After months of vandalism and harassment, the owners of a religious bookstore in an Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood have agreed to a series of “modesty standards” particularly aimed at women) laid out by the Sikrikim, an extremist group. The owners of the store will display large placards in the front windows requesting that patrons dress modestly. They will also remove controversial books from the shelves, although no books written in English will be removed.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “the group has smashed [the bookstore's] windows more than a dozen times, glued its locks shut, thrown tar and fish oil at the store, and dumped bags of human excrement inside. The owners were also personally threatened multiple times.”
One of the shop’s managers, Marlene Samuels, said, “In the beginning, the owners thought it would stop, that it was temporary, but it didn’t stop, it got worse and worse [...] It’s never going to end 100%”
I wish that bookstores and libraries around the world could be censorship-free havens for knowledge, but there are still some people determined to repress opinions and ideas that they don’t agree with. It’s too bad that this particular store was put under such pressure that they had to concede to the censors.
Photo from Palfest via flickr