Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Censorship in the Islamic World: A List

The invaluable MEMRI has a must-read translation from a French-Tunisian magazine on the pervasiness of censorship in the Islamic world. The author, Tunisian Zyed Krichen, discusses a lengthy list of Muslim authors and intellectuals who were censored, or even murdered, bacause of their writings or beliefs. Here is an excerpt:

"In the West, the advent of printing meant enormous progress in terms of freedom of thought. Printing made possible the gradual spread of knowledge and the questioning of the established order. Technology and freedom seem to have marched hand in hand.

"But in our [Muslim] societies, the opposite seems to have happened. The advent of printing [in the Muslim world] in the mid-19th century and the spread of written materials in the 20th century have [only served to] undermine freedom of thought.

"The numerous examples of 'censorship in the name of Islam' from 1925 to date makes one wonder. From philosophy to cinema, literature, and art - no field has been spared, and no [act of] violence has been avoided. From the [mere] banning of the work to a death sentence for [the writer] - every kind of obscurantist horror has taken place in the lands of Islam. Given that we are one of the Civilizations of the Book, [2] this is a complete paradox.

Please read the rest:

Censorship and Persecution in the Name of Islam: A Tunisian Weekly Counts the Ways


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