Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hamas Unbans Speak Bird, Speak Again

The Hamas-run Palestinian Education Ministry has gone back on its decision to ban the book Speak Bird, Speak Again from Palestinian school libraries. The BBC has the details:

Officials had demanded the book, which features mild sexual references, be removed from school libraries.

It was seen as the first sign the Islamic party was keen to impose its Muslim beliefs on Palestinian society.

But Education Minister Nasser Shaer said the "tempest in a teacup" was over and the decision had been rescinded.

About 1,500 copies of the book, Speak, Bird, Speak Again were taken off the shelves in 150 school libraries in the West Bank and Gaza last month after some of the language was deemed inappropriate.

With the Palestinian Authority in a state of near civil war, it looks like the Hamas government decided that it wasn't worth alienating public opinion over a book. Of course, if the copies previously removed from libraries were destroyed, as reported earlier, lifting the ban on the book might be a moot point.


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