According to one report from the UK Standard, a top academic publisher, the Oxford University Press (OUP), has issued guidelines which prohibit the mention of pigs and pork in children's schoolbooks.
The ban is apparently an effort not to offend Muslims and Jews.
Though it isn't clear whether or not the rule is new, the subject of cultural sensitivity comes at a time of heightened tensions. Last week, Paris was rocked by attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which twelve staff members were massacred by an terrorists in the name of Islam. Their excuse for the slaughter was payback for insulting the Islamic prophet.
An author, according to the Standard article, received a letter from the OUP, advising against the mention of
'Pigs (plus anything else which could be perceived as pork.'"
(I suppose the beloved story about the Three Little Pigs will become the beloved tale of Three Little Squirrels from now on.)
The guidelines were required, The OUP said, simply to makes its books available to the widest possible audience. The Daily Mail quotes a company spokesman:
"Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.
What do you think? Is it the normal price of cultural diversity? Is it self-censorship?