Shalom Life | January 18, 2015

In Bid to Attract Jews & Muslims, Oxford Bans All References to Pork in Children's Books

Oxford University Press publishers is banning any mention of pig, bacon, pork, sausage, (etc.) from their educational books

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 14th, 2015 in Business » World

In a bid to make their educational books more kosher (or halal) for Muslim and Jewish parents, one of the most prominent publishing houses in the U.K., Oxford University Press publishers, is banning any mention of pork, sausage, ham, bacon, (and other such forbidden delicacies that come from the pig) in their children's educational books and schoolbooks.

Thankfully they're not the publishers of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

The company made the decision official in a speech on BBC Radio 4, in an effort, they claim, not to offend the Jewish and Muslim communities by mentioning food that is strictly forbidden from consuming in both religions.

The initiative was galvanized by wife of the Today program's host, Eleanor Updale, who pitched an idea to Oxford for an educational series, according to the Daily Mail. "Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP [Oxford University Press] was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork," Updale stated.

Interestingly, the Jewish Leadership Council quickly responded to Oxford's decision, saying that "Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives."

Hmm. Either they aren't the group of people Oxford is worried about offending - particularly on the heels of last week's attacks in Paris - or they simply don't know the Torah that well.

To make their decision seem even more unnecessary, not to mention outlandish, British-Muslim Labor MP Khalid Mahmood repeated the Jewish Leadership Council's sentiments, saying "I absolutely agree. That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute."

Oxford responded to both groups, saying the ban will make the school books they publish more accessible - at least, to extremely religious individuals who actually would be offended by a reference to pork or bacon, which would most likely be extremely out-of-touch hasidic rabbis and, you know, members of ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, etc.

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