The lawyer who was threatened by terrorists whilst acting for Salman Rushdie has said that Random House US should pay “substantial compensation” to Sherry Jones, whose novel about Muhammad’s child bride Aisha was dropped by the publisher over fears it could provoke terrorist attacks. Jones’s The Jewel of Medina was described as potentially more controversial than both Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses and the Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammad.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, whose latest book The Tyrannicide Brief is published by Random House US and who was under terrorist threat whilst acting for Rushdie, said: “We can’t be overcritical of American publishers for cowering under terrorist threats. After all, the Guardian, like every other British newspaper, lacked the gumption to publish the Danish cartoons. But all who care about free speech have a duty to make this sort of censorship counterproductive. Random House should pay this author substantial compensation, and the book should be placed on a website so everyone can read it.”