Posted: 28 Sep 2008 12:16 PM CDT
Scotland Yard has foiled an alleged attempt by Islamic extremists to assassinate Dutch publisher Martin Rynja, because of his intention to publish a controversial novel featuring Muhammad and his child bride Aisha.
TimesOnline reports that undercover officers from Scotland Yard's counter-terrorist command arrested three men after they put a firebomb through the door at the home of Martin Rynja.
According to officials the motive behind the alleged plot was because Rynja's publishing firm, Gibson Square, is preparing to publish a romantic novel about Aisha, child bride of the Prophet Muhammad.
The book is called Jewel of Medina and it was withdrawn from publication last month by Random House because they feared a violent reaction by "a small radical segment" of Muslims after receiving information saying the book could incite violence.
Random House reacted after Islamic scholars objected to its contents, saying it treated the wife of the Prophet as a sex object. One of them, Denise Spellberg, of the University of Texas at Austin, described the novel as "soft-core pornography", referring to a scene in which Muhammad consummates his marriage to Aisha. She called it "a declaration of war" and a "national security issue".
The author of the book, Sherry Jones, received death threats after Random House withdrew the book from publication, yet she maintains the book is not disrespectful to Islam, saying, "Anyone who reads the book will not be offended. I wrote the book with the utmost respect for Islam."
After Random House withdrew, Gibson Square evidently agreed to publish the book and the Metropolitan police were tipped off with information saying Martin Rynja would be the target of an attack.
After receiving the tip, the police then went undercover and started following the suspected terror gang arresting them after they put a "petrol bomb" through the door of Rynja's north London home.
The fire brigade smashed down the front door and put the fire out and the undercover police arrested three men who are alleged to have been responsible for the attempted murder plot.
A Met spokesman said three men had been arrested in "a preplanned intelligence-led operation" at about 2.25am on Saturday.
It is believed that Rynja is now under police guard.
Sherry Jones' agent Natasha Kern, expressed shock when she learned of the attack and said the book had been "misinterpreted by its critics and did not contain sex scenes," further stating, "I honestly believe that if people read the book they will see it is not disrespectful of Muhammad, and moderate Muslims will not be offended. I don't want anyone to risk their lives but we could never imagine that there would be some madmen who would do something like this. I'm so sad about this act of terrorism. Moderate Muslims will suffer because of a few radicals."
When asked whether she thought the book should be withdrawn as Random House had done, she replied, "That's up to Martin, and I still need to absorb the fact that he was at risk. I'm just so glad he has not been hurt."
The Jewel of Medina is scheduled to be published next month.
Posted: 28 Sep 2008 09:59 AM CDT
YouTube URL of the video above found here.
There has been much said about Barack Obama's "I have a bracelet too" moment from the first presidential debate in Mississippi, but NewsBusters brings us yet more in showing people that according to the father of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, the name of the fallen soldier on the bracelet that Barack Obama wore during the Mississippi debate, the soldier's mother, Tracy Jopek, had asked him to stop wearing the bracelet and using her son's name as a campaign issue.
On a Wisconsin Public Radio, Route 51, the host of the show, Glenn Moberg, asked Ryan's father Brian Jopek, what he and his ex-wife thought about Barack Obama wearing the bracelet the grieving mother had given to him, on the campaign trail.
That was back in March.
Many candidates speak to the parents and family members of fallen soldiers and receive gifts from them. I have seen Bush use a pen to veto a supplemental bill with it because the gold star father, Robert Derga, (parent that has lost a child) asked him to. I have seen the bracelet on John McCain's wrist and I have seen parents ask their story to be told and their child remembered publicly.
There is nothing wrong with honoring the fallen, just as there nothing wrong with Obama wearing a gift he was given by a supporter as Tracy Jopek is.....unless he is ignoring her request that it remain a private gift and to ignore her asking him to stop using her son as a campaign issue....is as disrespectful as one can get to family that has lost a loved one in service to America.
You can download and listen to the radio interview with Mr. Jopek here, it is at approximately the 10 minute mark.
Additional thought: Now the mother, Tracy, is in a spot, because people will be asking her about this. Since she is an Obama supporter, I wonder if she will give him some political cover and say she changed her mind in the last months?
Would he go as far as to ask her to do that?
Posted: 27 Sep 2008 12:42 PM CDT
Legendary film actor Paul Newman died at the age of 83, on Friday after suffering with cancer.
You can see more about Newman and his career here.
Just a few memories which stick out in my mind when I think of Newman.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford in "The Sting" (1973)
Newman in "Cool Hand Luke" (1967)
Redford and Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969)
"The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972)
Newman and Tom Cruise in "The Color Of Money" (1986)
There are so many movies, appearances and shows that Paul Newman did but those are a few of my favorites.
More at Market Watch, CNN and NYT.
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