No good deed goes unpunished. I believe …

No good deed goes unpunished. I believe in free speech, which means that people have the right to publish whatever they want about Islam and Muslims without fear of censorship and/or violence, but also that Muslims have the right (and responsibility) to comment vigorously on any writings about them or Islam, so long as they do not resort to the aforementioned censorship and/or violence.

It was in that spirit that I forwarded an inquiry regarding the book “Jewel of Medina” on a private email list. Unfortunately, nothing is private these days, and the mail got circulated around various lists until it reached the publisher, who promptly pulled the book. You can read all about it here at the Wall Street Journal. As was the case with “The Satanic Verses” and the Danish cartoons, the best Muslim response is civil speech in return, and that should have been the case for this book.