Saturday, May 27, 2006

Boycott Chapters/Indigo

When are our cowardly corporate and political elites going to learn that banning the exercise of free speech is a blasphemy in western culture, and that the pc desire behind such acts of blasphemy cannot be reconciled with Muslims' claims that western cartoonists are blaspheming Islam? Heather Reisman is the latest to enter the cowardice stakes, banning an issue of Harper's from her stores:
Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, claiming an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed that the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten (The Morning Newspaper).

The article also contains five cartoons, including one by Mr. Spiegelman and two by Israelis, “inspired” by an Iranian newspaper's call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest “to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech.”
In a memo obtained by The Globe and Mail that was e-mailed to Indigo managers yesterday about “what to do if customers question Indigo's censorship” of Harper's, employees are told to say that “the decision was made based on the fact that the content about to be published has been known to ignite demonstrations around the world. Indigo [and its subsidiaries] Chapters and Coles will not carry this particular issue of the magazine but will continue to carry other issues of this publication in the future.”
Business people need to be sent a message that there is no appeasing Islamic crazies, and no excuse for trying. My business has now switched fully to Amazon and whatever independent booksellers are left along my way.


dag said...

I read a bit myself, and Indigo/Chapters is now history in my life. How could anyone in good conscience get a copy of Milton's Aeropagitica, Mill's On Liberty, or Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" from a place that bans magazines and books on grounds of-- whatever it is.

Charles Henry said...

Like many such stories, the real story is pushed into the margins. By her actions, Reisman announces that she too subscribes to the view Canadians increasingly have of muslims: that they are dangerous people, that since they are not rational, any criticism of them risks death and destruction.

If I were a peaceful muslim, it seems to me that I would be more upset at the reasons implicitely (or maybe not so implicitely) given for not carrying such magazines, than I would for anything inside the magazines themselves.

I wonder how Art Spiegelman, author of the Maus comics on the Holocaust, feels about this appeasement of 21st century nazis..