Meanwhile, Back in the USA…

The Jewel of Medina has been on sale for good many days, and to my knowledge, bookstores which have the book in stock are merrily chugging along. But over in the UK, Gibson Square has put the oh-fuck-no on the book, delaying publication indefinitely.

Jesus flapjack.

Meanwhile, back at Amazon.com, the book itself is on sale with one of those two-for-one-low price deals in a set that really, truly raises my eyebrows.  Sherry Jones might want to give a mighty “WTF?” over her book being sold alongside this not-so-peacefully-titled tome.

[Thanks to Jane and Pat for the heads up.]

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  1. 1
    J.C. Wilder says:

    Did you know, the pairings you see on the Amazon page can be PAID for by the publishers? I always thought they appeared based upon sales but nope – many of them are paid placements.

    Now I’m not saying this is what THIS publisher did, but it is a possibility.

    And if I were the author, I’d be pissed.

  2. 2
    Indikaze says:

    As much as I hate censorship, I’m also rather put off by the idea that only crazies could possibly be offended by a novelization of Mohammed by an American.

    Sometimes I wonder if writing a book like this does any good at all; do most people have the maturity to handle this controversy?

  3. 3
    Shannon says:

    Wow, that’s… special.

  4. 4
    Silver James says:

    Ow. Man…are they milking it or what?

  5. 5
    Alison says:

    I do agree with Indikaze. Goodness knows I am a keen supporter of free speech, etc: but really, did the world need a book which was bound to cause huge offence to a big segment of its population, but which apparently didn’t even attempt to convey any Deep Truths as a justification for its existence? Would it not have been more sensible not to write the damn thing in the first place, rather than cause even the whisper of a possibility of triggering a terrorist attack against some random bookshop? If the UK publishers have just thought, “You know, this book is just not good enough to stick our necks out for”, I really can’t say I blame them. And on the whole, we have less book censorship than in the US: no lists of Depraved Authors such as Judy Blume, for example.

  6. 6
    amy lane says:

    Nope—still not buying massive stupidity as a reason for censorship.  About the only thing I’ve ever seen that should really be censored is The Anarchists Cookbook—and, well, it is in the 70s on the 100 most banned book list.  But since ‘King & King’ is in the top 10, I’m still not jumping on that bandwagon.

    Spamword?  congress58

  7. 7
    rebyj says:

    They have been replaying the video from 10/2 on headline news today . http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/10/02/newton.uk.firebomb.speech.cnn?iref=videosearch

  8. 8
    Wryhag says:

    No, that pairing isn’t inflammatory. Not at all.

  9. 9
    Gwynnyd says:

    Indikaze said on…
    10.12.08 at 12:16 PM |
    As much as I hate censorship, I’m also rather put off by the idea that only crazies could possibly be offended by a novelization of Mohammed by an American.

    I am trying to think of a novelization of something that could offend me… er, maybe… no… how about?  um, no, not that either.

    I think uncrazy types don’t find it difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality.  I do not understand all the angst about certain novels. Fiction. Even if a novel is about allegedly real people or events – unless someone is concealing a time machine with a multi-track, telepathic, record-all feature somewhere – the details were all made up in some author’s head.  (and if someone thinks that time machine really exists, that definitely tips them into crazies territory, IMO)

    If someone thinks any particular novel might be offensive, my suggestion to them is don’t read it. Pretend it does not exist.  Don’t give the author the satisfaction of selling extra copies or giving them publicity.  Everyone has a right to read whatever fiction they please – but it is also quite easy to not read something.

  10. 10
    Minze says:

    Gwynnyd said on…
    10.12.08 at 09:07 PM |
    I think uncrazy types don’t find it difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality.  I do not understand all the angst about certain novels.

    I do. It’s a bit as if someone were to tell a story about a person you really love and respect, and parts of that story would make them look weak or ridiculous or evil. Knowing that the story is just made up wouldn’t make much of a difference to me. Even if most of the story were to be considerably harmless, I’d still feel offended.

  11. 11
    Ziggy says:

    a mighty “WTF?” over her book being sold alongside this not-so-peacefully-titled tome.

    Yuck.

    I think uncrazy types don’t find it difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality.  I do not understand all the angst about certain novels. Fiction.

    Sorry if you already know this, but there are 2 or 3 enormous Jewel of Medina threads in the Smart Bitches archives which address this question. They are enormous, but there are some really interesting, thoughtful points made on both sides of the debate.

  12. 12
    snarkhunter says:

    Robert Spencer—author of that vile book—is coming to speak on campus here tomorrow. I know this only b/c there were flyers up all over one of my classrooms advertising his talk as part of “Stop the Campus Jihad Week.” I feel pretty comfortable in saying that he is a hate-mongering bigot. His talk is titled “Religion of Peace: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.”

    This man also wrote a book explaining how the Crusades were totally a defensive action taken to prevent an Islamic takeover of Europe.

    Yeah, not bigoted at all.

    I was totally unsurprised that his talk—and the whole “We Hate Muslims”—oh, I mean, “Stop the Campus Jihad”—week is being sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom. Whose name should really be Young Americans for Freedom for White Men.

    No, I’m not bitter. Not at all. And about this pairing? Fucking ridiculous. Based on your review, I think it’s even more ridiculous that this book is getting so much attention. I feel like only GOOD books deserve that. :D

  13. 13
    B says:

    This man also wrote a book explaining how the Crusades were totally a defensive action taken to prevent an Islamic takeover of Europe.

    I…really can’t come up with a coherent response to that.

    And they’re allowing this man on a campus??? A place of, you know, education? Seriously?

  14. 14

    >>This man also wrote a book explaining how the Crusades were totally a defensive action taken to prevent an Islamic takeover of Europe.< <

    Um, a whole bunch of slaughtered European Jews whose communities were wiped out by Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land might take exception to that claim.

    Not to mention the Orthodox Christians slaughtered for being the wrong kind of Christian.

  15. 15
    Gwynnyd says:

    Sorry if you already know this, but there are 2 or 3 enormous Jewel of Medina threads in the Smart Bitches archives which address this question. They are enormous, but there are some really interesting, thoughtful points made on both sides of the debate.

    and

    I do. It’s a bit as if someone were to tell a story about a person you really love and respect, and parts of that story would make them look weak or ridiculous or evil. Knowing that the story is just made up wouldn’t make much of a difference to me. Even if most of the story were to be considerably harmless, I’d still feel offended.

    No, I know that people ARE offended. Me, personally, I do not understand why anyone would go out of their way to read fiction (and I do specify fiction – the non-fiction stuff like that book ‘marketed with’ filled with egregious errors is different) they know is both made up and will offend them.  Surely there are enough other issues to worry about without (to make it clear I am not only puzzled by people who are offended by “Jewel of Medina”) being offended if someone, somewhere writes a novel about, hmm, what historical character do I respect? – maybe Richard III gleefully and repeatedly sodomizing his nephews before he strangles them.  I think it’s out of character and most likely (I don’t have a time machine either) didn’t happen that way, but they have a right to write it.  I have no obligation to read it.  It would not offend me.  If someone asked me about it, I’d point them at a, IMO, more accurate novelization or a real history book.

  16. 16
    Laura says:

    This man also wrote a book explaining how the Crusades were totally a defensive action taken to prevent an Islamic takeover of Europe.

    I’m sure Charles Martel would have a few choice words for this moron.

  17. 17
    Melissa S. says:

    The Amazon thing pisses me off the most. Really most of the time I really don’t think they’re paying attention. Too busy buying rare Harry Potter books and pimping it for all it’s worth.

  18. 18
    Liz L says:

    Oh, “Stop the Campus Jihad Week.”  A bunch of irrelevant hacks who get speaking invitations because…  because… 

    Horowitz is on tour with them too.  The College Republicans brought him to my campus because he’s such a notorious hate-mongerer that generally campus groups and students flip a shit and generate lots of publicity.  And if you’re the College Republicans, well, you might be in pretty dire need of said publicity.

    That being said, I love my school.  Protests were minimal and instead everyone showed up, listened with minimal disruptiveness, rolled their eyes at the end, and said ‘wft?  the guy’s an idiot.  who the fuck cares?’  Then we all went to MSA events, because they used their funding to bring serious and well-respected intellectuals, politicians, and cultural events to campus.

    I think in the end that’s the best possible result of vapid demagoguery like this.

    My favorite memory of Horowitz at UofC?  He said with a perfectly straight face that because Oprah Winfrey is famous and Condoleezza Rice is powerful, sexism and racism do not exist in American society.  Any black woman who is not Oprah or Condoleezza is just too dumb or lazy to hack it.

    Stellar genius, right?

    Those who can, do.  Those who can’t go on “Stop the Campus Jihad Week” speaking tours.

  19. 19
    Liz L says:

    Make that wtf

    :-)

    It’s become my default response to the world.  Aren’t things so strange that you have to take a second and really wonder wtf before you press on?

  20. 20
    JaneyD says:

    Here’s how you stop the hate-mongers: have your group dress up as pirates and mock them.

    The cameras will all be on YOU, not them.

    Unfortunately for for the asstards of the Fred Phelps hate group the pirates of Arkansas were far more photogenic!

    http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2008/09/pirates_chase_away_phelps_fami.php

    http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2008/09/way_to_go_matie.aspx

    Now I know there is a comic called “Pirates Vs. Ninjas” perhaps a title like “Pirates vs. Batshit Insane Hate Groups” is needed.

    Arrrrrrrrr!

  21. 21
    Kestrel says:

    They could have just packaged it with Salman Rushdie, that would have been fun! Get 2 Jihads for the price of one, yippee!

    I read books that have controversy around them just so I can see wtf the big deal is, but I’m rarely offended by anything, there’s too much bigoted, racist, sexist crap out there for me to waste my energy getting my feelings hurt.

    security word: theory16 – could there be this many or more theories about what gets people’s panties in a twist?

  22. 22
    SonomaLass says:

    Those who can, do.  Those who can’t go on “Stop the Campus Jihad Week” speaking tours.

    Oh wow, how true, how true!

  23. 23
    Cora says:

    Uhm, why would anyone need a “Stop the Campus Jihad week”, when to my knowledge there is nothing that even remotely resembles a jihad going on at American colleges. Actually, most American colleges have such a small number of Muslim students, compared to many European or Asian universities, that the chance that one of those students happens to be a nut is vanishingly small.

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