With apologies to this person, I just got off of a call in which I was told that the “Jewel of Medina” has found a UK publisher as also reported by the Guardian.
The person who told me, a prominent Muslim American activist, is trying to formulate a response plan & would love your input. She anticipates a “Satanic Verses + Danish Cartoon” level controversy. She was thinking of having Muslim women writers present a range of views on this.
I thought having scholars and people of faith (drawing from all religious traditions) speak to balancing the responsibilities and the freedoms of speech would also be helpful so that it didn’t just look like “Only Muslims get pissed about this issue.” Respect for religious figures and artistic license is something all people of faith grapple with to some degree.
I also suggested that an artistic response celebrating the lives of the Prophet, Hazrat Ali & Hazrat Aisha, and, in particular, highlighting Sunni-Shia partnerships in art or other areas would be useful. She said these figures and relationships were denigrated in the book. She has an advance copy, which she said she read with “liberal eyes” and was still horrified by.
Any other ideas of what kind of response could be given if this does go forward so as to mitigate the “raging Muslims” depiction?
I realize that because the book hasn’t been published or read by most of us, it’s hard to articulate specific responses, but some general PR/media ideas would be helpful.
During the cartoon crisis, one image stood out for me: A Muslim man sitting outside of a Danish embassy painting a beautiful picture of the Virgin Mary in response to the cartoons. I would love to see a response like that, a good action in turn for a bad, articulated for this.