Serbian NGOs protest against the withdrawal of Jewel of Medina

Other News Materials 26 August 2008 21:51 (UTC +04:00)

Several Serbian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) protested on Tuesday against the withdrawal from sale of the controversial book, Jewel of Medina, written by American author Sherry Jones, dpa reported.

Publisher Beobook last week pulled the book from the shelves following protests by the Islamic community and Muslim party in Serbia.

"Islamic community in Serbia cannot order what one can read," a statement signed by eight NGOs said.

"We remind the Islamic community that art works can be judged only by the critics and the public, and no one religion has the right to censorship or to scare writers, publishers and readers with threats of divine punishment," it said.

Jewel of Medina describes the Muslim Prophet Mohammed's relationship with his favourite wife, Aisha.

Serbia's Muslim leaders have strongly protested the publication of the book, accusing Beobook of desecrating Mohammed and his family.

The Serbian translation was to be the first worldwide following the publication of the book in the US.

US publisher Random House withdrew the book from the US market at the beginning of the month following protests from Muslims.