Censored! The Banning of My Books

It’s Banned Books Week! Did you know my first novel, THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, has been banned in several countries including Malaysia and, when I went there in 2011, Egypt? Why? Because I wrote about the Prophet Muhammad and his youngest wife, A’isha. Before it was even released, the book spurred an angry demonstration in […]

Let’s take our country back!

Here’s the text of my speech against Islamophobia given at Portland State University Friday, Oct. 29: As the author of two novels about the Prophet Muhammad and his controversial bride A’isha bint Abi Bakr, I know something about hate. I know something about fear. Some people hate me because they think I’m an Islamophobe. Islamophobes […]

Note to Authors: Don’t Do This!

Dear Reader, I am sick of being called an “Orientalist.” As if being interested in another culture were a bad thing. And, as I’ve pointed out ad nauseum, “The Jewel of Medina” doesn’t exoticize the Middle East. To the contrary, readers of my book will find that Muhammad and his followers lived grueling lives of […]

No pain, no gain

The remarkable, fabulous highlights of my life since the controversy over THE JEWEL OF MEDINA catapulted me to fame, or infamy, depending on your point of view.

Controversy sells, so why am I complaining?

Dear Reader, I was thrilled to learn that I had a national TV reporter interested in interviewing me. But when I went to the Seattle, WA, FOX News studio yesterday, I wasn’t so pleased to be facing questions, again, about the controversy around “The Jewel of Medina. As a long-time journalist, I know reporters want […]