One of the more farcical claims that Democrats have leveled against Governor Sarah Palin is that as mayor, she “banned” books from the Wasilla, Alaska public library. The claim was a complete fabrication, and anyway, a mayor has no power to “ban” a book. Suppressing a work of literature in our time requires something quite different:
Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorist command yesterday foiled an alleged plot by Islamic extremists to kill the publisher of a forthcoming novel featuring sexual encounters between the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride.
Early yesterday armed undercover officers arrested three men after a petrol bomb was pushed through the door of the north London home of the bookâ€™s publisher.
The Metropolitan police said the target of the assassination plot, the Dutch publisher Martin Rynja, had not been injured. …
Security officials believe Rynja was targeted for assassination because his firm, Gibson Square, is preparing to publish a romantic novel about Aisha, child bride of the Prophet Muhammad. The Jewel of Medina, by the first-time American author Sherry Jones, describes an imaginary sex scene between the prophet and his 14-year-old wife.
The book’s American publisher, Random House, was not so bold:
It was withdrawn from publication in America last month after its publisher there, Random House, said it feared a violent reaction by â€œa small radical segmentâ€ of Muslims. It said â€œcredible and unrelated sourcesâ€ had warned that the book could incite violence.
That’s how you go about suppressing a book. No one seems to mind much, though, when the real thing happens.
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