Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 9, 2010
When first-time author Terry Kelhawk added the tag line, "What they learn about the Koran could change the world or cost them their lives," to the cover of her novel, The Topkapi Secret, it was the novel's protagonists she had in mind. But if some experts on radical Islam are right, it may be the author herself who should be looking over her shoulder.
Kelhawk's book, the story of two researchers who seek out an early version of the Koran is set for a September 21st release date from Prometheus Books but it's already provoking debate among some who think it may be as objectionable to Muslims as The Davinci Code was to Christians.
Shirin Taber, author of Muslims Next Door: Uncovering Myths And Creating Friendships, though supportive of Kelhawk's right to express herself freely, is concerned about what may follow:
"The Topkapi Secret is not a book I'd write, and could quite possibly put her life in grave danger for assertions made about the Koran," noted Taber. "Nevertheless, I respect her courage to use a novel to share her research and personal experiences with her readers."
Wafa Sultan, author of A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam, herself no stranger to controversy, agrees the dangers are real:
"To me, there is no greater virtue than risking your life to save others, and I salute Terry Kelhawk for taking that risk to make our world a better place," Sultan said. "Pointing her finger to what the Quran is about is a noble job that should qualify her for a Nobel Prize."
Kelhawk's publisher, Prometheus Books, has previously published non-fiction books critical of Islam, but The Topkapi Secret is the house's first foray into thriller fiction. Some have noted that the greater attention popular culture may bring to the issue could result in stronger Muslim reactions than purely academic works receive.
For her part, Kelhawk downplays the risks, calling it an opportunity for American Muslims to shine.
"Sure, I've had warnings and threats," Kelhawk says. "I knew there were risks when I wrote The Topkapi Secret because most Muslims think that the Koran has never been changed; whereas the book documents how the Koran actually has been changed. Still, the novel has strong Muslim characters in exciting situations and is full of good cultural details about the Middle East. So while some may be offended by The Topkapi Secret, others will enjoy it."
For more information on The Topkapi Secret go to: http://www.TerryKelhawk.com. To schedule an interview, please contact: Joni Rubin at: Jrubin(at)lcoonline(dot)com