Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson took to Twitter to announce that Whitcoulls, a New Zealand bookstore, has reinstated his book "12 Rules for Life" after it was removed from the shelves following a deadly mass shooting in Christchurch mosques.
New Zealand's Whitcoulls reinstates 12 Rules for Life https://t.co/19ma59R0Y3— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) 27 марта 2019 г.
Social media users rushed to welcome the move and encourage Peterson to "keep up the good work":
Such an over reaction from Whitcoulls. But it also exposed how much NZ is under the mercy of the uninformed mob (just like most western society).— Lex Tapay (@LexTapay) 27 марта 2019 г.
Thank God, so embarrassed by my country lately. Keep up the good work Prof— dojob (@Reformed05) 27 марта 2019 г.
Who the hell thought pulling the book was a good idea to begin with?— Conbo the Barbarian (@RealConbo) 27 марта 2019 г.
Ministry of Truth hogwash
It should never have been censored. Outrageous.— Prof. Sharraki MD (@Sharraki1) 27 марта 2019 г.
1 RULE for selling Books: Don't ban books. Whitcoulls has been Jordan-end.— Andrej Nero Pots PhD (@NeroPhd) 27 марта 2019 г.
Really, I just wonder what the point was. If the goal was to show action of some kind, Mein Kampf was the book to ban. If the point was to hijack the incident in order to enact political action, it was immoral and didn't last. What an incredibly unnecessary situation.— Will Hescott (@FringeModerate) 27 марта 2019 г.
Did they reinstate Mein Kampf as well? (Oh, they never really pulled it)!— D-Squared (@AtilaThePun) 27 марта 2019 г.
There are 302 requests from Auckland library waiting to read this book.— Camellia Yang (@Camelliayang) 27 марта 2019 г.
In an email, shared on social media platforms last week, the book chain told a customer that it had made the decision to pull Peterson's book "in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks".
"As a business which takes our responsibilities to our communities very seriously, we believe it would be wrong to support the author at this time", the email, which was quoted by The New Zealand Herald, read.
So they banned Jordan Peterson's book… but… uh… pic.twitter.com/V9tfxpRrog— Tim Pool (@Timcast) 21 марта 2019 г.
The "disturbing material" Whitcoulls referred to was a photo in which the self-described professor against political correctness is pictured with a man wearing an “I’m a proud Islamophobe” shirt during a tour of New Zealand last month.
In light of Whitcoulls' decision, Peterson's supporters pledged not to spend money in the store and pointed out that the book chain continued to stock books including Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
The move by Whitcoulls followed Cambridge University's decision last week to rescind the offer of a two-month visiting fellowship to Peterson over the same photograph with the fan.
“The casual endorsement by association of this message was thought to be antithetical to the work of a faculty that prides itself in the advancement of inter-faith understanding. Some difficult decisions will always be necessary to ensure that our universities remain places of robust, often challenging and even uncomfortable dialogue, while balancing academic freedom with respect for members of our community”, Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope said in a Sunday statement.
In response to the fellowship offer withdrawal, Peterson penned an extended post, in which he harshly criticised the Faculty of Divinity for having made a "serious error of judgement".
“I think the Faculty of Divinity made a serious error of judgement in rescinding their offer to me (and I’m speaking about those unnamed persons who made that specific decision). I think they handled publicizing the rescindment in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious. […] I think that it is no bloody wonder that the faith is declining (and with it, the values of the West, as it fragments) with cowards and mountebanks of the sort who manifested themselves today at the helm”, he wrote.
On Tuesday, Peterson told The Times that he will no longer pose for photos with fans wearing "provocative political garb given that the fallout can be used by those who are not fond of me (a serious understatement) to capitalise on the opportunity the photos provide".
Peterson, a staunch proponent of free speech, dove into the spotlight in 2016 when he strongly opposed a law requiring people to use gender-neutral pronouns. He claimed that such legislation infringes on free speech.
The Canadian psychologist is the author of a series of lectures called “Professor against political correctness”, where he argues that “there’s a difference between saying something you can’t say and saying that there are things that you have to say”.