Simon & Schuster Creates Imprint for Muslim-Themed Children’s Books

ByPamela Geller on February 25, 2016
92 Comments
salaam reads

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse — when I think how difficult it is for my colleagues and me to get a book published that is critical of jihad and sharia. But this?

American Muslim children can’t relate to American children’s books?  Why not? And if not, we change the books? Insane.

More accommodation, more segregation — not assimilation. Cultural sharia.

salaam

“Simon & Schuster Creates Imprint for Muslim-Themed Children’s Books,” By Alexandra Alter, NY Times, February 24, 2016 (thanks to Betsy):

As a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl growing up in Connecticut, Zareen Jaffery used to devour novels by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, hoping those stories would offer some clues for how to fit in.

“I remember looking at books to try to figure out, ‘What does it mean to be American? Am I doing this right?’” Ms. Jaffery said. “The truth is, I didn’t see myself reflected in books back then.”

Some 30 years later, Muslim characters remain scarce in mainstream children’s literature. But now Ms. Jaffery, an executive editor of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, is in a position to change that.

Ms. Jaffery is heading a new children’s imprint, Salaam Reads, dedicated to publishing books that feature Muslim characters and stories. The imprint, which Simon & Schuster announced this week, will release nine or more books a year, ranging from board books and picture books to middle grade and young adult titles.

salaam

The creation of a Muslim-themed children’s imprint is likely to further fuel the continuing discussion about diversity in children’s publishing. Salaam Reads is also arriving in the middle of a fractious and polarizing political debate about immigration and racial and religious profiling, when minority groups, and American Muslims in particular, feel they are being targeted.

Ms. Jaffery, 37, had long been bothered by the lack of Muslim characters in children’s literature. But the problem started to feel more acute about three years ago, when she began reading books with her young nieces and nephews. “It was hard not to notice that none of those books really reflected their experience,” she said.

She brought up the idea of seeking out books about Muslims with Justin Chanda, the publisher of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Rather than just releasing a scattered selection of books, they decided to create a new imprint, and chose the name Salaam, which means peace in Arabic. The books won’t emphasize theology or Islamic doctrine, Mr. Chanda said, but will highlight the experience of being Muslim through their characters and plots.

“We have a chance to provide people with a more nuanced and, in my estimation, a more honest portrayal of the lives of everyday Muslims,” Ms. Jaffery said.

So far, Salaam Reads has acquired four books that will come out in 2017, including “Salam Alaikum,” a picture book based on a song by the British teen pop singer Harris J. Others planned for release next year are “Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin,” a picture book about four kindergarten friends who learn about one another’s holiday traditions; “The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand” by Karuna Riazi, about a 12-year-old Bangladeshi-American who sets out to save her brother from a supernatural board game, and “Yo Soy Muslim,” a picture book by the poet Mark Gonzales.

Mr. Gonzales, an alumnus of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” who converted to Islam, said he was immediately game when Ms. Jaffery recruited him to write a book for the imprint.

“As a person who was born as the child of Mexican and French immigrants, I grew up being invisible to society, and if not invisible, demonized,” said Mr. Gonzales. “It was important to me, thinking about what it would mean for every child to have a book when they’re growing up that they can see themselves in.”

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  • ljm4

    Sounds as if Ms. Jaffery has effectively shunned assimilating into American culture herself by choice. She is by definition part of the problem.
    To ‘fix’ this public schools are going to move toward dhimmitude; bowing without a whimper to political islam.

  • Ohio man 007

    We live in a market economy. if Simon & Schuster think muslims will buy these books – the brand will last. I’m sure the original Mr. Simon (deceased), who was Jewish, would question the venture.

    Al Jazeera America – an arab Gulf venture in the US – is closing its doors in the US. Not enough people were watching.

    • Bahu of Bengal

      The book Girls Like Us suggests that Mr. Simon was a secular humanist who denied his Jewish roots.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    SALAAM = SATAAN

  • Mahou Shoujo

    Oh goody a muslim “Nancy Drew” adventure muslim series. Can we suggest a few titles? How about Nancy muslim gets her clit removed, Nancy becomes a child bride, Nancy and the chamber of horrors, her husband sodomizes her for the first time, Nancy and the qur’an, why she should not go to school, learn to read, but be a life support system for her vagina, Nancy and the family goat, a young girl shares her emotions with her husband’s mistress.

    • Fred

      Awesome post!

      Can I add this?

      Nancy get fitted for her suicide bomb vest.

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Absolutely, the series could run for years. Nancy, the mystery behind the niqab, Nancy and her hijab…

    • I fear it would take a Mary Poppins https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Poppins to rescue Muslim kids. It’s not going to happen. Islam is child abuse as I conclude on my website http://members.ziggo.nl/iiat/ here: http://members.ziggo.nl/iiat/MyConclusions.htm What are we going to do? http://members.ziggo.nl/iiat/discussion/

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Islam cannot be reformed, it is stagnant, petrified and embalmed, any change would destroy it, which would be a good thing. The only thing that will change islam is a superior violence that it understands. Reason and logic are not part of islam.

    • Bernadet Rodakowski

      Muslima Nancy Drew – good one!
      (Here’s their image prototype, complete with veil and prayer rug!)

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Great, it will be a best selling series.

    • wilypagan

      How does Ned Nickerson fit into all of this?

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Jihadist by day, goat fornicator by night.

        • Po Tato

          Please stop insulting the poor goats!

          • Mahou Shoujo

            They are such shameless whores, always pretending to be livestock, but really seductresses of innocent muslim perverts.

          • IslamophobicCanadianAthiest

            Now that comment I like.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            There is nothing like a doe eyed goat to turn a muslim’s crank.

        • joe1429

          hahahaha

    • Any One

      all good mooslime books that teach girls good mooslime values and traditions i heard

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Right, like submission, abuse, mutilation, emotional and physical abuse and violence, all the things the religion of the desert demon is renowned for.

        • Po Tato

          Violence?

          Oh no ! Them moslems don’t like the word ‘violence’

          They would be more than happy to do it in the name of their “allah’

          • Mahou Shoujo

            To muslims, it isn’t “violence” it is the will of their demon. It merely looks violent to non muslims.

    • Po Tato

      You forgot one …

      “Nancy the holy virgin martyr” who blew herself up taking along many infidels

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Ok, that one is on the list now.

        • Dravaa

          Here’s Another:
          Nancy Drew … Mohammed!
          (the story of our detective’s amputations, her “drawing hand” and the opposite foot, praise Allah)

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Nancy gets bonsai’d, muslim adventures in human botany.

    • Steve

      Too funny! Here’s a couple. Nancy Muhammad meets the nonmuslim Hard up Boys and they are beheaded in an honor murder and Susie Christian – Adventures on the Barbary Coast.

      • Mahou Shoujo

        This has all the indications of becoming a very popular series.

    • joe1429

      What happened to seperation of church and state? or in the case mosque and state?

      • Mahou Shoujo

        In islam, there is no separation. Islam controls absolutely every aspect of a persons life and death. What is amazing is that in western society, which has taken years to develop and maintain individual freedom and human rights, there are many who would give it up for not reason at all, to islam, which very clearly states. “Likewise, a leading theologian in Iran defended a recent stoning sentence simply by reminding his audience that “Democracy, freedom, and human rights have no place in Islam.” This is how it is, there is no freedom in islam until death removes the victim from submission to it.

        • joe1429

          Understand, but this is the usa… where there is seperation

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Yes. now the trick is to get rid of democrats and keep it that way.

  • pdxnag

    Absence of Islamic supremacist thugs from children’s books? But I learned once upon a time that if I didn’t have something good to say that I should say nothing. The Internet is filled with videos of the heroes of Islam, and for Muslims the blood and gore is seemingly always considered age appropriate. Snuff flicks however are supposed to be illegal, by American standards.

  • rambler

    Oh.. the summer reading lists……
    Ahmed the Clock Maker
    Summer Camp ISIS Style
    The Arranged Wedding Planner
    Burqua Babes
    Jihad Across the Country

  • Americanpatriot2014

    oh yes, one about little girls becoming wives at 6! How to behead the infidel, daddy has 4 wives my age? this is yet another attempt (and it seems to be working) at INDOCTRINATION of our nation’s youth!!!!!!!!!!! The reason you don’t find books that portray muslim children in America is because muslim traditions and values are FAR DIFFERENT from AMERICAN VALUES AND TRADITIONS……………. if you’re going to go to the lengths of letting them make books, make them true so the children can see the real lives of the muslims living under sharia law

  • Dennis

    Let us all not forget that books represent the very epitome of what is guaranteed by the Free Speech provision of our American Constitution, as long as the book language itself does not promote conduct that would preach an armed and physical revolution or promote, in a real way, conduct that would violate our Constitutional liberties. While I certainly appreciate, as a first priority of living here, the need to assimilate all of our citizens into what it really means to be an American, first and foremost, we all must recognize that many different cultures make up what is great about America, and before we pick up and chose to throw stones, as seems to be some of the inane conduct going on by the so-called Palestinians in Israel, we Americans must first determine what is in the contents being presented in these books before we throw those stones. While I believe that books such as the ones proposed here belong in the cultural institutions that are involved and associated with the children of that culture, and I strenuously oppose the use of such books in the public schools of this country, as I believe that our Constitution was written to protect that from happening, I can never support opposition to a culture which is teaching its children about their own culture, though I would certainly expect that by doing so, another’s culture is not put down, as the fundamentalists in Islam do with their call for Jihad and world domination and Shari a. That I believe is conduct that should not be permitted by any cultural group in this country.

    • wilypagan

      They can write whatever the heck they want. That doesn’t mean we need to allow American children to be exposed to it.

  • Me Here

    Boycott Simon and Schuster, simple.

    • IzlamIsTyranny

      Make sure to call them or email them to notify them why. I’ve already informed Scubway why I won’t be buying any of their sandwiches ever again (they have all-halal restaurants in the UK).

      • Steve

        Good, I am boycotting Tubway as well. I’m glad I found out that islamist ripoffs actually didn’t invent coffee as they claim because I love coffee!

    • Steve

      Exactly, It all comes down to money. Even a class action lawsuit that the book is racist will cost schuster money and there’s bound to be some blood sucking lawyer or lawyers out there who would take it on for pay if they win.

    • IslamophobicCanadianAthiest

      Only until they put out a moosie version of the 3 little pigs or the This Little Piggy rhyme.

      wonder how they could sugar coat that one?

      • joe1429

        hahahaha 3 little goats

  • Voytek Gagalka

    Because, you see, Mohammedan children are intended to be, one day, rulers of this conquered land, so they must be upbringed in the spirit of superior “race,” and avoid contamination with western culture of “decadency and filth.” Thus special books for them, segregation from kufars, whatever it takes. Since authors and publishers can sniff from where winds are blowing, do not wish to fall behind and make big bucks in the process, so here we have it, America! Welcome to future ‘amrikastan!

    • wilypagan

      Not gonna happen. Go Trump!

      • Dorrie

        If you watched last night’s debate, you saw that every time Trump is confronted with his own words, he screams “LIAR!” NOBODY knows what his policies are because they change almost daily! He slaped a “Cease & Desist” order, threatening to sue Ted Cruz for speaking the truth about him! Cruz replied with “Bring it on!” Trump has continual TRUMPERTANTRUMS and his cult followers seem totally blind to it, just like Obama’s cult followers, and that’s what got us into the mess we’re in NOW! You MIGHT want to consider waking up!

        #CruzCrew

        • wilypagan

          Cruz has no chance of winning the general election. It’s Trump or Hillary –

          • Dorrie

            Watch the video, hon. You’ve been had. Trump can’t beat Hillary – he’s no different than she is! ONLY Cruz can beat her because he knows the Constitution! Trump is all gas an lies!

          • IzlamIsTyranny

            I’m planning on voting Cruz in the primaries, but when it comes right down to, my vote in the general election will be for anyone but Shillariah the sea hag.

          • Dorrie

            If Cruz isn’t nominated, Hillary will win. PERIOD. Is that what you want??? Cruz is the ONLY one who can beat her.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Sigh, between you and wilypagan, I am developing a tylenol reliance.

          • Dorrie

            Sorry. I always stand with a strong Constitutionalist. Cruz has been the guy since he first announced his candidacy. Trump has flip-flopped back and forth on every single issue, then called people “LIAR!” when they brought it up on video. Not presidential on any level. Cheats on his wives, cheats in business. America needs a LEADER, not a WHEELER DEALER.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            True,my problem is that I usually agree completely with you and wilypagan, when you differ too much, it gives me a head ache.

          • Dorrie

            ;-)

            Sorry, I always stand on the side of the Constitution and God. Pagans, of course, do not.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Sigh.. How did I, a Christian with Shinto and Taoist sympathies get myself in the middle? Will absorb large qualities of self pity chocolate while contemplating this.

          • Dorrie

            While you’re doing that, I’ll be on Twitter where #NeverTrump is trending heavily.

            Have a good night!

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Have fun, I shall stew in chocolate sauce. Sigh.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            You and Dorrie are increasing my tylenol consumption a lot. Sigh.

          • wilypagan

            Try a nice glass of scotch. I must admit the bloom is off the rose of Trump after that Crispy Crème Christy endorsement – Trump may be just a RINO plant. I guess no one is coming to lead us out of this nightmare. :..-(

          • Mahou Shoujo

            If it gets really bad, it will be scotch mints and orange pekoe tea, then, the cougar will prowl.

        • IzlamIsTyranny

          TRUMPERSTANTRUMS, LOL.

      • Dorrie
  • Rob

    A children’s picture book that came out in 2013 was DEEP IN THE SAHARA by Kelly Cunnane and illustrated by Hoda Hodani.

    It is about a present day black Mauritania girl who dreams of wearing body and head coverings which are called a “malafa” in Mauritania. The Koran i mentioned and the little girl thinks its wonderful that women cover themselves up.

    The PC crowd thought this book as amazing. Not a PEEP ABOUT HOW MAURITANIA HAS AN ISLAMIC BASED SLAVE TRADE…. OR ABOUT SHARIA OR FGM OR FEMALE SUBJUGATION…

    However, there are plenty of books that focus on the USA slave trade. The British Empire stopped slavery in 1820… the USA in the 1860s and for the West the nation of Brazil was the last hold out with slavery ending in the 1880s.

    Meanwhile black slavery remains in the Islamic world in the present day.

    It has gotten to the point when books about slavery in the USA even those with POC black authors, editors and illustrators are attacked and even censored and pulled from sale. Even when the books try to show the complex lives of black slaves in horrible circumstances… they still are complex and amazing human beings.

    Well, that happens while muslims in children’s books have been and will continue to be celebrated. What is wrong with this picture of children’s literature?

  • Kara

    Muslim kids need to scour books looking for “clues for how to fit in?” Are you serious? Here’s a clue: you’re supposed to be a freakin’ American so act like one. Has there ever been another group in this country that needed so many separate, special accommodations? Please!

  • IzlamIsTyranny

    I’m of the opinion these muslum themed books are less for little muslimahs and more propaganda for US children.

    • Steve

      Notice, there is no artwork on the cover. Let the censoring begin.

  • Jack Holan

    When will sub-groups, Cultural and Religiously dominated Communities get it that they are not the one and only one experiencing the growing pains of the melting pot and coming to terms with how much they will bend to be part of the larger Society and still feel comfortable with their own identity? As a Jew, I can tell you that their were some similarities among the different waves of Jewish immigrants who came here at different periods and major differences. There was acceptance and rejection by Jews established already and newbies.
    So, for Muslims, to say they may not feel they fit in with the larger society through books that may be true and then again they won’t through the books she is printing now. You need to get out there and talk to people try to see which lifestyle you feel comfortable with and still be faithful to yourself. Millions of other immigrant are facing the challenge the may have a different skin color they be Hindu not Muslim, so don’t make it something the World must stop for you.

  • Po Tato

    Instead of Cinderella with the 7 dwarfs, their version would be ‘Aisha and the 7 virgins’

  • Radegunda

    “I grew up being invisible to society,” — as most of us do. “Society” really doesn’t pay much attention to must of us at any time in our lives, and that’s fine with most people.

  • Dravaa

    I don’t remember having a book that I “saw myself” in – I liked everything from the Narnia series to sports books to Jack London and everything in between. Gosh, I wasn’t a trapper of wolves, and I wasn’t a basketball star and I certainly wasn’t a rich kid on an uncle’s estate in jolly old England.
    That’s what’s so great about books – they give you a window OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF! HELLO!
    What’s wrong with Muslims that they have to always see themselves everywhere they go?

    • Mahou Shoujo

      With muslims, it is always all about them, islam is the most ignorant self centred cult ever.

  • Dravaa

    There are few books here about Muslims because for the most part, Muslims haven’t been here. They’ve come to the party 200 years after it started and with guns instead of presents, so no, America is not a country that had a huge Muslim presence 30 years ago.

  • conan_drum

    Muslim children are not being brought up as Americans and any attempt to do so is resisted by parents. They have to be brought up as Muslims so as not to leave the Muslim ‘path’. Meanwhile of course they take advantage of everything US has to offer
    Just one more example of Islamic uniqueness

  • donemyhomework

    Anyone who would convert to Islam is totally ignorant.

    • Mahou Shoujo

      Lots of stupid people around.

      • IzlamIsTyranny

        Islam also appeals to evil people: rapists, child molesters and psychopaths. What other religion teaches that murder, rape and child molestation are holy?

        • Mahou Shoujo

          Name the crime, islam will justify it for muslims. Be it rape, murder, violence, necrophilia, beastiality, slavery, mutilation… anything.

  • Mahou Shoujo

    Al jazeera on paper, someone is subsidizing this, when the money runs out, as it is very unlikely the books will sell at a profit, they will be recycled into toilet paper, as with ink on them, in their original form, not acceptable.

  • Uselesscrap

    Don’t they already have Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves?

    • Mahou Shoujo

      Ali colonist and 4,000,000 thieves, rapists and murderers.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Snow White and the 72 Virgins

  • Uselesscrap

    You forgot the best book of all for muslime children: HOW TO HELP MOMMA AND POPPA BUILD THEIR BOMBS

  • Uselesscrap

    How about FAIRY TALES FOR MUSLIME KIDS: SNOW WHITE AND HER CLITORIS

  • Uselesscrap

    I have emailed Simon & Schuster with my suggested list of new titles. You shoud too!!! Let’s inundate them with emails!!!!!

  • gfmucci

    Anything for a buck. Soul selling for profit.

  • Steve

    There goes the art work. The subtle censoring begins.

  • Why Muslims want to spread Islam. Muslims are forced to leave the areas where sharia is already in place then when they reach safe areas why they want the same environment which forced them to flee. If they love Islam so much then they should live under ISIS controlled caliphate where sharia is in full force. Why America and west should be punished for the helping Muslims. Real character of Muslims can be understood in this article how they feel for each other….
    http://www.asadmahmudexposingislam.blogspot.ie/2016/02/shame-on-muslimsshameon-muslims-kuwaiti.html?m=1

  • Mahou Shoujo

    Notice with muslims, it is always about them telling us all about them. Never about them trying to learn about others. The expectation and demand being that we will submit to islam, no discussion. Not gonna happen.

  • Dorrie

    Trump has contributed to many of the Democrats you see in this picture.

    http://rightwingnews.com/top-news/no-house-dems-strike-to-implement-first-sharia-law/

  • sportyone

    Of course conversely, there’s lots of Western characters in books published in the Middle East. Unfortunately each of those characters don’t last too long in the stories as they generally end up with their heads chopped off.

  • Truth1234

    We need to let Simon and Schuster know how we feel!

  • joe1429

    I thought the childrens books, were supposed to be neutral, in religion. The christians should sue