Nongovernmental Organizations Demand That The Jewel of Medina Book Be Brought Back to Readers
By pressuring the Beobuk publisher to withdraw the book: The Jewel of Medina and by requesting an apology and repentance, the Islamic Community in Serbia has prescribed what books must not be read, thus violating every citizen’s right to freely make their own judgment.
We would like to remind the Islamic Community in Serbia that a literary work or any other work of art is subject to criticism and public judgment only and no religion should have the right to censor and threaten writers, publishers, and readers with God’s punishment.
We are demanding that the book be brought back to readers who have the right to judge for themselves the value of the book. We expect the Islamic Community to apologize to all citizens of Serbia [and the World] for trying to endanger the freedom of opinion and expression. We stress that certain limitations are allowed if a book calls for violence, discrimination, racism, war crimes, which can be established in a proper procedure in a very limited number of cases.
The Jewel of Medina follows the life of the seventh wife of prophet Mohammed, Aisha bint Abu Bakr, from her betrothal to the Prophet of Islam when she was six years old. After the book written by Sherry Jones was published in the US, there was a tense discussion on the freedom of speech following the cancellation of the book promotion in May 2008 because Denise Spellberg, a Professor at the University of Texas and expert on Islam and the Early Medieval period, evaluated the novel as a potential threat to national security.
Women in Black
Centre for Cultural Decontamination
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUKOM)
Belgrade Centre for Human Rights
Coalition for Tolerance Against Hate Crime Koalicija za toleranciju protiv zločina mržnje
Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR)