Book publisher ditches right-wing journalist after she insults Prophet

Julie Burchill Pic: BBC

A book publisher has ditched the prominent right-wing journalist Julie Burchill after she insulted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on Twitter. 

In a social media spat with Muslim journalist Ash Sarkar, Telegraph columnist Burchill said her worship of the Prophet was the “worship of a paedophile.”

Addressing Sarker, Burchill said: “Can you please remind me of the age of the Prophet Mohammad’s first wife? Thank you in anticipation.”

She later added: “I don’t WORSHIP a paedophile. If Aisha was nine, YOU do. Lecturer, lecture thyself!”

Sarkar subsequently accused Burchill of Islamophobia, with the exchange shared widely on social media.

Ash Sarkar

Burchill’s book on cancel culture, Welcome to the Woke Trials, had been due to be published by Little, Brown in April.

But Little, Brown said her comments were “not defensible from a moral or intellectual standpoint” and “crossed a line with regard to race and religion.”

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A statement from the company said: “We will no longer be publishing Julie Burchill’s book. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We believe passionately in freedom of speech at Little, Brown and we have always published authors with controversial or challenging perspectives – and we will continue to do so.

“While there is no legal definition of hate speech in the UK, we believe that Julie’s comments on Islam are not defensible from a moral or intellectual standpoint, that they crossed a line with regard to race and religion, and that her book has now become inextricably linked with those views.”

Tweeting today, Burchill, who describes herself as a Christian Zionist, boasted about her cancellation and said she is “excited for imminent events.”

Sarkar said she was appalled by Burchill’s comments, telling the Times: “It was quite upsetting to see that it’s not the first time she’s made derogatory insinuations about my faith.’ She added that she is discussing her option for further action with her lawyers.”

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