Thanks to True Peers and Jane for the leads and copy.
TORONTO -- Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, saying an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten.[....]
In a memo e-mailed to Indigo managers Friday about "what to do if customers question Indigo's censorship" of Harper's, employees were told to say "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."
Indigo normally carries as many as 3,000 copies each month of Harper's, about 11 per cent of the New York magazine's total retail distribution in Canada, according to a Harper's circulations manager.
"Is it merely a coincidence that Chapters-Indigo is owned and headed by Liberal Party fundraisers and stalwarts Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman?"
In response to the article above a commentator writes:
Guys, it's not a question of political bias on Reisman's part. It's her lazy, privileged Eastern attitude towards business. She has a virtual monopoly over the 'bricks and mortar' book selling market. She doesn't have to compete with Border or Barnes and Noble on home turf. In the online market, she's getting massacred because Amazon rules supreme there with excellent service and prices. I could not ask Jeff Bezos to do more, but I know he will anyway. As for Reisman - heh, don't make me laugh. I will never waste my hard earned money on the likes of her ever again. McNally-Robinson or Amazon for me guys.
The article also contains five cartoons, including one by Mr. Spiegelman and 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."
Spiegelman — perhaps best known as the creator of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Holocaust cartoon Maus — rates each of the 12 Mohammed cartoons on a scale of 1 to 4 "fatwa bombs," and also includes several scabrous cartoons from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Indigo pulls controversial Harper's off the shelves Globe and Mail
Maybe we'll get very lucky and find out that the executives of Chapters have issued a bounty on Spiegleman and Harper's staff. Not a fatwah, just an inter-office memo suggesting to the folks in the mail-room that a promotion is available if one of them ships off a letter bomb to those who would dare offend the high and mighty dhimmis who know what's better for the proles.