This article originally appeared in Censorship News 126
Islamophobia and censorship
In Tennessee, the leader of a Facebook group, Sullivan County Parents Against Islam Indoctrination, filed an official complaint seeking the removal of a Pearson textbook, My World History. She claims it promotes Islamic indoctrination and violates her daughter’s religious beliefs. NCAC explained the difference between religious education and indoctrination to the school district and urged officials to promote religious tolerance and historical awareness, both of which “are vital to the flourishing of our democracy.”
Pro-diversity = anti-Trump?
Diversity and tolerance are American values, but when a group of Maryland teachers displayed posters created by Shepherd Fairey that portray a diverse group of women, school administrators ordered them removed, claiming they “expressed a negative view of Donald Trump.” NCAC supported the students who protested the district’s decision.
Fordham denies SJP club status
Fordham University administrators refused students’ request to form achapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, the national pro-Palestinian student advocacy organization, accusing the group of trying to “stir up controversy.” NCAC joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in criticizing a decision that betrays the university’s “explicit promises of free expression that it makes to its students.”
Perilous publishing precedent
Soon after word got out that Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, planned to publish a book by professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos, his critics called for a boycott of Simon & Schuster. NCAC supported the publisher’s right to publish the book, arguing that “vigorous disagreement is the only counter to toxic speech.” But when Yiannopoulos appeared to condone hebephilia, the publisher changed its mind. NCAC warned about the risks of withdrawing controversial material in response to protests, and urged publishers to defend the importance of idea and viewpoint diversity.
Censorpedia is crowdsourcing
NCAC’s wiki on censorship incidents has gone live, and we want your contributions. Do you know of a censorship controversy that we have yet to document? Currently containing more than 1,200 individual cases, Censorpedia needs your help to make it the go-to source for every global censorship case dating back to ancient Greece. Visit wiki.ncac.org.
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