11 September 2016

Western Publishers Submit to Islam

.... It was after Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses that many Western publishing houses first bowed to intimidation. Christian Bourgois, a French publishing house, refused to publish The Satanic Verses after having bought the rights, as did the German publisher, Kiepenheuer, who apparently said he regretted having acquired the rights to the book and chose to sell them to a consortium of fifty publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, gathered under the name "UN-Charta Artikel 19."

Not only did Rushdie's publishers capitulate; other publishers also decided to break ranks and return to do business with Tehran. Oxford University Press decided to take part in the Tehran Book Fair, along with two American publishers, McGraw-Hill and John Wiley, despite the request of Rushdie's publisher, Viking Penguin, to boycott the Iranian event.

Those publishers chose to respond to murderous censorship with surrender, willing to sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of business as usual: selling books was more important than solidarity with threatened colleagues.

It is as if at the time of the Nazis' book-burnings, Western publishers had not only stood silent, but had also invited a German delegation to Paris and New York. Is it so unimaginable today? [Gatestone Institute] Read more