Schoolbook authors have been told not to write about sausages or pigs for fear of causing offence.
Guidance from leading educational publisher the Oxford University Press prohibits authors from including anything that could be perceived as pork-related in their books.
The bizarre clampdown, apparently aimed at avoiding offence among Jews and Muslims, emerged yesterday during a discussion about free speech on Radio 4’s Today programme.
It was immediately branded ‘nonsensical political correctness’.
Presenter Jim Naughtie – whose writer wife Eleanor Updale is in talks with Oxford University Press (OUP) over an educational book series – said: ‘I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.
Jewish Leadership Council spokesman
‘Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.
‘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. It is just a joke.’
Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: ‘I absolutely agree. That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute.’
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