Lenin’s Tomb on the Jewel of Medina controversy:
“The mundane truth is that one publisher protected its reputation by postponing and then cancelling publication of a putatively offensive anti-Muslim novel, while another intends to build on its reputation by publishing said material…. Despite the energetic efforts of polemicists and hacks to produce a dense collage of imagery and associations whose total effect is to incriminate Muslims in particular as an egregious threat to free expression, this is not about courage or Enlightenment or ethics, but about strategies for conquering market share. As far as I know, neither publisher has been the recipient of a legal threat, and the current publisher is protected by the state in the unlikely event that a handful of sad young arsonists tries to burn his house down again.
“There has not been any censorship worth the name. If there were to be censorship, perhaps in the form of a legal challenge to prevent publication, then there would be an argument. And if a court decided that the book was actually in violation of the law – unlikely given the law’s bias against Muslims – one could then talk about whether censorship was justified, what the limits on free speech should be, etc. As it is, 99% of this melodrama has been concocted by overheated imaginations.”