Islamic extremists warn of more reprisals if book on prophet is published

September 29th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept.29 (ANI): Islamic extremists have warned of a wave of reprisals over a controversial book about the Prophet Mohammed after the home of its publisher was firebombed. Hard line clerics have said that further attacks would be “inevitable” if publication of the novel, The Jewel of Medina, goes ahead as planned next month. A Telegraph report said that the attack came days after Rynja’’s company, Gibson Square, bought the rights to the book by the American writer Sherry Jones, which has already been likened to Sir Salman Rushdie’’s The Satanic Verses.
The publishers — Random House recently dropped the novel, which focuses on the relationship between Mohammed and his child bride Aisha, from publication in the United States amid fears that it would anger Muslims. Buying the British and Commonwealth rights to the Sherry Jones novel last week, Rynja described it as a “moving love story”.
But the radical cleric Anjem Choudhary said the book was an insult to the Prophet Mohammed’’s honour, something he said would warrant a “death penalty” under Sharia law.
The attack on Rynja’’s home in Lonsdale Square, Islington, north London, came in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Armed police accompanied by firemen broke down the door of the house after flames and smoke were seen.
It is believed officers had been expecting the attack and quickly moved in to arrest two men at the scene while a third was stopped at a nearby London Underground station.
The three men, aged 40, 30 and 22, were being questioned on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism last night.
Choudhary warned of possible further reprisals over the book. “It is clearly stipulated in Muslim law that any kind of attack on his honour carries the death penalty,” he said.
“People should be aware of the consequences they might face when producing material like this. They should know the depth of feeling it might provoke,” he added. Speaking from Lebanon, the radical cleric Omar Bakri, added: “If anybody attacks that man I cannot myself condemn it.”
Rushdie, who was made the subject of a fatwa by the Iranian leader Ayatolla Khomeini ordering his death in 1989 for publishing a “blasphemous” book, has spoken out in defence of The Jewel of Medina and suggested Random House had allowed itself to be intimidated. (ANI)

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