Religion in Society

'It's Just Ludicrous': Oxford University Press Causes A Stir By Banning 'Pigs,' 'Pork' And 'Sausage From Children's Books

| by Kendal Mitchell
Pig Book.Pig Book.

A leading educational publishing house banned children's textbook authors from writing about sausages or pigs to avoid offending the Jewish and Muslim communities.

During a discussion on U.K.’s Radio 4’s Today show on Jan. 12, radio host Jim Naughtie, the husband of aspiring school textbook author Eleanor Updale, who is in talks to write an educational book series, said Oxford University Press limited the possible book topics.

In a letter from the Oxford University Press, the publishing branch within Oxford University, the publisher said Updale had to refrain from writing about "pigs, pork, sausages or anything that could be perceived as pork."

Faithful Muslims and Jews do not eat pork.

Naughtie said he thinks the letter makes the Oxford University Press look like a joke because it stretches the lengths of perceived political correctness.

“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 added.

A spokesman for the Oxford University Press said the editorial guidelines at the publishing house are set up in a way to consider the vast cultural differences and sensitivities of the greater community.

“Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience,” he said.

Muslim Member of Parliament Khalid Mahmood said he thinks it is "utter nonsense" to not mention pigs in a textbook because it might offend people.  

Sources: The Daily Mail The MirrorPhoto Credit: Wikimedia Commons