The atheist author who published a children's book that takes aim at supposedly odd and curious verses in the Bible has announced the cancellation of a follow-up project that was slated to take aim at the Koran over worries that extremists could target him and his team.
The author, who goes by the pen name Horus Gilgamesh, previously published the "Awkward Moments Children's Bible," a book that poked fun at scripture, but his plans for the "Awkward Moments Kid's Koran" project have now been officially shelved.
"After a great deal of consideration and wise counsel, I’ve decided to cancel the controversial Kid’s Koran project we’ve been working on and hinting about over the past year that was set to release this fall," Gilgamesh wrote. "Why? Because of a small group of fringe maniacal 'radical' bullies who equate the transfer of lead and pigments into shapes on paper as blasphemy – punishable by death."
The author, who expressed dismay over feeling compelled to cancel the Koran project, said that the decision has nothing to do with respect for Islam and everything to do with the very real possibility that threats could turn dangerous.
Screen shot via Awkwardmomentsbible.com
"It is being cancelled because of very rational fears brought on by the reality that such threats (and actions) are still carried out today – in 2015 – in the light of day, right under the noses of a modern society!" Gilgamesh wrote.
The author said that he has received threats from Christians in the past over his Bible books, but that he never took them all that seriously. In contrast, he believes that Islamic fundamentalists are far more likely to potentially attack — a fear that has been perpetuated by recent events abroad and in the U.S.
"When the Kid’s Koran was almost complete at the first of the year, our two ex-Muslim contributors/consultants on the project became very concerned over terrorist attacks in their home countries in Europe. So, we paused to think more carefully about security, risks, etc.," he wrote. "As we finished the project, more bloggers were being killed overseas and received the first shipment of galley/preview copies the week before the attempted attacks in Texas earlier this month."
Gilgamesh said that he and his team might seem paranoid to many on the outside, but that they feel the dangers are real, leading the collective group to decide that pausing the project was best.
"At the end of the day, we were actually less worried about the three illustrations of Muhammad than we were the overall concept of western infidels (kafir) having the audacity to critique the [Koran] and/or challenge Islamic culture as a whole," he wrote. "So, congratulations, Islam! You’ve managed to oppress yet another infidel into silent submission thanks [to] your religion’s all-too-typical heavy-handed scare tactics."
He continued, "In short, I like my head right where it is thank you very much!"
Gilgamesh's previous project, "Awkward Moments Children's Bible," takes some jabs at the Christian scriptures, with the author telling the Christian Post in 2013 that his goal was to make believers think analytically about the Bible.
"Frankly, what it comes down to is we want people to think about the Bible for themselves, not just going to church once a month or once a week and nodding their head and cherry-picking and taking things out of context," he said. "[The illustrator and I] take things out of context from the illustrations' perspective, but have the verses right there, and we try to toe a very narrow line between being respectful but also getting people out of their comfort zone to go look up the Bible verse themselves and look up the context themselves."
Read Gilgamesh's complete announcement of the "Awkward Moments Kid's Koran" here.
(H/T: Christian Post)