Australlian author John Dale, winner of the "Ned Kelly Crime Writing Award for best first novel", found out that his publisher dumped his latest novel (commissioned by Scholastic Australia) because book stores and librarians have said they won't stock the book... Why you ask...? Is he a member of NAMBLA detailing his exploits? No, they'll stock that. A drug addict and criminal imparting his personal tale? No, they'll stock that too.
The "villain" of his latest thriller is a Muslim terrorist. Full stop.
"...A LEADING children's publisher has dumped a novel because of political sensitivity over Islamic issues.
Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the Army of the Pure after booksellers and librarians said they would not stock the adventure thriller for younger readers because the "baddie" was a Muslim terrorist.
A prominent literary agent has slammed the move as "gutless", while the book's author, award-winning novelist John Dale, said the decision was "disturbing because it's the book's content they are censoring".
"There are no guns, no bad language, no sex, no drugs, no violence that is seen or on the page," Dale said, but because two characters are Arabic-speaking and the plot involves a mujaheddin extremist group, Scholastic's decision is based "100 per cent (on) the Muslim issue".
This decision is at odds with the recent publication of Richard Flanagan's bestselling The Unknown Terrorist and Andrew McGahan's Underground in which terrorists are portrayed as victims driven to extreme acts by the failings of the West.
The Unknown Terrorist is dedicated to David Hicks and describes Jesus Christ as "history's first ... suicide bomber".
In McGahan's Underground, Muslims are executed en masse or herded into ghettos in an Australia rendered unrecognisable by the war on terror.
Scholastic's general manager, publishing, Andrew Berkhut, said the company had canvassed "a broad range of booksellers and library suppliers", who expressed concern that the book featured a Muslim terrorist.
"They all said they would not stock it," he said, "and the reality is if the gatekeepers won't support it, it can't be published." (source)
The past twenty years have yielded thousands of Muslim terrorists and homicide bombers...but somehow it's rude to bring it up?
If I find a place to purchase this online, I'll let you all know.