It could hardly have come at a worse time — the notice from one of the world’s biggest publishers of schoolbooks and teaching materials that its authors should avoid using the word “pigs” and should not write about anything that could be perceived as pork-related…including sausages.
Right in the midst of the Paris-centered celebration and defense of freedom of expression that’s drawn millions to stand up for the liberties that radical Islam would try to destroy, along comes this “guidance” from Oxford University Press.
As reported by London’s Daily Mail, “Schoolbook authors have been told not to write about sausages or pigs for fear of causing offense…among Jews and Muslims.”
Many millions of students and teachers use books from Oxford University Press, which, according to its website, publishes more than 6,000 titles a year worldwide.
“Our range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children’s books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.”
An article in the International Business Times notes that the no-pig, no-pork publishing guidance was disclosed during a BBC radio show on free speech in the wake of the brutal Islamic terrorists’ attack on Charlie Hebdo. One of the show hosts ridiculed the advisory:
Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.
A spokesman for the prestigious Oxford University Press reportedly defended the new guidelines in light of heightened “sensitivities” to cultural differences around the world and the potential for creating an offense.
“Our materials are sold in nearly 200 countries, and as such, and without compromising our commitment in any way, we encourage some authors of educational materials respectfully to consider cultural differences and sensitivities.”
On the BBC radio program, as reported by The Daily Mail, Tory MP Phillip Davies lambasted the publisher’s “nonsensical” no-pig guidelines, especially in textbooks and academic works where freedom of expression should be at its fullest display.
On the one hand you have politicians and the great and the good falling over each other to say how much they believe in freedom of speech and on the other hand they are presiding over people being unable to use and write words that are completely inoffensive.
We have got to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom