You can't? Says who in our free-speech world?
Says Islam in our formerly free-speech world. (That's what I mean about how much our times have changed.) Whether Spellberg is herself a Muslim isn't clear, but she certainly went on the warpath (jihadpath?) over this bodice-ripper (burqa-ripper?), activating a chain of Muslim bloggers and Web sites that spread the word, as one Islamic Web site put it, about a "new attempt to slander the Prophet of Islam." Soon, there was a "seven-point strategy" online to ensure "the writer withdraws this book" and apologizes to "Muslims across the world."
But that turned out to be unnecessary. Spellberg also e-mailed her editor at Random House -- did I mention Spellberg has a contract with another Random House imprint to write a book called "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an"? -- labeling the Jones novel nothing less than "a declaration of war," "a national security issue," and "far more controversial" than either "The Satanic Verses" or the Danish cartoons. She said the book should be withdrawn "ASAP."
And so it was after Random House consulted "security experts and Islam scholars" -- possibly the same ones who urged the U.S. government never again to use the words "Islamic" or "jihad," but I digress. Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said the company received "cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some of the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."
So, Perry, by all means, just give in to this thuggish blackmail. In fact, why not just stop publishing altogether?
It's too late to ask Solzhenitsyn for his opinion of this capitulation by our elites. But then again he already offered it long ago.
"Should one point out," he asked, "that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end"?