And another thing. Thomas Perry of Random House said, we are told, that Random House received ‘cautionary advice’ that the publication of the Aisha novel ‘might be offensive to some in the Muslim community’ – he said this in partial explanation of Random House’s decision not to publish it. But that’s imbecilic. It’s beyond imbecilic – it’s deranged – it’s surreal – it’s self-nullifying. It is not possible to write anything that ‘might’ not be offensive to ‘some’ in the X ‘community.’ In fact it’s all but certain that anything anyone writes will be offensive to ‘some’ in some ‘community.’ The condition of writing and publication is not and cannot be and must not be not being potentially offensive to ‘some’ – because that condition would rule out everything. Every single thing. There would be nothing left. Life would be a desert. The only alternative to the risk of offending ‘some’ is complete nullity. That’s too high a price to pay. If we want to be able to think and talk and write at all – and we do – we have to take the risk of offending ‘some.’

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