by Giulio Meotti
“Cancel culture does not exist”, we hear the liberal mantra, although it has come a long way since in the 1970s “Slaughterhouse n. 5 ” by Kurt Vonnegut was banned in some US schools. Julie Burchill’s contract with Hachette was torn apart after being accused of “Islamophobic comments” on social media. The book by the controversial and much-followed Sunday Telegraph columnist, entitled “Welcome to the Woke Trials: How #Identity Killed Progressive Politics,” was due to be released in the spring.
Three days ago, Burchill began tweeting to journalist Ash Sarkar, who criticized Rod Liddle for an old Spectator article, in which Liddle explained that he had not become a teacher because he feared he would become a harasser of young pupils. Burchill replied to Sarkar: “Can you please remind me of the age of the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad? Thanks in advance!” (Aisha was nine). Sarkar, who is Muslim, replied: “Julie Burchill, who once I suppose was a well regarded journalist, has quite openly subjected me to Islamophobia on here. I’m a big girl – it’s not going to upset me – but I do find it strange that none of her colleagues or friends in the industry seem to have a problem with it.”
A spokesperson for Little, Brown of the Hachette Group (which already cancelled Woody Allen’s “Apropos of Nothing” a year ago) said, “We will no longer publish Burchill’s book. While there is no legal definition of hate speech in the UK, we believe that her comments on Islam are not morally defensible. ” Charlie King, chief executive of Little, Brown, branded Burchill’s words as “deplorable.”
Who knows what Hachette’s current executives would have decided in 2007, when the very same publishing house published Christopher Hitchens’ “God is not great”, which stated that many Islamic countries “have lowered the age of ‘consent’ to nine years, perhaps in admired emulation of the age of the younger ‘wife’ of the ‘Prophet’ Mohammed.”
Now a book on censorship is censored.
In “Welcome to the Woke Trials”, Burchill recounted what happened to her after writing an article for the Observer, which was removed after her criticism of her “transphobic language”. Burchill came to the defense of her friend Suzanne Moore, who has just resigned from the Guardian after the ideological bullying of her colleagues.
The British cultural establishment is in the grip of a strange and sinister atmosphere. The London Cartoon Museum has just decided that it will do without some works of William Hogarth, the founder of satire.
“Black Lives Matter has opened our eyes,” museum director Joe Sullivan told The Telegraph. He said that there are too many works of “white cisgender” artists. There is a need for “less Hogarth” and more “diversified” artists. So instead of the famous painter of young people who married for money, of Victorian moralists killed by syphilis and of aristocrats destroyed by gin, they will exhibit moralistic works on white racism or LGBTQ “inclusion”.
Because the goal of Western publishing houses and museums is no longer that of publishing books that sell or exhibiting paintings that attract the public, but a mission: that of re-educating the public with dazibaos (large character posters) as was the norm in the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Islam is untouchable!