Random House won't publish Islamic novel

August 13, 2008

NEW YORK (UPI) -- The U.S. publishing giant Random House said its Ballantine Books won't publish as planned Sherry Jones's Islamic-themed historical novel "The Jewel of Medina."

The book was expected to hit stores Tuesday.

The New York Times quoted the company as saying it opted not to release the novel because it was afraid it "could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."

The publishing house had described the 432-page work of fiction as "a fascinating portrait of A'isha, child bride of the prophet Muhammad, who overcame great obstacles to reach her full potential as a woman and a leader."

However, Random House spokeswoman Carol Schneider told The Times the company requested the book's publication "be postponed indefinitely" after talking to experts and receiving unsolicited advice.

"We thought it was not a good time, with tensions running as high as they do, to publish this," Schneider said.

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