Monday, September 29, 2008

Moore Questions for Sherry Jones

There was a firebombing in Central London a few days ago, a terrorist incident, albeit one on a small scale. But there was not much in the news about it. That's why I refer to it here. Perhaps reporters and editors are too scared to report it. They should be.

The house attacked was that of Martin Rynja, and his company was considering publication of the novel The Jewel of Medina by the author Sherry Jones, who I have mentioned before. After the attack, and the usual bunch of religious "scholars" jumping onto the fiery bandwagon, it would not surprise me if Martin was intimidated into withdrawing publication. The terrorists will win.

It is not only a perceived insult to an imaginary deity that is being suppressed here, it is the asking of questions. The book may well present a sympathetic picture of the child's relationship to the prophet, or it may not. But as with any other aspect of history, can't we examine it, research it, picture it, question it?

Which actions of ancient leaders are role models for appropriate behaviour for today? What constitutes child abuse? Why do some people believe that entire chapters of particular books are literally true? If someone claims to receive the ultimate word of God, why should we believe him?

Those were just questions. But what are the answers?

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