The world’s largest university press has told its authors to refrain from using the word pork, pig, or “anything else which could be perceived as pork” in order to avoid offending Muslims or Jews.
The new policy, adopted by Oxford University Press, came out during a discussion of free speech on BBC’s Radio 4 Today, held in the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris last week, as reported by the International Business Times.
“I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP [Oxford University Press] to an author doing something for young people,” Jim Naughtie, the program’s host said.
“Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork,” he continued. “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.”
According to the Times:
An OUP spokesperson said: “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.
“Guidelines for our educational materials differ between geographies and do not cover our academic publishing.”
Although the directive was ostensibly made to avoid offending either Muslims or Jews, it wasn’t a gang of bloodthirsty rabbis who went on a murderous rampage last week in Paris, clutching the Torah in one hand and firing an Uzi in the other.
To confirm, the Times contacted a spokesperson for the Jewish Leadership Council.
“Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives,” the spokesperson said.
It’s a different matter altogether with Muslims, however. A Vermont restaurant removed a sign last August, proclaiming “Yield For Sneakers Bacon” as Liberty Unyielding reported.
Social media, especially Twitter, picked up on this story. Most of the tweets were pretty hilarious, as Twitchy reported, but especially noteworthy was this serious one:
— Howard Margolian (@HowardMargolian) January 14, 2015
And that’s what it all comes down to. It’s not about accommodation. It’s not about respect. It’s all about submission.
USA Today reported last week that Fundamentalist Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary recently said that Islam, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t mean peace — it means submission.