As Rosie says, this kind of anticipatory censorship will have its greatest impact, not on western writers like Ophelia and Jeremy who view Islam from the outside, but on 'those who write from within - the liberalisers, the reformers, the feminists, the novelists, the historians. They will write and no one will dare to publish them'.
Does God Hate Women? was due to be published on 4th June and it's available at Amazon, so I assume Continuum recovered their courage at the last minute. You can order the book, and support the freedom to criticise religion, by following the link below.
See Rosie's comment below (and the updated post on her blog) for clarification of what actually happened - i.e. it seems the whole controversy was stirred up by the Sunday Times, looking for a sensational story. It doesn't change the basic point: journalists (like politicians in the Wilders case) now assume that there will be a 'backlash' against any move that 'offends' Muslims, and rent-a-quote fundamentalists are always on hand to oblige, thus creating the very outcry that the media has anticipated.
Second time – please delete the first post.
Thanks for the plug, Martin, but I have to update my post.
This has been on Butterflies and Wheels and I’ve just read about it in Private Eye.
No Muslim nor anyone else had said anything about the book. However, Caroline Toomey of The Sunday Times called the publisher, Continuum, and told him that this book might cause offence. The publisher then called in the “ecumenical adviser” who said the book was okay. Then Caroline Toomey spoke to rent-a-gob for reliable foaming, Anjem Choudary, asking for his response, and of course he said that that there could be “a huge backlash”. This controversy was in fact created by the Sunday Times, which could then report it as a controversy. All my fulminating about internalised censorship was off the mark in this instance.
It's all faintly comical in a way, and more than faintly sinister in another. (Not least because it just adds to the existing view of 'the Muslim community' as easily offended, and in this case that's most unfair, since 'the Muslim community' hadn't uttered a peep on the subject!)
Needless to say, however, I heartily endorse the sentiment in the title.
Post a Comment