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. 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.
Robert Whelan of the Civitas think-tank said: “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.”
Over at Holy Smoke Catholic Herald editor Damian Thompson asks “Don’t PC librarians make you sick?” and threatens: “I think I’ll pay a special visit to my local (super-PC) library this afternoon and have a look at the ‘holy books’. And then maybe do a little rearranging of my own.”