American Library Association: Intentionally and Consciously Silent on the Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie

I found out today that the Executive Board of the American Library Association has finished driving the organization off the cliff of irrelevance into the deep, dark quarry of ethical nothingness. It seems the ALA Executive Board will NOT be making a statement to condemn the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie.

In case you forgot, that “life changing” attack on an author happened in the United States and was perpetrated by an American Muslim Fanatic. Before any Critical Librarians show up and start pissing and moaning, I’m emphasizing AMERICAN in that, not “Muslim.” If this guy had been an Iranian Fanatic who flew over and did this, I’d probably be less pissed off at the ALA’s cowardice and hypocrisy, but Mr. Knifewielder was an AMERICAN. And he was quite purposely and publicly and murderously attacking an AUTHOR of a work that has been banned, challenged and threatened. Thus do I think the comments of the AMERICAN Library Association might be pertinent.

But…crickets are chirping in Chicago and they are apparently going to KEEP chirping. Now, maybe you’re thinking that the American Library Association doesn’t comment on the non-library-related news. This didn’t happen in a LIBRARY, after all. They’re just librarians, right? Wrong.

These people put out press releases all the time about happenings not related to libraries or censorship therein AT ALL. To wit:

Official Statement 2017: DACA Comes to an End

Official Statement 2020: Cops Are Mean to Protestors

Official Statement 2020: Diversity Training for Federal Employees etc. etc.

But the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie, an author of a BANNED BOOK, a book banned for violating the sensibilities of religious Fanatics? Nope. Nothing.

But don’t get the idea that the efforts of ALL religious Fanatics get a pass. When Evangelical soccer moms in Kansas or Baptist state representatives in South Carolina organize for censorship, the ALA pipes right up:

Official Statement: The ALA Opposes Widespread Efforts at Censorship

Official Statement: ALA Condemns State Legislation Limiting Access to Abortion Information

Well, I put it to the anti-neutrality crowd this way: if silence means taking the side of the aggressor or oppressor (as you lot so often assert), then why does the American Library Association want to see Salman Rushdie stabbed to death by fatwa-inspired Fanatics? Maybe the ALA’s leadership thinks ol’ Salman had it coming? Or are they just afraid of the next knife-wielder showing up in Chicago? Might the ALA be aware that all efforts at censorship are definitely NOT equal in terms of “violence”?

Official Statement: ALA Condemns Threats of Violence in Libraries

The American Library Association and its de facto academia-bound ideological seed-bed is ideologically corrupt. The Portable Sanitation Association International is LESS full of shit than the ALA. I may join THEM instead.


3 thoughts on “American Library Association: Intentionally and Consciously Silent on the Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie

  1. The hypocrisy of the ALA’s stances on intellectual freedom are what drove me to end my membership years ago. This latest example, though, tops them all.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this glaring omission by this organization that so many our our fellow professionals look to for leadership and guidance.

  2. The issue you raise here is endemic to our times, and the ideology of “you MUST tolerate even those who are hostile — even dangerous — to you and your own belief system.”

    Very much along these Rushdie lines: I recently purchased a PBS documentary film at a thrift shop called Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. It’s a puff-piece about how great Islam is. EVERY faith deserves open, honest, critique and query. It was made in 2002 and is still available and is widely used as a teaching tool at schools.(Meanwhile, by 2014, the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights association complained about 48 of what it called “hits” against Catholicism by PBS).

    To my shock, in the middle of the Muhammad film, American-born Anwar Al-Awlaki, a “most wanted” “terrorist” by the Obama (not Trump, not Bush) administration (who had him assassinated by drone attack in Yemen in 2011) is seen in the movie, leading the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (Muslims who work in Washington D.C. federal government ) meeting in prayer. Al-Awlaki is not named in the film, but he is shown leading prayer and even addressing the group.

    It seems that Fox News is the only media outlet online that I can find that notes this troublesome fact. (Check it out if you doubt what I say here. Or view the film yourself).

    Otherwise, crickets everywhere …

    You can still buy this film and it’s still used as a teaching tool.

    (I’m putting together a piece about this bizarre film and how it inadvertently raises uncomfortable issues even while it self-consciously labors to direct viewers — and school kids — in a different direction, away from critique, open discussion, and inevitable controversy).

  3. This PBS film can be found posted by various people at you tube. Some versions have apparently edited Al-Awlaki out, probably since he was assassinated by the U.S. government in 2011.(PBS silently revised the film?)

    You can see Al-Awlaki leading Muslim federal government workers at 40:11 to 41:04 here in the PBS film:

    And his image made the news everywhere when he was killed in 2011, for example here, in an Al-Jazeera report:

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