Press Releases

NY Bookstore Pressured to Drop Reading by Palestinian Author


(NEW YORK, NY, 5/21/07) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today expressed concern about an apparent attempt to block a reading by a Palestinian author at a bookstore in that state.

CAIR-NY has contacted Barnes & Noble about this issue. A news release issued today by the author’s agent stated:

“The previously announced book reading and signing of THE SCAR OF DAVID by Susan Abulhawa originally scheduled for Thursday, May 24, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. at the Bayside, N.Y., Barnes & Noble has been reduced to a “book signing” with no reading to occur.

“In explaining its reasoning, Barnes & Noble expressed several concerns including ‘sensitivity’ to the Jewish Community, space limitations of the store and the author’s safety. Prior to the event at Barnes & Noble, Ms. Abulhawa is also expected to appear at Kingsboro Community College (Brooklyn – 4:15-5PM) where THE SCAR OF DAVID was required reading in a literature course this semester.

“The Scar of David is a work of historic fiction which reveals the untold brutal history of Israel’s Occupation of a nation as also depicted by the recently released PALESTINE, Peace Not Apartheid by former USA President Jimmy Carter. Set in the lap of one of the 20th century’s most intractable political conflicts, through the course of this story, a Palestinian boy grows up as a Jewish Israeli, tangled in a truth he cannot reconcile, a would-be suicide bomber is given a name, a face, and life of a man pushed to grave limits, an Arab girl of pious and humble beginnings lives the ‘American Dream,’ and a nation of destitute refugees is forced to live under the general label of ‘terrorists.’

“A review by Library Journal states: ‘While some readers might see this novel as anti-Semitic, it is not. Indeed, Abulhawa goes to great lengths to highlight the universal desire of all people for a homeland. Furthermore, Abulhawa’s compassion for American victims of 9/11 and for
those who suffered in the Holocaust illuminates what it means to be humane and spiritually generous. The Pennsylvania-based Abulhawa, herself Palestinian, has
crafted an intensely beautiful fictionalized history that should be read by both politicians and those interested in contemporary politics. Highly recommended.’ More reviews and a synopsis of THE SCAR OF DAVID may be found at

“Susan Abulhawa is an activist for human rights and award winning writer. In 2001,she founded Playgrounds for Palestine (,
an international charity dedicated to building playgrounds in Occupied Territory. Although her essays are widely published, THE SCAR OF DAVID is her first novel.

“CONTACT: Mark B. Miller, Author’s Representative, 215-674-1711 or 215-852-6960.”

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Maryam Sayar Akbar, 212.870.2002, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726,E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:;
CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:


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