A Chicago School’s charge of Islamophobia


UPDATE:

A reader wrote to the school and received the following response from the principal:

Please check your sources related to the news article stating I decided to remove Persepolis from my school. That is completely untrue and slanderous.

I only reported to my staff that I was informed the district was contemplating removing the book from CPS high schools. The day after I informed my staff, the district clarified their position and stated that no books were going to be removed from any high schools and it was a misunderstanding. That afternoon (after school) students held a rally in support of the book. I never ordered the removal of the book and not one book was ever removed from my school.

The article you read is stating I did something I would never do. I also understand your passion behind the topic but please check several news sources or simply google the topic if you are not sure about me. Something got twisted in the story you read because that is not what happened.

Christopher A. Dignam, Ed. D., Principal, Lane Tech College Prep High School, 2501 West Addison, Chicago, Illinois

Thanks to Piotr for clarifying this and good to know that Persepolis was not banned.

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persepolis

It has been reported that a Chicago public school has banned Marjane Satrapi’s brilliant autobiographical book Persepolis (about her life as a girl growing up under the Islamic regime of Iran) after deeming it Islamophobic; this ban follows in the “proud” footsteps of Iran, UAE and Lebanon.

The charge of Islamophobia has always been a very useful political tool in the hands of those in power to scaremonger people into silence and ban criticism of Islam and political Islam. As I have mentioned before, it aids and abets Islamists in silencing dissent as a sort of “secular” fatwa.

This culturally relativist perspective will do anything to silence dissent – even to the extent of banning books. It is like the perspective that is opposed to the likes of Amina and Aliaa out of “respect” for people’s culture.

But there is no one homogeneous culture. Defending a ban of Persepolis is defending Islamism’s culture at the expense of the many dissenters. Just as opposing Amina’s topless act of defiance in the face of Islamist threats is a defence of Islamism’s culture and all that it brings with it.

The ban in Chicago makes it very clear that Amina’s protest and demand to be free from religious misogyny is as relevant in Chicago as it is to societies in the Middle East and North Africa…

Onwards to 4 April, International Day to Defend Amina.

Comments

  1. Contessa de Metoncula says

    I would love to disseminate the book..She should go on Bill Moyers broadcast on PBS the Public television!
    http://www.billmoyers.com
    I do I contact her?
    Enough is enough silencing and this is in a clear violation of our First Amendment of our Constitution!

  2. Kengi says

    I don’t think this is the complete story.

    The site you referenced is based on a report from The Blaze, which is a crazy right-wing website here in the States known for lying and exaggerating. If you follow the source a little further, you end up at a local Chicago website which tells a different story:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130315/roscoe-village/cps-bans-persepolis-at-lane-tech-protest-planned-for-friday

    It was not “banned” by the school system. It had been previously been used in 7th and 11th grade curricula throughout the city, and someone at the Chicago Public Schools decided the torture content and language was too graphic for 7th graders to be part of classroom lessons.

    The book was removed from the 7th grade reading list, but not from the 11th grade reading list. It is still on the 11th grade reading lists.

    The central administration, in fact, specified the book was to remain in school libraries, but removed from 7th grade classrooms.

    Somehow, through the bureaucracy, one of the school principles thought the request was to remove all copies of the book from the school, and not just remove it from the 7th grade reading list and rooms.

    The situation now seems to be a fight over keeping it off the 7th grade reading list or not. As far as I know, the book is back in the one school library it had been removed from, and still on the 11th grade reading list in all of the schools. The other issue is having the book available in classrooms in schools which don’t have a library:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130315/roscoe-village/lane-tech-students-protest-cps-stance-on-persepolis

  3. Vulcan29 says

    Why are these people so afraid of Islamists?
    Is it the “Don’t upset them! They might bomb us” brigade at work?
    Newsflash – they already have!
    Didn’t you know that Islamists see themselves as victims of everyone who is not an Islamist? They are afraid of everything especially those of the female gender. It is this fear that causes them to act viciously and irresponsibly. The rest of us are, in their view, inferiors who should accept their pre-medieval “values” and their crimes against us as justice.
    NO WAY!

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