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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Off Topic: Random House Does not Know the Meaning of Publishing or Freedom of the Press

Publishing is all about freedom. Freedom of thought. Freedom of the written word. Liberty. You know, that dying concept that is withering all around us with speech codes and "hate-speech" laws.

Comes now the news that Random House has pulled Sherry Jones' The Jewel of Medina, a novel about Mohammad's wife. It was supposed to be published on August 12. The advance was paid, all work done, and advance galleys sent for review. But then a hard-Leftist PC instructor at a university in Texas let the publisher know that the book might "be offensive to some in the Muslim community" and "could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment." Random House melted and pulled the book.

Let me see if I understand. Because a few 7th Century throwbacks who want to drag the Western world back to the medieval times, treat women and gays like cattle or worse, and cut heads off those who do not think like them might not like what someone else writes, the best thing to do is to . . . stifle our own speech so we don't offend them? That will work.

First Amendment? Freedom of speech? Whoever made this decision at Random House is a bloody coward and should be fired.

Soviet dissedent Alexander Solzenitzen was right. After spending many years in the Western world (USA and Europe), he was asked about a single dominating characteristic of our world. His answer: "A decline in moral courage."

Irshad Manji is not a coward. For her insightful view by a Muslim reformer, see her website and read her book The Trouble with Islam.

(sigh) Back to the Civil War. (Thanks to my daughter for bringing this to my attention.)

--tps

2 comments:

J David Petruzzi said...

Amen, Ted. I'm sure Random House wouldn't have pulled a book that may have been perceived as "offensive" to Christians, Jews, or insurance salesman.

Cowards indeed. In many segments of our society some folks need to grow a pair.

J.D. Petruzzi

Kevin said...

The irony of publishing!

No religious belief has been attacked as Christianity was by the Da Vinci Code, yet instead of protesters lining up in St. Peter's Square, customers overwhelmed booksellers and later movie theaters.

Mysterious ways indeed!