Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Magazine Banned in Tunisia

Also from Reporters Sans Frontieres comes word that Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey have banned the most recent issue of a French magazine called Historia Thématique. RSF's press release explains the reasoning for the ban, while also exposing its absurdity:

The Tunisian authorities announced their ban on 10 January, saying it was due to a picture showing the Prophet Mohammed, which is “formally forbidden in Islam and could offend the religious feelings of Tunisians.” The picture in fact comes from an illustrated copy of the Koran dating from 1583 that is in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul.

The January issue of Historia, a monthly produced by the same publishing house, has been on sale without any problem although it has an illustration showing Mohammed in partially animal form (with feathers and the tail of a fish).

Historia editor Pierre Baron told Reporters Without Borders that the reaction to the Historia Thématique issue was indicative of the current climate of intolerance. He pointed out that the issue was also about Christian and Jewish fundamentalism, adding that his staff decided that fundamentalism was an appropriate subject because of the increasing frequency of cases of offence being taken on the grounds of religious sensibilities.

(Emphasis added-DD)

Unfortunately, when regimes censor in order to avoid offending Islamist sensibilities, they simply fuel this "current climate of intolerance".


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