In a world without the freedom to read, I am Salman Rushdie. I am 460 Confucian scholars who were suffocated to death so that recorded history would begin with the reign of Emperor Shih Huang Ti. I am Martin Luther whose Ninety-Five Theses was burned, but not before it set the stage for the Protestant Reformation. In a world without the freedom to read, I am anyone who has ever been censored into silence.
Today kicks off Banned Books Week: the Huffington Post Canada and Indigo have teamed up to bring our readers' attention to books that have been banned or challenged, both in North America and around the world. Starting tomorrow, we will feature one noteworthy book per day that has come under fire, either by a government or a community. Should parents have the right to raise objections to what books their children are taught or are available in their school libraries? And should every book be exempt from challenge, no matter what its point of view or literary merit? These are important questions to consider and discuss this week. Whatever your opinion, remember that in Canada you are free to read a book, judge it on its merits, and discuss it openly.