The decision by publisher Random House to pull a book about the prophet Mohammed's wife Aisha is causing a stir in literary circles.
Sherry Jones' The Jewel of Medina is said to be a fictionalised account of a story well-known in the Islamic world, about a girl who was promised to the prophet when she was six years old and went on to become known as his "favourite" wife.
Texan academic Denise Spellberg tells the Wall Street Journal that the book turns the "sacred story" of Aisha's life into "soft core pornography".
"This is a work that absolutely stopped at nothing in order to desecrate something that all Muslims hold sacred," says Serbian Mufti Muamer Zukorlic, comparing it to the Danish cartoons of Mohammed that sparked violent protests in 2006.
At Islamonline.net, Marwa Elnaggar reviews the book and says it's an unrecognisable version of the well-known and well-documented story:
Yet given all its inaccuracies, its faults, and its biases, should publication of The Jewel of Medina be stopped? By all means, it should not, and it most probably won't be. The hullabaloo that was created by Random House's decision will also guarantee that the novel's publishers have their marketing work cut out for them.
"It's jumping the gun, really it is. I mean there have been no threats issued so far, so they're just saying, 'in case there is'. It's self-censoring and it's a timid response."
Blogging at The Australian, Janet Albrechtsen agrees:
Notice how we no longer wait for actual death threats or violence to erupt, as was the case with Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and the Danish cartoons, before we chisel back the right to freedom of expression? Now our western sensitivities lead us to anticipatory surrender - just in case.
Rushdie has spoken out too, saying the decision sets a "very bad precedent indeed".
What's your take on the controversy?