Remember the Wall Street Journal op-ed we told you about, in which it was explained how one hysterical American professor of Islamic studies, Denise Spellberg, "warned" Random House that the novel they were about to publish about the life of Muhammad's wife Aisha maybe might incite widespread violence, just like Rushie's Satanic Verses or something! Cowed, Random House decided not to publish due to the "terrorist" non-threat. Professor Spellberg wrote to the WSJ this weekend, explaining that "I didn't kill [Sherry Jones's] Jewel of Medina":
That's technically true: Random House's ignorance killed Jewel of Medina. They're ultimately the ones to blame for the backwardness here. But Spellberg certainly didn't help, as publication was ticking along just fine before she chimed in:
"I never had this power, nor did I single-handedly stop the book's publication. Random House made its final decision based on the advice of other scholars, conveniently not named in the article, and based ultimately on its determination of corporate interests... I felt it my duty to warn the press of the novel's potential to provoke anger among some Muslims.
...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."
What self-promotion! Have we mentioned that Spellberg is also under contract for a book at Knopf—an imprint of Random House?
"The same company that decided it wasn't ready to publish a novel about Muhammad's wife this month had no problems releasing David Ebershoff's The 19th Wife, a novel narrated in part by the real-life ex-wife of Brigham Young, who was excommunicated from the church and became a vocal critic of its polygamous practices."