OXFORD, England – The Oxford University Press has told textbook authors to avoid using words like “pigs” and “sausages” in upcoming releases to avoid offending Muslims and Jews.
“The OUP’s clampdown was revealed by Jim Naughtie, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s flagship today programme, in a discussion about censorship following the Charlie Hebdo massacre,” the Mirror reports.
Mr. Naughtie says:
“‘I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.
“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.
“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.”
Prominent Muslims and Jews have also criticized the new guidelines, saying that that while scripture banned the eating of pork, it did not ban reference to it.
The Press responded to the mockery, saying that their “commitment to academic and educational excellence is absolute.”
The OUP adds, “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.”
A Muslim Member of Parliament, Khalid Mahmood, criticized the guidelines, telling the Daily Mail, “I absolutely agree (with Mr. Naughtie). That’s absolute utter nonsense.
“And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute,” according to the Labour MP.
A conservative MP, Phillip Davies, says, “How on earth can anyone find the word ‘pig’ or ‘pork’ offensive?”
The OUP spokesman adds that the ban complies with “the standard PARSNIP guidelines used by international publishers to avoid causing offense to different international audiences.”
PARSNIP stands for Politics, Alcohol, Religion, Sex, Narcotics, Isms such as communism or atheism, and Pork.
Critics fear childrens favorites such as British cartoon Peppa Pig could run afoul of the new guidelines.