Muhammad novel publisher undeterred by firebomb attack

Martin Rynja expected to publish the Jewel of Medina in October despite attack on his home

Detail from the cover of The Jewel of Medina

Detail from the cover of The Jewel of Medina, due to be published by Gibson Square in October

The publisher whose home was targeted in a firebomb attack on Saturday is understood to be going ahead with putting out a controversial novel about the child bride of Muhammad next month, despite this weekend’s events.

London-based Gibson Square acquired journalist Sherry Jones’s novel The Jewel of Medina earlier this month after Random House US dropped the novel following warnings that it could provoke terrorist actions from radical Muslims.

On Saturday, what is believed to have been a petrol bomb was thrown through the doorway of publisher Martin Rynja’s home in Islington’s Lonsdale Square, which doubles as the offices for Gibson Square. Three men have since been detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

But spokesman Michael Wright said that plans to publish The Jewel of Medina on October 30 in the UK and October 15 in the US were still in place, although Jones’s US publisher Beaufort Books has closed its offices today as a precautionary measure. “They [Beaufort Books] are meeting with local law enforcement. They have not received any threats but it’s as a precautionary measure,” said Wright. “There is no change in the publication date of October 30 in the UK – as far as I know they’re moving forward with that.”

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