Biljana Janjic's Reviews > The Jewel of Medina

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones
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it was ok

this book was censored/banned in my country (Serbia) when it was published and this was the only reason to read it. there was a great fuss and public outburst because of the censorship, so, luckily (and I mean luckily for my country's attempts to be democratic, not because of the book's quality), the book was very soon in the bookstores and libraries again. so, the Islam mashihat lost this game in my country. I've already read several books about Aisha and Muhammad - most of them written by Western orientalists, so "The Jewel of Medina" was not very interesting to me (in the sense of events, characters, historical developments etc), but I found it touching to learn about the young girl attempting to grow into adult woman before it was her time, to come to terms with finding where the line between something she calls "love" and real life is. There is no romance in this book (it was promoted as a love story) - there is only sad story about women's treatment in 7th century, which does not differ from the one today. I liked the author's description and Aisha's initial feelings about having sex, which is brilliantly written and I felt I was dreading with her at every page. Young girl thinking as a every child, but experiencing life of a woman. so sad. basically, that's the only thing I liked in the book.
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Finished Reading
July 29, 2009 – Shelved

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message 1: by Amanda Francis (new)

Amanda  Francis Why was it banned Biljana?

Biljana Janjic Well, it happened in 2008 and it was not officially banned/censored by the government, but after strong public and political opposition of one Muslim community fraction, the publisher decided to withdraw all the copies from bookshops. Strangely, the government did not say anything about it because it wanted to keep distance from religious disputes. The Muslim community thought the book was violating their religious feelings, especially the fact that the Western author was writing about the love and sex relationship between Mohammed and Aisha in a "brutal" and "pornographic" manner which was "in contrast to Muslim values and pure image of Aisha in Islam". Of course, the readers were then even more interested in reading the book. After many public discussions and debates about freedom of expression, artistic expression and copyright, the book was again in the bookshops. And it became bestseller in 2008.

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