Written by an Iranian woman, the memoir “Persepolis” has been banned in Iran, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates because the work is considered to be Islamophobic and blasphemous to Muslims. What’s more, it has also been banned in a Chicago public school for ostensibly the same reasons.
Teachers, students and parents at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep staged a protest Friday after all traces of Marjane Satrapi’s novel were purged from the North Side school — a decision made by Principal Christopher Dignam, who said he was instructed by Chicago Public School officials to remove the book.
A film adaptation of Persepolis, released in 2007, was banned in Iran, a move that the author believes is due to the fact that the movie portrays women who do not wear hijabs and “because they fall in love.” “It is too Western and it is un-Islamic and maybe anti-revolutionary,” she said in an interview.
The book, recommended by the Young Adult Library Association as one of “100 Best Books of the Decade,” follows Satrapi’s life as a young girl-turned-adolescent in Iran following the Islamic Revolution and subsequent deposal of the Shah.
UPDATE: I received the following message from the Principal of this school as follows:
On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM, Chris Dignam wrote:
Good evening,Please check your sources related to the news article you posted stating I decided to remove Persepolis from my school. That is completely untrue and slanderous. I only reported to my staff that I was informed the district was contemplating removing the book from CPS high schools. The day after I informed my staff, the district clarified their position and stated that no books were going to be removed from any high schools. That afternoon (after school) students held a rally in support of the book. I never ordered the removal of the book and not one book was ever removed from my school.I understand that your report may be in error or an honest mistake but it is stating I did something I would never do. I also understand your passion behind the topic but please check several news sources or simply google the topic if you are not sure. I only ask you update and your report and not continue posting something about me that us untrue.Thank you,C. DignamChristopher A. Dignam, Ed. D.PrincipalLane Tech College Prep High School2501 West AddisonChicago, Illinois 60631
RESPONSE FROM BNI: This principal asked me to remove his email address and tel. number which he included in his letter to me that I posted in full. So I removed his email and tel. no. Now he wants me to remove his name and the school’s name and address because he apparently is getting a lot of flak. I declined to do that. He says I should check my sources better, but the video here was produced by a local News station in Ohio, which evidently did check with several sources including the Teacher’s Union.
Methinks this principal doth protesteth too much.