Jordan Peterson claims victory over Whitcoulls after book reinstated

Dr Jordan Peterson is celebrating victory over Whitcoulls after the New Zealand company restored his self-help book to its shelves.

Whitcoulls dumped Dr Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos after a photo emerged showing him embracing a fan wearing an anti-Islam T-shirt during his tour of New Zealand.

"Unfortunately 12 Rules for Life is currently unavailable, which is a decision that Whitcoulls has made in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks," Whitcoulls said in an email.

"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. Apologies that we're not able to sell it to you, but we appreciate your understanding."

Interestingly, its purge didn't extend to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, which remained available for purchase from Whitcoulls. But Dr Peterson's book is now back, much to the relief of his fans.

"Who the hell thought pulling the book was a good idea to begin with?" one person commented.

"IT'S LOBSTER TIME!!!" another tweeted in excitement.

Whitcoulls has put 12 Rules for Life back on sale for $39.99, although it's only available in stores.

"In an era of polarizing politics, echo chambers and trigger warnings, his startling message about the value of personal responsibility and the dangers of ideology has resonated around the world," its description of the book reads.

While it's good news for Dr Peterson, the backlash to the photo continues. The UK's Cambridge University has announced it would withdraw its offer of a visiting fellowship at the university's Faculty of Divinity. Dr Peterson had planned to use the time to write lectures on the Bible stories.

"The faculty became aware of a photograph of Professor Peterson posing with his arm around a man wearing a T-shirt that clearly bore the slogan 'I'm a proud Islamophobe'," Professor Stephen Toope, the university's vice-chancellor, told The Times.

"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."

In a strongly-worded blog post, Dr Peterson accused the university of making a "serious error of judgment".

"I think they handled publicizing the rescindment in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious," he wrote.

"I wish them the continued decline in relevance over the next few decades that they deeply and profoundly and diligently work toward and deserve."

But he also told The Times he would be taking steps to ensure he wouldn't be photographed standing next to people wearing "provocative political garb".

"I also have a strong belief that people should be allowed to express themselves as they see fit, and I haven't invoked a dress code at my lectures, feeling that free people who have taken the time and trouble to attend and travel and pay have the right (as they clearly do) to wear whatever they choose," he wrote in an email.

"Having said that, and despite the low base rate and my feelings about allowing those who attend my lectures their freedom of dress, I have now asked the company that handles the photos to politely ask those who are photographed with me to refrain from more 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, particularly in isolation and context-free."