You Still Can't Write About Muhammad

An interesting editorial in the Wall Street Journal discusses the problems of writing about Muhammad and Islam. "You Still Can't Write About Muhammad" By ASRA Q. NOMANI, Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2008; Page A15. "Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha's life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of "The Jewel of Medina" -- a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet's harem. 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." Read more about it at: <a href=""></a>


There are several biographies of Aisha (aka A'ishah, Ayesha, 'A'isha, or 'Aisha, Turkish Ay?e), the third wife of the Prophet. See the wikipedia entry: for one of them.
Of the fifteen or so wives Mohammed had during his life, Aisha was his favorite and she was the only virgin he ever married. According to several haditha, she was six years old when she was betrothed to Mohammed, and nine years old when he consumated the marriage with her when the Prophet was 54 years old.
When the Prophet died after his last illness, his head was in her lap.
A good story about her life would be interesting and enlightening about Islam and Sharia. It is sad that it will never be published.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

This Denise Spellberg sounds like a nutjob. And she's a professor? What person of intelligence would say that such a book is a "declaration of war" because it had a sex scene she didn't like? And I still don't get her reasoning why "The Last Temptation of Christ" was okay, but this book is not.

It is a historical novel first of all which is why it was sent to a professor of history for review- and if someone twisted religious history in a disrespectful way just to make a buck- any religious group be it Christian or Jewish would also say something. Denise has the right to do what was asked of him- to critique a work...and now we are bashing him because we don't agree with his professional opinion??? Also, there are academically sound nonfiction books about the life of Aisha- if you guys really want to learn some history go read those books.

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