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Chapters/Indigo hearts censorship

If you’re looking for the new issue of Harper’s, don’t head to Indigo or Chapters, ’cause it ain’t there. The Globe and Mail reported on Saturday that the mega-chain has pulled each and every copy from its 260 stores Canada-wide. The reason? Those pesky Mohammed cartoons again!

Indigo is crying foul over an Art Spiegelman article that contains all 12 of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten‘s infamous cartoons, along with some new comix, including one penned by Spiegelman and, according to the Globe, “two by Israelis, ‘inspired’ by an Iranian newspaper’s call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest ‘to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech’.”

The Globe also boasts a leaked e-mail that was sent to Indigo execs, instructing them on how to respond to customer complaints of censorship, which includes the ever-so-natural and spontaneous-sounding “the decision was made based on the fact that the content about to be published has been known to ignite demonstrations around the world. Indigo [and its subsidiaries] Chapters and Coles will not carry this particular issue of the magazine but will continue to carry other issues of this publication in the future.”

And the final dash of salt to this wound in free speech’s side? Harper’s publisher John MacArthur chided, “I’d expect an American company to do this, not a Canadian.” Ouch.

Related links:
Delve into the Globe story here