Author said goal was to expose Muhammad's feminist underpinnings
Sep 23, 2008
Random House is defending its decision to pull a new novel that explores the personal life of the Prophet Muhammad, citing concerns about offending Muslims and inciting violence.
The New York–based publishing giant consulted with security experts and Islamic scholars before halting publication of The Jewel of Medina, which was scheduled to hit stores August 12.
Sherry Jones, the book’s author, has said her goal was to expose the feminist underpinnings of Islam’s founder by offering details of his relationships with women. The novel traces the life of A’isha, one of Muhammad’s wives.
Jones and Random House agreed to the termination in May. Controversy flared over that agreement after it was criticized in an August 6 Wall Street Journal column. Under the agreement, Jones will be allowed to shop her book to other publishers.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).