Did I say "tripe"?
Having just read the prologue of "The Jewel of Medina" online, I hearby apologize to all stomachs and entrails of oxen or similar animals. But everything else still goes--just hold your nose.
From the original story in the Wall Street Journal, we got only a snippet
The pain of consummation soon melted away. Muhammad was so gentle. I hardly felt the scorpion's sting. To be in his arms, skin to skin, was the bliss I had longed for all my life.
On the one hand, those among us who are not devotees of the disposable romance novel groaned and even hooted over this prose. But there is also something decidedly unfunny in this mawkishly idealized scene of what a Western court of law could only describe as child rape given the bride in question was, according to numerous Islamic accounts, 9 years old.
Andrew Bostom provides the sobering corrective here by citing chapter and verse of the hadith sources of this sacralized pedophilia along with a chilling update on the tragic reality of Islamic child marriage in Britain as reported by the Guardian in 2004.
From The Jewel of Medina's prologue, we get a better sense of book's style as "Ali" tries to persuade "Mohammed" to divorce "Aisha"--now a matron of 14 (question--did they have "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you" divorce back then?):
...As I slipped away again I heard Ali's voice, urgent and low.
“Think of the umma, how delicate its weave,” he said. “A scandal like this could tear it apart. You must act now, cousin. Send her back to Abu Bakr for good.”
“Divorce my A'isha?” Muhammad’s laugh sounded nervous and faint. “I would just as soon cut out my own heart.”
“She’s tainted,” Ali said -- increasing my hatred for him with each word. “You need to distance yourself from her before this scandal marks you, also. Many men in this town would love to see you fall.”
Muhammad slowly pulled his hand from my grasp, leaving me to drift alone on my sea of fears.
“Can’t you see it?” Ali pressed. “I know you can. Then why do you look so
worried? Wives are easily acquired. You will find another child-bride....”
To be continued (or not)....
That is, maybe another house will pick the book up, or maybe not. Probably not. In fact, don't hold your breath. And while the Western world will undoubtedly survive without this particular literary effort, its freedom undoubtedly will not survive with what is left in its place--Western fear of offending Islam.