Book Banning in Malaysia
As I have noted before, Islamists in Malaysia have worked tirelessly in recent years to impose their vision of intolerance on a heretofore moderate Muslim country. Malaysia's willingness to ban books critical of Islam has been one factor contributing to their success.
On June 6, the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, reported that:
The Internal Security Ministry has banned 37 book titles and publications on Islam containing twisted facts that can undermine the faith of Muslims.
Secretary of the Publications and Quranic Texts Control Division Che Din Yusoh said today 21 of the publications were in the English language and published in the United States, United Kingdom and Jordan while 16 were in Bahasa Malaysia and published in Malaysia and Indonesia.
All the book titles and publications were banned by a prohibition order under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, he said in a statement.
He said the prohibition order was imposed on the publications because their contents and text on Islam twisted facts and true Islamic teachings or contained elements that misled the faithful and humiliated the prophets.
"These publications can cause confusion and apprehension among Muslims and eventually jeopardise public order," he added.
Link via Dhimmi Watch; emphasis added-DD)
You can see the entire list of banned books by viewing the article. Unfortunately, these are far from the only such books to be banned in Malaysia on these grounds.
On June 28, the Malaysian newspaper The Sun published an interview with religion scholar Karen Armstrong. Ms. Armstrong has written frequently about Islam, and her books are Islamic-friendly to the point of naivete. Yet, as noted in the interview, three of her books have been banned in Malaysia as being "detrimental to peace and harmony", along with John Esposito's What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam. The ban on Esposito's work and at least one of Armstrong's dates from June 2006.
(Sun link via Jihad Watch)
In December 2006, a blogger named Pedestrian Infidel posted a list of banned books he obtained from the Borders superstore in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital. It includes both Esposito's and Armstrong's books, as well as works by the likes of Robert Spencer and Bernard Lewis. Another blogger, though, has noted that most of Lewis's books are available in Malaysia. Ironically so, since Lewis is much more critical of Islam than either Armstrong or Esposito. Still, Malaysia's restrictions on what ideas can and cannot be published about Islam have undoubtedly helped foster the rise of Islamist intolerance in that nation.