I was lucky, and was able to go see author Sherry Jones who wrote the controversial book "The Jewel of Medina". She spoke at Carroll College in Helena, the 4th of December.
Sherry is a Novelist, journalist and once was an Independent Record Reporter, and a Montanan.
The publishing company Random House, self censored themselves and dropped plans for printing Jones' book because they were told “The Jewel of Medina” would offend Muslims and could “incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”
Sherry was informed that a sorce within academics told them that it would be a "declaration of war" because the same person claimed the book as soft porn.
This book controversy has been compared to the Salman Rushdie's, “The Satanic Verses.” He is calling Random House’s action “censorship by fear.” This is no known fatwa for Sherry, maybe that is only for heretics within the faith.
It was only after Random house backed out, that a fire was started at the book’s publisher in Great Britain. They responded by postponing the publication in the U.K. But, Sherry told us that her book has been published in Serbia. She said a cleric there also called the book pornograhic and insisted it was pulled from the shelves and turned over to him. But, by the time the stores opened the next business day, they were sold out. Yeah!
The book is now for sale in the U.S. and in other countries such as Germany, Denmark and Italy. Another 20 publishers worldwide have shown interest.
Sherry has written a historical, fictional story that may have a profound impact with women in the Eastern world. Becasue of this, there were two security guards at the book signing for her protection. When asked if she was afraid she said No. She said we all die eventually. Nothing has happended so far, and she doesn't expect it will.
The story is about A’isha bint Abi Bakr, Muhammad's youngest wife. I have only just started to read the book myself. It's too early to tell if I like it or not. I'm not a snobby reader, so I'm sure it will be a fine read. Sherry says her book is over 90 percent historically accurate. I like that. It took her five years of research to fill out the story, since there is next to nothing written about women of the past in the middle east. Not much better the western world. Men dominate history. Therefore this book is a feministic look back.
Her next book will continue the story of Aisha after Mohammad's death and the civil strife that followed.
Sherry has been called evil names by both American's who are anti-Muslim and the usuall suspects from the Muslim community. When asked if she found any conficts with her religious beliefs and those she wrote about. (I found it strange when the host pointed out to her that "father" so and so was in the room. Carol is a Catholic Collage) She said no, she then stated she had been very religious as a youth until her twenties and now she believes "God is Love".
I sat there and blinked, and then it hit me! Cool! If it's true, because we atheists are told over and over again God is Love, so I thought. turn it around and that means Love is God therefore God is only a feeling, a human emotion and nothing more. Now I get how liberals see God. Rose colored glasses anyone?