London, Oct.10 : The launch of controversial novel The Jewel of Medina about the Prophet Mohammed has been postponed. Its American writer, Sherry Jones, has also delayed a three-day publicity tour of the UK for her book scheduled for next week, reports The Telegraph.
The novel focuses on Mohammed's relationship with his child bride Aisha but has been dismissed by one academic as "soft core pornography".
The Jewel of Medina was due to be released by Gibson Square Publishers this month but two weeks ago the home of Martin Rynja, who works for the publishing house, was targeted in a suspected petrol bomb attack.
Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas, was quoted in the US media as saying the Jewel of Medina took "sacred history" and turned it into "soft core pornography".
A spokesman for Gibson Square Publishers said today: "We respect Sherry Jones's decision. In her view the best thing to do is to postpone her visit and the publishing of the novel in Britain. Gibson Square specializes in publishing books related to current affairs.
Recent works include Blowing Up Russia, by Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident poisoned with polonium-210 in London in 2006, and Melanie Phillips's Londonistan, which examines Islamic extremism in the capital.