Friday, August 22, 2008

The Triumph of Threats

Our Danish correspondent TB sent us a translation of a Danish newspaper editorial this morning . Here’s what he had to say about it:

This morning I went to read my favorite newspaper, Jyllands-Posten (Denmark’s biggest, as you must know by now), and once again they seem to hit right between the eyes on an actual matter. The editorial is directed at Random House for what they have done recently.

And this is his translation from Jyllands-Posten:

Editorial: The Triumph of Threats

When one of the biggest publishers in the world retreats out of fear of threats that have not even been made yet, one has to say that the forces of darkness have won a great victory.

It is embarrassing beyond imagination, but it is a fact..

The publisher Random House had made a contract with Sherry Jones, a first-time novelist. She was set to publish a novel in two separate parts with the title The Jewel of Medina. The novel has already been written. It is about the wife of the prophet Mohammed, Aisha, who was betrothed to the warlord and prophet as a six-year-old.

When the girl was nine, the marriage was consummated — as is described with a ferocious euphemism. It is the kind of thing that we today — at least in our civilized societies — call paedophilia, molestation, rape, abuse or whatever else comes to mind. In any circumstances it is despicable, and it is punished with long-term prison sentences.

Since all Muslims, relying on revelation, consider the prophet as their ideal role model and strive to do as he did, it is clear that they become somewhat annoyed with overly-detailed descriptions of this grown man’s relationship with a nine-year-old girl.
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We have already seen what Muslim ‘irritability’ can cause: murder, arson, shootings, burning of embassies, ignition of pieces of cloth purporting to imitate the Danish flag every time a TV camera is within sight, boycotts, murder threats, legal proceedings, and concrete plans to murder a Danish artist.

The British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie has experienced the personal costs which may result when one writes a satirical book about some problematic verses in the Koran, the Muslims’ holy book.

A novel and some drawings in a Danish newspaper have caused such a stir in the Muslim world that one of the biggest publishers in the world has pathetically chosen to cancel a contract solely because of anticipated new Muslim ‘offendedness’ and violent reactions.

“The writer has been released from her contract,” it is said in a mendacious rewriting of the fact that it is the publisher who has failed to fulfill its obligations by refusing to publish the book.

It is not imams who have threatened the publisher and caused the breach of contract. It is a group of American academics with Islam as their specialty who have read an advance copy of the novel and subsequently warned against its publication.

One of these academics, Professor Denise Spellberg, supposedly said after having read the novel that it is “hideous, stupid, and pornographic”.

Well, it is quite possible that she is right in that description, but that can hardly be the reason why the publisher has had second thoughts. As we all know, thousands of hideous, stupid, and pornographic books are published every year.

Professor Spellberg has underlined her dissociation from the novel by threatening the publisher with legal proceedings if her name is subsequently connected with “The Jewel of Medina”.

The first part of the novel would have seen the light on August 12, but the publisher chose to postpone the publication “indefinitely”.

Representatives of the publisher are wringing their hands, regretting, and describing the situation as worrisome but necessary.

So far extreme Islamism has prevailed, in that it does not even require sending a bunch of lying imams to the Middle East to incite the minds of the mob with lies and slander. Pathetic, scared American academics first try to compromise a novel that has gained an up-front fee of $100,000, and then subsequently warn against Muslim resentment.

So much for freedom of speech. So much for the free and healthy debate at one of the worlds biggest publishers, who were supposed to live for and by the diffusion of the free word.


Anonymous said...

While I condemn the craveness of Random House and the leaders in the west, I would like to make one point. Child marriages and brides, while contemptible by our current standards, were acceptable in Mohammed's time and still are even in some non Muslim countries. So aren't the people who condemn Mo's child bride marriage guilty of the same sort of presetism PC they despise in others?

X said...

Child marriages were generally child to child. In Hindu culture it's normal to promise two children to each other in a contract, for example, and in most ancient middle-eastern cultures right up to the time of Islam's appearance it was considered normal for girls of around 15 to marry as long as they'd had their first period. That was the key. If they didn't have a period, they didn't marry and were still considered a "child". They didn't generally marry before this age regardless of their menarcheal status.

Nowhere, ever, in the history of the planet has it been considered normal to have sex with a nine year old.

Regardless, the possibility that other cultures might practise the same thing doesn't alter anything. Those cultures would also wrong in that respect.

Anonymous said...

I just sent Random House an email saying that I will not buy Doubleday and Modern Library books but will get them from my library. The freedom of the press is our and their most important freedom. If they don't defend it, they will lose it forever.

Félicie said...

Wow, that's a very brave editorial! I am really impressed.

Jakester, the point is that Mohammed is not just anyone who could have acted according to the moral standards of his time. His status is almost that of Jesus'. He's close to infallible and is the object of emulation. Therefore Mohammed should have acted according to the "absolute" moral standards and not the contingent ones revealed to the people of his time. Abraham could have had slaves and several wives towards whom he could have behaved with inequity, because, as a man, he was imperfect. Jesus could not have been a slave-holder.

Dave in Pa. said...

I'm with knidgskr on this. There is a list of contact-us email addresses for each of the Random House divisions at the Random House website. The URL of the Contact Us page is

I sent an email to all of the RH publishing divisions expressing my disgust at their cowardice and hypocrisy in refusing to protect Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech. I added that I'm letting all my friends and acquaintances know about their despicable behavior and encouraging them to join me in ceasing to buy Random House-published books.

Joanne said...

Cultures used to sacrifice children to idol Gods, but because it was practiced didn't and doesn't make it right.

Hit Random House in the pocket book, and they will come around.

Mohammed was a pedophile and when non-muslims or muslims point this fact out, muslims throw a hissy-fit. How dare people point out the fact that Mohammed had sex with children. Everyone knows it, but to point it out is somehow taboo. Practicing muslims know having sex with children is sick and plain immoral, so when it is pointed out that their Mohammed, who they revere was a pervert, they have no alternative but to get mad, because if they actually did the right thing, and tossed Mohammed into the gutter where he belongs, their whole belief system would take a drastic turn and they would be forced to turn away from Islam - heaven forbid!

If I knew Jesus Christ had sex with children, which he certainly did not, I could not follow his teachings and would think little of him. If muslims actually face up to the fact that having sex with children is immoral, they will have to reject Mohammed as their prophet. Instead muslims embrace the practice of having sex with children and perpetuate the perversion. Mohammed basically gave permission for muslim men to practice pedophilia without any religious or societal ramifications in the teachings of Islam. Just like it is okay for Muslims to commit many acts according to their Islamic teachings believed to be sins by other religions. The teachings of Islam are the total opposite of Christianity - only hate, no love respectively.

Joanne said...

I should make that 'only hate, no love.'

laine said...

Boy, it didn't take much effort on Muslims' part to get total dhimmitude by the West. The dim and dhimmi leftist American university prof does their work for them by instructing the giant publisher to censor pre-emptively so nothing offensive crosses the eyeballs of Muslims who are, shall we say, touchy and incendiary about these things?

One riot after the Danish cartoons, that's all it took to whip the West into abject shape.

No wonder Muslims are triumphalist.