Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Concerns new library rules may leave Bible 'beyond reach'

[Christianity Today UK] 18 Feb 2009--Librarians have been told to place all religious texts on the top shelves of bookcases, following complaints from Muslims about the positioning of the Koran on shelves.

The move came about after Muslims complained about the Koran being placed on lower shelves, reports The Daily Mail. They said that it should be put above common book but some Christians are concerned it may put the Bible out of reach of readers.

Officials, backed by ministers, have said that all holy books should be treated equally and put on the top shelf together. The guidance from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a quango that answers to Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, tells libraries to put the Bible and the Koran on the top shelf above non-holy books.

The quango said that Muslims in Leicester had moved copies of the Koran to the top shelves in libraries, as they believe it to be the word of God. In a report they said that the librarians of the city had spoken to the Federation of Muslim Organisations and were advised that all holy books be placed on the top shelf.

The guidance states: “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.”

However, the move has generated criticism from Christian, civil and even Muslim groups.

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