Offended PEN members refuse to participate in annual gala because Charlie Hebdo got an award

Why Evolution Is True

Jebus! Here’s the Roll of Shame: six writers who took a misguided stand against Charlie Hebdo, apparently not understanding what the magazine was all about:

Peter Carey
Michael Ondaatje
Francine Prose
Teju Cole
Rachel Kushner
Taiye Selasi

What did they do? According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, these writers “[withdrew] as literary hosts at the group’s annual gala on May 5, adding a new twist to the continuing debate over the publication’s status as a martyr for free speech.” At that gala, the magazine will receive the 2015 PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award, an award that apparently hurt the tender feelings of those six. Other writers, like Deborah Eisenberg, didn’t withdraw but also criticized Charlie Hebdo for “denigrating portrayals of Muslims.” Sorry, but the magazine published denigrating portrayals of Islamic belief, which Eisenberg simply gets wrong, mistaking criticism of a faith—or of bad behavior of…

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