Despite a firebomb attack on his home in London, British publisher Martin Rynja is not dropping his plans to publish The Jewel Of Medina, a controversial novel by Sherry Jones about A’isha, a wife of the prophet Muhammad. Rynja’s brave stance on the issue is not shared by everyone associated with the book — its original American publisher, Random House, had already canceled its publication for fear of a negative response from Muslim extremists, though it has since been picked up by Beaufort Books. Due to advance warning, no one was injured in the attack on Rynja’s home, which doubles as the headquarters for his publishing house, Gibson Square, and four men charged with the attack have been arrested by British authorities.
According to Jones, much of the pre-release trouble surrounding the book can be pinned on Islamic studies professor Denise Spellberg, who has described the book as “soft core pornography” and gave it a bad spin when she warned the publishers that the novel would inflame terrorist groups. Even though there is fear that more violence is imminent, The Jewel Of Medina remains scheduled for an October 15 release date.