Thursday, February 15, 2007

Banning Piglet

A blog posted at a site called Qatar Living relates a silly yet telling example of Islamist censorship:

In Qatar there is only one decent bookshop (that happens to be a Saudi chain) that has a few shelves of English books. Shopping there is hit or miss - you don't go there to look for a title. You go there in the hope of stumbling upon something interesting.

The kids selection is not bad though. The other night we saw Disney's "My Very First Encyclopedia with Winnie the Pooh and friends". We grabbed it and thought it was exactly what we needed for our daughter - not only does she love Winnie the Pooh but she's also started taking a keen interest in nature.

We flipped it open and noticed that some of the pages had been vandalised with a black marker. We figured it must have been bought and returned after some kids had got there hands on it. Further inspection made us realise that this was actually systematic. Someone had deliberately "censored" out each and every picture of Piglet from hundreds of pages in the book with a black marker (my guess is that the book got caught by Saudi Censors enroute to Doha).

(Emphasis added-DD)

The original post includes images of the book sans Piglet, if you're curious.

The blogger in question, Camper, offers some further thoughts worth reading:

Now I've got a feeling that this isn't the result of Qatari censors. They are pretty good when it comes to these sorts of things (they did abolish the "Ministry of Information" a decade ago). I have a feeling that this book came via Saudi Arabia, since the book chain is a Saudi franchise. Of course, such craziness can be expected from the Saudi censors.

Which brings us to the question of censorship in the first place. We often here the big stories about journalists being arrested or killed.

It isn't often that we here about the little things like poor Piglet.

(Link courtesy of Dhimmi Watch)


Blogger Jeha said...

Too much trouble, just ban the darn book. Or any book for that matter. Maybe this is what they'll end up doing when the oil runs out and forces them to do some budget cuts.

A mind is a terrible thing to have...

7:22 PM  

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