Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Protest for "Jewel of Madina" By Sherry Jones

Although a few Muslims have taken up to protest this book, they are just a handful of them, it is not the moderate majority.

It is un-wise to protest.
We may want to take a different approach.

The propaganda machine goes to work to label this as a Muslim activity, it is not. It is not even a statistical sample to label it as Muslim or Islamic thing. Even if the wind blows, a few among us love to protest as if it is their business. However, this act is not exclusive to Muslims, you can find that in every group.

It is time for every one, including Muslims to start being a part of the interfaith councils locally and nationally. It is time to learn to accept and respect different ways of respecting the creator.

This protest is unwise, because the more attention a few Muslims pay to this, the more thrills the writers get to write. The protests will make people want to read it... let's not egg them on.
Who knows, it may be a ploy to create controversy to sell more books.

Let any one write what he or she pleases, it is nothing new, they have mistranslated Qur'aan in the 10th Century and many times after that, all with the same ill intent. Of course, Muslims also have mistranslated it for rallying up the support again with ill-intent. It is not the religion, it is the darned individual.

The best thing to do is to ignore, and certainly become Amabassadors of goodwill and peace and build solid things for our nation (whichever that is, in my case the USA) to be recognized as contributor to the peace, success and prosperity of our nation.

Please stand up and speak out, this protest is counter productive.

Below is author's explanation.

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress
Foundation for Pluralism
Center for Interfaith Inquiry

Dear Brothers & sisters,

Few months ago it was cartoons about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) under the cover of freedom of speach and Liberty,during that time Muslims all over the globe and specially the Leader of Jamaat Ahmadiyya and its followers protected very strongly and send their concerned to the government of Denmark.finally when that fire start cooling down Sherry Jones wrote a book on the our Prophets beloved wife Hadrat Ayesha may Allah be pleased with her. Even according to Wall St. Journal "its a stirring controversy. To read the WSJ article click on this link Wall St. Journal.The Jewel of Medina, written by Sherry Jones, was supposed to be published on August 12th. Sherry Jones was to go on a book tour to promote her her book, under the fear of valiance and riots the publisher stop the printing of this book.

We as a Muslim should come forward and strongly protect against these kind of things not only for the Muslim's Prophet or his wife or the his followers any other religion founder and his beavers.You will never find any country in this world who give this permission under the FREEDOM OF SPEACH to write any thing about any religion's founder or his believers. Please send letter to every newspaper and media to protest these kind of nonsense immediately.


Censoring "The Jewel Of Medina"

This month the U.S. publisher Random House planned to launch an historical novel about Aisha, the wife of the prophet Muhammad. The book was a rarity in Islamic-themed literature: an attempt by a Western woman to fictionalize the personal life of the prophet, and to bring to a wider audience one of the great feminist heroines of the Middle East.

Instead, three months ago, Random House decided to abandon publication of "The Jewel of Medina", by journalist Sherry Jones. Fearing the book might incite the same violent reaction as the Danish Muhammad cartoons, and that company staff and property might comes under attack from Muslim extremists, Random House terminated Jones' contract, as reported by Asra Nomani, who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Random House was particularly concerned about a scene in which the Prophet Muhammad consummates his relationship with Aisha, a child bride. It's a short scene, and not to everyone's taste, in which Muhammad's embrace is likened to a "scorpion's sting", but it hardly amounts to "soft core pornography", as the university professor who first raised objections to the book, Denise Spellberg, has described it.

(Read Spellberg's take on the controversy here.)

But Random House's decision to bow down to a hypothetical terrorist threat is surely a grave insult to the Western tradition of free speech, and to Muslims' ability to take the book for what it is: a decidedly glowing portrayal of the Prophet (in marked contrast to the Muhammad Cartoons, or indeed Satanic Verses).

Here, Jones gives an eloquent defense of her book, and explains why we should all take note of Random House's assault on our freedoms.

By Sherry Jones

" 'I can't' never does anything," my mother used to say. " 'I can' does it all."

When I set out to write a book about A'isha bint Abi Bakr, favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad, I never doubted that it would be published. After all, I had all the elements I needed for a terrific work of historical fiction: a remarkable heroine, little known in the West; a famous hero, widely misunderstood here; a setting unfamiliar yet exotic; and an exciting tale of love, war, spiritual awakening and redemption.

Five years and seven drafts later, I had indeed landed a publisher for "The Jewel of Medina." Not just any publisher, either, but Random House, the biggest house in the world. I was thrilled not only by the two-book deal, which included a sequel detailing A'isha's life after Muhammad's death, but also by the passion with which everyone at the publishing company seemed to embrace this novel. I was thrilled, but not surprised.

Soon, the foreign rights sales started coming in: Spain, Italy, Hungary. I still wasn't surprised. My agent called to tell me of an eight-city U.S. book tour -- gratifying, but not surprising. Book of the Month Club signed on to feature "The Jewel of Medina" in its August 2008 issue, and Quality Paperback Book Club would follow up six months later. My book seemed destined for the best-seller list.

Then, a university professor, asked for an endorsement, called Random House with warnings of a terrorist attack by angry Muslims if my book were published. "A national security issue," University of Texas associate professor Denise Spellberg reportedly said. "More dangerous than the Satanic Verses or the Danish cartoons."

Now this surprised me -- stunned me, in fact. The follow-up letter from her lawyer provided the second hit in Ms. Spellberg's one-two punch, threatening to sue Random House if her name were associated with my book in any way, including, I assume, a listing in my bibliography. Her reason had me reeling: She objected, she said, to the book's "sexual content," of which there is almost none.

Several weeks later, Random House associate publisher Elizabeth McGuire delivered the final blow. After consulting with other academic "experts" in Islam as well as the company's head of security, Random House executives had decided to "indefinitely postpone" publication. Not because of terrorist threats, mind you -- but because of threats of terrorist threats. Because, in other words, of fear.

I was, of course, devastated by this news, coming as it did less than three months before my Aug. 12 publication date. I was also chagrined to realize the far-reaching ramifications of this historic decision to quash a work of art before it could even reach the public eye. Is Random House no longer publishing books about Islam? How does this bode for the future of publishing? What will be banned next? Art? Music? Theater? Dance?

As a journalist for the last 28 years, I hold the right to free speech especially dear. The First Amendment is, in my view, the very best thing about living in the United States. Publishing houses can, of course, do whatever they want. But university professors? Ms. Spellberg urged Random House to abstain from publishing. The reason, she is telling reporters now, is that she doesn't like my book. Does this development mean our public universities no longer support the free exchange of ideas?

I'm optimistic, but not naive. I expected my book to spark controversy. "The Jewel of Medina" is a novel of women's empowerment, never a popular theme among fundamentalists of any faith. I was also aware that some would take offense at any fictional portrayal of Muhammad, especially one by a non-Muslim American woman. Given the respect with which I treat the Muslim prophet, however, I never expected to be killed because of it. I still don't.

As an advocate for peace, I have high hopes for "The Jewel of Medina" and its sequel, in which A'isha and her rival, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, are dual protagonists facing off in the first Islamic civil war. Already I've had many requests for interviews with Muslim journalists and have been invited to participate in a 90-minute chat on, a Muslim website which boasts of 13 million hits weekly.

This type of dialogue is long overdue. So far, discussion has centered around my not-published book, which almost no one has read. Soon, I hope, we will address the text itself, in published form, and my ideas, derived from research and experience, of moderate Islam as a religion of egalitaranism and, yes, peace.

In the meantime, using A'isha as my example, I challenge all to do as I am striving to do: Rise up against the culture of fear that pervades our society, refuse to succumb to racism, stand up for our rights, and live courageous lives.

Journalist Sherry Jones is a correspondent for BNA, an international news agency in the Washington, D.C. area, and for Women's eNews in New York. "The Jewel of Medina" is her first novel.



  1. I strongly doubt that it is an adjustment between the author and Random House..First to create a controversy and then publish the book. They can sell unimaginable quantities within few hours.

  2. Unbelievable what this author is saying about the Prophet Mohammad peace upon him and his wife the Mother of the believers Aisha rathi Allah anha.

    Where is the Muslim leadership?

  3. why always on Islam. Islam the religion survive this kind of issues.The intention is clear Make Money...More Money and Freedom of Speech is a big excuse.

  4. These are not new to Islam. They, the Kafirs can not make any harm to islam. It otherway means the greatness of our religion.

    Our leaders are still sleeping. They are also to reply to Allah (Swt)in the Judgement Day.

  5. Hello Dear Brothers and sisters of Islam!
    The Kafirs are keeping on humiliating the muslims and most of all its our Prophet (sal)!
    Why are all these happening?why are they doing like this??How can we prevent it???what can we do to them???
    OR should we suffer like this over and over again?
    No!we have to strive for this and we have to work to bring back ISLAM(Khilafah)!and make it to dominate the world!its a far'l for all the muslims to work to bring back the khilafah(Islamic world)!We cannot blame our leaders because they are not true leaders and they are in the trap of the westerners!
    How do we bring back the Khilafah and how do we work for it?
    The way how the prophet(Sal)did,coz thats the best and the possible way!
    please dont make any more divisions in Islam but try to be clear and work with understanding!
    Dear brothers and sisters please make one thing clear,Allah is ever watching and we have to answer Him in the near future!

  6. Dear Usama,

    The Kafirs are not humiliating the Muslims, our attitudes are.

    First of all, the word Kafir should not be used in a derogatory way, that is the wrong thing to do, you deal with every one with respect, that is the thing prophet would like to see in us.

    We don't need a Khalifa, we need governments of people for the people by the people. Any one you pick for Khalifa will turn out to be a wrong guy. Do we have one such person who would respect all Muslims and all humans?

    Dominating the world is an evil thought, we should create a world of co-existence and not dominance. Any one who dominates becomes corrupted, loses the humility and becomes dangerous to oneself and the world.

    A majority of Muslims do not want Khilfa.

    Mike Ghouse



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.