Top Shelf Political Correctness

British Libraries have been told to put Bibles on the top shelf to prevent upsetting Muslims. I mean we don’t want to cause offence to anyone do we? The Daily Mail reports:

Librarians are being told to move the Bible to the top shelf to avoid giving offence to followers of Islam. 

Muslims have complained of finding the Koran on lower shelves, saying it should be put above commonplace things. 

So officials have responded with guidance, backed by ministers, that all holy books should be treated equally and go on the top shelf together. 


The Bible, left, has been moved to the top shelf in libraries following requests that the Koran, right, be put above ordinary books

This means that Christian works, which also have immense historical and literary value, will be kept out of the reach and sight of many readers. 

The guidance was published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a quango answering to Culture Secretary Andy Burnham. 


It said Muslims in Leicester had moved copies of the Koran to the top shelves of libraries, in keeping with the belief that the Koran is the all-important word of God. 

The report said the city’s librarians consulted the Federation of Muslim Organisations and were advised that all religious texts should be kept on the top shelf. 

‘This meant that no offence is caused, as the scriptures of all the major faiths are given respect in this way, but none is higher than any other,’ the guidance added. 

Critics said such a move implied religious works should be treated as objects of veneration rather than as books to be read. Robert Whelan of the Civitas think-tank said: 

The shelving guidance came from a quango answering to Andy Burnham

‘Libraries and museums are not places of worship. They should not be run in accordance with particular religious beliefs. 

‘This is violating the principles of librarianship and it is part of an insidious trend.’ 

He said the principle that books should be available to everyone was established in Europe in the Middle Ages. 

‘One of the central planks of the Protestant Reformation was that everybody should have access to the Bible,’ he added. 

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: ‘It is disappointing if the policy of libraries is dictated by the practices of one group. 

‘It is particularly disappointing if this is done to put the scriptures beyond reach. 

‘I hope there will be a rethink. I understand that Muslims revere their own text, but in public libraries there should not be a policy of putting religious texts out of reach.’ 

Inayat Bunglawala, of the Engage think tank, which encourages Muslims to play a greater role in public life, said: ‘If Muslims wish to see the Koran placed on a higher shelf, and library rules say it should be there, then that is a welcome and considerate gesture. 

‘But one size does not fit all. If Christians do not want to see the Bible treated in the same way, I do not see why it has to be dealt with the same.’ 

Canon Chris Sugden, of the Anglican Mainstream movement, said: ‘This does appear to be a reversion to medieval times, when the Bible could be read only by priests in Latin and was not to be defiled by ordinary people reading it. 

‘The principle to be challenged is that there is a certain way in which one must treat all holy books. 

‘The Bible is readily available, and it would not be difficult to have more than one copy, with some on display within the reach of children.’ 

The guidelines warned against another decision made in Leicester, in which Islamic material had been bought from local suppliers. 

Libraries then found they had put into stock Islamic books that were condoning violence against non- Muslims, the report said. 

The new guidelines make it clear that pornography can be offered by libraries. 

They said that some have stocked the Black Lace series of erotic stories aimed at women, and that others bought and lent Madonna’s Sex. 

Librarians faced a ‘difficult balance’ but should try to ‘reflect changing fashion and opinion’, the guidance said. 

Culture Minister Barbara Follett said: ‘We have to give staff the tools to enable them to make decisions about what materials they can and should stock while, at the same time, promoting learning, education and cultural inspiration for all.

Didn’t Jesus tell us that the Gospel of the Kingdom would offend some people? Is there a problem with causing offence over belief systems, provided it leads to healthy discussion rather than violent militant reprisals? Or, to put it another way, how is it possible not to offend others from a different persuasion unless we all completely shut up about what we believe, including Muslims, who seem to complain about being upset an awful lot!

(via Andrew Bolt)

7 thoughts on “Top Shelf Political Correctness

  1. This isnt about offence at all, more a misguided response to a religious duty of one group. Its got nothing to do with the Gospel or any offense caused by it.

    The “Christian Institute” however, seem to be expert at taking a bit of offense. These do-gooders fund various cases such as the one posted on previously by Bull about the Christian Foster-mum and Muslim daughter. Then they cry persecution and publicise the supposed mistreatment of Christians.

    Who goes to the Library to read the Bible? Possibly someone who is not a Christian but is seeking, and then they will find it whether its on the top-shelf or anywhere else. Storm in a teacup.

  2. You’d be right that it is a storm in a teacup, if it weren’t for the continual erosion of sense being occasioned by a plethora of similar acts of political correctness, i.e., people no longer being allowed to have a porcelain pig amongst their garden gnomes because they live next to a swine-hating Muslim family, or Bull’s fostering incident, which is certainly interference by overzealous council workers afraid of Muslim reprisals.

    The issue isn’t the issue, but why it is an issue at all!

  3. Well, I hope they provide ladders. Oh – probably not – public liability issues.

    It all depends on how high up the top shelf is, really. Once could argue that shelves higher than about 1450mm above ground level disadvantage people in wheelchairs.

    It is interesting though, that these issues have become so sensitive. Particularly in that people want to be seen to treat Christian and Muslim items in a totally evenhanded way. I suspect that no matter what approach was taken, someone would be upset.

    It would be a nuisance for librarians to have to separate religious material into more than one location.

  4. It’s rather ironic since half of the bible is what there writings are based on. Absolutely pathetic.

    This is simply a sensitive-new-age-jihad (SNAJ).
    Of course the brits are gonna bend over backward unto the bidding of the ‘nice’ muslim faith. Christians are easy to push over because we are so loving and understanding that we’re not welcome anymore.

  5. The Muslims are welcome to keep the Koran on the highest shelf and out of reach. As a Christian, I take no offence at leaving the Bible on the bottom one for all to read. 😉

  6. Yes, perhaps the Librarians should have allowed the Christians to defer to the Muslims on this one, and permitted them to place the Koran on the top shelf, out of reach and out of sight like their god, whilst the Bible remained accessible to the common people on the ground level shelf, where our God meets with the people!

  7. The primary school that my children went to until fairly recently has a special shelf in the library with a Koran on it.

    There are no Muslims in the school. There are no Muslims within the immediate catchment area for the school! There was no one to upset. Yet now the Koran is in the prominent place in the school library.

    There will be a significant Islamic political party by the end of 2020 which may have the balance of power in the UK parliament. We are certainly in the era of 4 party politics already, while Christianity has already been shunted to the sidelines. Christians are practically the only group still the butt of jokes by the ‘comedians’. How soon will ‘jokes’ become something much more serious?


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