 2008 at 16:56  
Blogger mckenzie said...

He was a 'prophet' that fucked a nine year old girl (what God would sanction such behavior?); there has been a few 'prophets' of this nature, what's new here though is the magnitude of delusion that this pervert has managed to produce.
As for the censorship of the book, nothing new or surprising here what so ever.
Fatwa me if you like, life in Brown's Britain has just about zapped most concern for self preservation anyway: so up your fanatical, primitive, barbaric and moronic arses!

20 August 2008 at 17:20  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Excellent, isn't it - all this free publicity on blogs, in newspapers, on TV. The author will soon be worth millions.

Ive always been of the opinion that a film about Muhammed should be made - a proper Hollywood blockbuster type - because it will serve to break down barriers and all the ignorance surrounding the man.

20 August 2008 at 17:30  
Anonymous Jenny said...


Oh dear. Well, perhaps after all Random House were wise not to publish this book.

Mary the mother of God was probably only 13 or 14 when she gave birth to Jesus, and as you know she was then engaged to be married to Joseph, with only the final stage of the wedding left to go. It is only abnormal to your modern eyes to think of young girls being married and sexually active - possibly against their wishes. Arranged marriages of young girls - sometimes from their birth - used to be regarded as perfectly normal, as was going to live with your husband from quite a young age. In fact, there are still parts of the world where this practice is considered perfectly acceptable.

20 August 2008 at 18:50  
Blogger mckenzie said...

And your point is what exactly?

20 August 2008 at 19:07  
Blogger mckenzie said...

Ok. What I am saying is, what is a prophet? What kind of God would use such a man, who has sex with nine year old girls, in order to make prophetic statements about morality?
Whether or not Mary was 12 or 14 is irrelevant. Whether or not young girls were considered fair game is irrelevant, God was not sanctioning it.
Random House, are very wise, and rich.
At nine years of age, I would imagine a miracle could produce a child, but like you say, Mary was about 14 years of age.

20 August 2008 at 19:31  
Blogger mckenzie said...

Another point being, of course, is that Mary was chosen for various reasons (lineage being one), and if indeed she was to be married some time soon, then expediency was very much an issue here.
Nothing sordid here, all very fantastic, beautiful and miraculously wonderful.

20 August 2008 at 20:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regards to getting married at 14:
In the United States, you must be 18 (or older in some places) to get married without parental permission. In most states you can get married at 16 with parental permission. Younger than 16 is typically going to require a court order, which the judges really don't like to grant or a doctor's certificate showing that they are pregnant or already have a child. (In California to get married at 14 requires parental consent, a counseling session and appearance before a judge!)

One Experience:
I married when I was 14, now I'm 26 (San Francisco, CA) and have been married for 11 Years! I am so glad that my husband and I married when we wanted to and didn't listen to any negativity. It hasn't been easy, but its definitely worth the struggle. All I have to say is If you really love someone and they love you, the marriage will last, you must be strong and wise enough to make tough choices. The most important thing to learn in marriage is that is all about "we" and not "me", can you feel that ?

You must definitely keep it real, grow togther, not apart, and always keep an open mind, because your significant other may change as "uall" grow UP together, especially if your like 14/16 (me and my husband's age when we married)

With regards to sex with 9yr olds:

The thought of an old man becoming aroused by a child is one of the most disturbing thoughts that makes us cringe as it reminds us of pedophilia and the most despicable people.

20 August 2008 at 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arabs were a primitive lot with little rules to abide. Yet they had some code of ethics that they honored scrupulously. For example, although they fought all the year round, they abstained from hostilities during certain holy months of the year. They also considered Mecca to be a holy city and did not make war against it. A adopted son’s wife was deemed to be a daughter in law and they would not marry her. Also it was customary that close friends made a pact of brotherhood and considered each other as true brothers. The Prophet disregarded all of these rules anytime they stood between him and his interests or whims.

Abu Bakr and Muhammad had pledged to each other to be brothers. So according to their customs Ayesha was supposed to be like a niece to the Holy Prophet. Yet that did not stop him to ask her hand even when she was only six years old.

But this moral relativist Prophet would use the same excuse to reject a woman he did not like.
Sahih Bukhari V.7, B62, N. 37
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
It was said to the Prophet, "Won't you marry the daughter of Hamza?" He said, "She is my foster niece (brother's daughter). "

Hamza and Abu Bakr both were the foster brothers of Muhammad. But Ayesha must have been too pretty for the Prophet to abide by the codes of ethics and custom.

In the following Hadith he confided to Ahesha that he had dreamed of her before soliciting her from her father.

Some Muslims claim that it was Abu Bakr who approached Muhammad asking him to marry his daughter. This is of course not true and here is the proof.

Sahih Bukhari 7.18
Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for 'Aisha's hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said "But I am your brother." The Prophet said, "You are my brother in Allah's religion and His Book, but she (Aisha) is lawful for me to marry."

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3311
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old.

The holy Prophet died when he was 63. So he must have married Ayesha when he as 51 and went to her when he was 54.

20 August 2008 at 22:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always amused when the politically correct feel obliged to defend Islam because I am aware that if the Prophet of Islam were alive today, it is close run thing as to whether they would want him prosecuted first as a War Criminal or for Paedophilia.

20 August 2008 at 22:22  
Anonymous najistani said...

The pervert Mohammed took possession of his child sex-slave Aisha when she was six, but because she was too small to penetrate, he did 'mufa khathat' between her thighs until she was nine and he was fifty-something.

By that time she had either expanded to sufficient dimensions, or he had shrivelled due to old age to allow coitus, and they were able to make a perfect couple.


21 August 2008 at 01:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lord Jesus Christ came With a message of love, and redemption a reconcilliation to God gained by his own sacrificial death.His basic message was one of love.
Islam however opposes everything christ(who is God) stands for.

21 August 2008 at 15:11  
Anonymous convinced Anglican said...

Your Grace

Regarding references to Mary and Joseph; to the best of my knowledge (I am not Jewish), Jewish girls were betrothed, but kept in their family home and certainly not 'married' in the biblical sense before menstruation. It is likely that Mary was indeed 14, as that was the age given to us at my CofE Sunday School.

This invoked no surprise; as a child, I saw 14 year-olds as 'big girls' with authority; they had 'jobs', like minding the little ones and taking us to and from school.

A six year old is a child, a nine year old is a child. Girls, after menstruation, mature much faster than boys of a similar age, but not before.

Whatever the opinion of the ghastly dhimmi Denise Spellberg, rape of a six or nine year old is NOT "sacred history"; it paedophilia.

This is just one of the many tenets of Islam which confirm for us the megalomania of an illiterate, untutored desert Arab elevated - by war, conquest, rape and pillage - to the idolatrous level of worship his followers exhibit to this day.

In direct contradiction of our Lord's injunction: 'But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones, ... it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.' (Matt 18: 1-9)

Islam dictates that small girls are the sexual property of male relatives, a belief which confers 'rights' to violate innocence.

May God have mercy on England! This is the inhumane and merciless ideology of the people NuLabour and previous Conservative government has allowed colonise huge swathes of our nation. See: BBC Blackburn takeover -

22 August 2008 at 21:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just face it, Mohammed was a pervert child molester. He would be in a prison sexual psychopath unit in the United States today. There is nothing good to be learned from a pervert. I don't fear any Muslim where I am. I back up my freedom of speech with my second amendment.

6 September 2008 at 05:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again Islam is seen as non-tolerant. I am so tired of hearing Muslims get so up set when something is written about Mohamed.

I encourage Mrs. Jones to exercise her free speech! Write On!

12 October 2008 at 16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The novel The Jewel of Medina, written by Sherry Jones, violates several principles of honesty, factual representation, and respect that is due not only to the unaware reader but most importantly to the historical and religiously revered person of Hazrat Aisha, wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). The Jewel of Medina is categorized as a historical fiction novel, this label in itself is contradictory, because fiction is defined as an “invented story” and history is an event with a factual and recorded base. It is unfair and dishonest to “invent” a story about a factual or real person. On the official website of The Jewel of Medina, the novels is said to be “extensively researched and elegantly crafted,” so the author has basically taken bits and pieces of Hazrat Aisha’s life and person and crafted a tale. What Jones has done is added the necessary “drama” to a historical life which was based upon virtue and piety, all in order to promote her novel. It seems that as of late, all a writer has to do is pick some aspect of Islam, write something controversial enough to ignite the ire of Muslims, and the result; supporters from all walks of life supporting the author’s right to freedom of speech, not to document the truth, but to create an obvious distortion of the facts. Does freedom of speech mean that we can take an aspect of history and tweak it here and there to suite our fancy, surely our predecessors had more in mind when they fought so hard for this right. Hazrat Aisha is referred to as mother of the faithful amongst Muslims. It is her virtue, piety and religious knowledge that gave her the honour of being viewed as a scholar, an advisor and a woman with grace and strength. Jones’s depiction of the event of the lost necklace is full of historical errors and so sensationalized that it gives no justice to the actual event and the innocence of the character of Hazrat Aisha. The accusations made in the case of the lost necklace against Hazrat Aisha were falsified 1500 years ago, and it was the piety of Hazrat Aisha and divine revelation that absolved her, just like in the case of Mary and the virgin birth. In an interview Jones stated she added to the story and character of Hazrat Aisha to make her a role model for Muslim women, what Jones does not understand is that Muslim women do not need a sexualized version of Hazrat Aisha, they were quite proud and content with the factual pious Hazrat Aisha. The addition of culturally and historically foreign concepts and presentation of Hazrat Aisha’s character as a 21st century teenager is so distant from the reality of old Arabia during the dawn islam. Additions such as “flowing colorful robes and kohl-darkened eyes and perfumed arms filigreed with henna,” are very unlike from the simple and frugal life lived by Hazrat Aisha. Or the presentation of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) having a harem full of beautiful women, which is quite different from the marriages he had to widowed or divorced women of middle age. If an attempt is being made to discuss any historical person, the truth and the facts must always be the first priority of the writer, for otherwise it is a great injustice to the person being discussed, for all there struggles to be so easily changed by the stroke of a pen, all in the name of freedom of speech. What of our right to know the truth, why does which so easily get trampled upon?

25 December 2008 at 20:45  

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