Oxford University Press (OUP) is instructing authors to avoid any references to pork or pigs to avoid offending Muslims, who consider pigs to be ritually unclean animals. (VIDEO: Josh Earnest: Not ‘Accurate’ To Call Paris Terrorism ‘Radical Islam’)
The news was broken on BBC Radio 4 during a discussion of the Paris terror attacks. Presenter Jim Naughtie read from a letter sent by OUP to children’s authors, telling them to avoid, “Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.”
“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,” he said. “It is just a joke.” (VIDEO: MSNBC Guest: ‘We Have To Respect Islam’)
The UK-based International Business Times notes that even liberal Muslim lawmakers in the UK think OUP is going too far. “That’s ludicrous,” they quote Labor MP Khalid Mahmood as saying. “That’s absolute, utter nonsense and when people go too far that actually brings the whole discussion into disrepute.”
Nonetheless, an OUP spokesperson defends their decision. “Our materials are sold in nearly 200 countries,” he notes, “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.” (RELATED: College Professor: Paper Attacked By Islamists Was ‘Devoted To Hate Speech’)
Ostensibly, the measure is also intended to avoid offending Jews who believe that pigs are not kosher. But presumably,the internationally-mind OUP is more concerned about the 1.8 billion Muslims who might be offended than the 14 million Jews.