Censorship or Safety?

Salman Rushdie called it censorship, and so did many others. When Random House dropped The The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones earlier this year, a tirade of criticism was unleashed. How can you drop a book, the critics said, just because you think it might offend some people? Random House said the book might potentially incite violence from certain members of the Islamic community. So what, we said? How can you NOT publish this book?

Unfortunately, the scenario that Random House was trying to avoid actually played out two nights ago, when the home and headquarters of the book’s British publisher, Martin Rynja, was firebombed.

Although Martin probably did not expect such consequences, still we have to admire a person who will take this kind of risk for the sake of allowing others to be heard (or read).


Author: Hannah Johnson

When I first came to New York City, I almost ran over Liza Minelli with my suitcase. Then I got a job in book publishing.

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