Random House scared to tackle Muhammad.
At least you can still write about the act of writing about Muhammad.
Praise Allah for the Internet. You don’t have to browse the Wall Street Journal‘s opinion pages to find Asra Q. Nomani‘s August 6 op-ed piece, “You Still Can’t Write About Muhammad.”
It’s about Random House being too afraid to make a prophet:
It’s not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book. The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.
Random House feared the book would become a new Satanic Verses, the Salman Rushdie novel of 1988 that led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book’s Japanese translator, among other horrors. In an interview about Ms. Jones’s novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it “disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now.” He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received “from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”
After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided “to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.”
Note to other writers: This has nothing to do with Random House deciding not to publish you. Your manuscript sucks.