Borders, Waldenbooks Won't Carry Magazine


Karl Sandwell-Weiss writes "Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries. More from here.

For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.

What will you do when someone demands the library not put out the magazine because, as a Muslim, it offends them? This magazine is from the Council for Secular Humanism, not a Christian group."


I will simply say that while I take their concerns very seriously, that the library is a place that is open to all ideas. As a result, we are not in the practice of censoring materials on behalf of one group as this could deprive others of their access to information. I am sure there are nicer ways of saying it, but that would be the gist. Just a thought.

An appeal to Western logic will not work in this case. After all, these are the people who were so incensed that the Prophet was not shown as peacefull, that they rioted and destroyed property. Then in their anger at the Danes, they attacked American buildings, and n their anger at Westerners, Moselms murdered other Moslems. All this because a non-believer broke one of their rules. Although Mohammed said insults should be met in kind, which means the proper response would have been other sarcastic cartoons or poems or mocking songs, not the other logic of death and detruction.

          The cartoon showed Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, which looks like a mosque's dome. A week later, Moslems blew up a mosque with a dome shaped like Mohammed's turban. There were cries of outrage at an infidel mocking mohammed, but no cries of protest from Moslems worldwide of Moslems killing Moslems and humiliating Islam in front of the eyes of the rest of the world.

          It is difficult to deal logically with an entire nation that puts a reward for the murder of someone who pointed out a problem in the Koran (Alman Rushdie).

          There has been no credible outcry against the death sentence on that man in Afghanistan who converted to Christianity. No credible Moslem authority, even in Western countries, condemned this attack on freedom of thought on grounds of logic or Western values.

        So an appeal to logic is not the right way to go.

        Perhaps circular logic might prevail- "Nothing can be done without the will of God. Since the cartoons do appear in the magazine, they cannot appear without the will of God, and obviously, man cannot prevail against the will of God. Therefore, if you oppose these cartoons, you are also opposing the will of God, and as Moslems, who are supposed to submit to God, you sin. Therefore, to censor these cartoons based on your protest, is to condemn you to Hell, and that I will not do..."

        All librarians should be a black belt in mental ju-jitsu. It won't win you any friends, but it certainly makes life more interesting. Inshallah.