If you were hoping for a copy of The Jewel of Medina in Serbian, you’re shit out of luck. Publisher BeoBook pulled the Serbian translation of The Jewel of Medina from bookstore shelves after The Islamic Community in Serbia protested the book’s publication.
Author Sherry Jones published her response in the Serbian daily newspaper Blic today, saying that she wrote the novel “to honor Islam… to celebrate these great historical figures while dispelling misunderstandings about Islam.”
After the discussions here and elsewhere, I personally have come to understand the depth of meaning inherent in any humanization or fictional portrayal of Mohammed, and why that is profoundly offensive and upsetting to Muslim individuals. I get it. I truly do, and I don’t relish anyone feeling that way.
But what protests are we talking about here? The Islamic Community in Serbia protested the book… by doing what? There’s no mention that I can find of the specific actions that were undertaken in protest. And the lack of mention makes me think that shit was not literally on fire. Not a day goes by that I don’t see the 12 foot giant inflatable rat outside some building where a union is protesting work treatment in Manhattan. Protests run the gamut from marching to yelling to rallies to giant inflatable rat (one of the rats has festering nipples. I still haven’t figured that one out) to setting shit on fire, tossing bricks and overturning cars with a backhoe. Since none of the latter were mentioned, is it safe for me to presume that the protest was more of the former? Do they have inflatable rats in Serbia?
And what protest would cause a publisher to remove a book from the shelves? This is getting ridiculous, because the more this book is removed and canceled and blocked from the reading public, the more power it is given, not to mention the repeated underscoring of the “OMG Muslims are angry let’s panic” response. That response is denigrating to Muslims, to say the least, not to mention absolutely ludicrous.
I’m angry. I’m protesting. I want to read this damn book already and draw my own grown up big-girl-panty-wearing conclusions. Do I need to bring the giant rat over to Random House tomorrow? Anyone know where I can borrow a truck?
ETA: Thanks to Rebecca for the link.