Arts & Media Entertainment & Pop Culture News Politics Revelations

Literary agents ISO Muslim authors

(RNS) A group of literary agents is circulating an open call for manuscripts by Muslim authors, a reaction to the anti-Muslim bigotry they say President Trump has fomented.

“We all agree that the current political climate demands a need for a greater presence of authors of Muslim heritage in the book marketplace,” the call reads in part. “We are taking action to help make that happen.”

The online call from a growing list of more than 70 agents from around the country began after Trump on Jan. 27 ordered a ban on travel for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, and suspended immigration from Syria indefinitely. Trial judges have since suspended the order.

The agents are asking for submissions for a wide variety of works, from picture books to adult nonfiction.

“Literary agents are in a unique position to help contribute to bringing more empathy, compassion, understanding and tolerance into this world through books,” the agents explain in their query. “We seek out unheard voices so that others can hear them.”

Sheba Karim, a Nashville-based writer whose young adult novels feature Muslim American characters, praised the open call.

“Though one wishes it didn’t take a ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries to prompt this call for submissions from Muslim authors, it is a step in the right direction.”

She added: “However, to effect real change, the lack of diversity within the publishing industry needs to be addressed as well.”

Revelations-Series-Banner-770x150

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

10 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • What a grand coup the Muslims have pulled off–getting these secular writers to promote their religion among secular Americans! This is PC and diversity nonsense gone totally crazy! Would they just sit idly by while other secular writers promoted Christian writings about Jesus Christ, rather than some bastardization of the Christian faith and liberal politics?

  • Because Christians are currently being demonized and attacked by government powers at this moment?

    ““Literary agents are in a unique position to help contribute to bringing
    more empathy, compassion, understanding and tolerance into this world
    through books,” the agents explain in their query. “We seek out unheard
    voices so that others can hear them.””

    Yep, such an evil motive here! Letting people talk about their own religion and culture without the lens of politically convenient hostility looming over it. The fact that its a regular thing for people to equate the entire religion of Islam with beliefs of extremists shows the need for a few more voices on the subject.

  • You seem to have a lot of good energy for the Muslim cause! It’s imperative that you write the world a piece taking up the Muslim cause and how they are so mistreated and misunderstood! Folks just need to be better informed so they don’t turn hyper-critical when they hear about Muslims cutting people’s heads off because of religious differences. The world is crying out for just that kind of tender understanding that you can easily deliver, given your fine literary skills. Of course those skills are best showcased when you’re taking issue with someone else’s contributions rather than when you’re making your own case.
    This thrust by secular writers is entirely about poking their fingers in the eyes of
    Donald Trump! If your life is ever threatened by these gihadis, call one of these secular writers to come to your rescue!

  • I have a lot of good energy for the cause of religious freedom and American values. I find the entire notion of demonizing an entire religion to be repugnant to the sensibilities of anyone who values such things. Makes no difference what the faith is. Its called not being a panicky bigot.

    BTW its not like your faith has squeaky clean hands either. Millions murdered in the name of Christianity over the centuries. Not just other faiths, but sects within the faith which couldn’t stand the notion of co-existence until very recent in our history. So don’t even bother with the horror stories here. There are enough from your camp to go around.

    The real enemy is not Islam or Christianity or any religion. Its extremism. Every religion has its share of kill crazy psychos. What differs is how much political power are they given by a culture.

    The fact that you equate the entire faith of Islam with its most extreme members means the terrorists have already achieved their goals. You are working for them and you are too naive to realize it. You are doing your best to undermine and destroy the one effective weapon against them. Freedom loving members of the same faith.

    “Donald Trump! If your life is ever threatened by these gihadis, call one of these secular writers to come to your rescue!”

    ISIS Loves Donald Trump! He has done wonders for their recruiting. He has made it easier for them to put Syrians and Iraqis under their control.
    http://time.com/4480945/isis-donald-trump/
    http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-isis-propaganda-2016-1

  • Your long treatise here makes goes far afield from the topic at hand and rationally makes no sense. It’s a brilliant demonstration of your need to be RIGHT, which is transparent to the readers here!

  • It helps because I am right. You have this desperate need to resort to personal attacks here rather than support your statements in a sane manner.

  • Right in your own mind, perhaps! Spuddle, let me compliment you by saying, what a “legend in his own mind!

  • Agents are powerful and, as a Catholic, white, fiction writer I applaud this decision. Diversity in all of the arts is crucial. I like the soul searching. We all can do this. Can act within our art, our science, our particular immediate world, to create openings. Everyone benefits. Bravo! Mary Rakow

ADVERTISEMENTs