A place for censorship

09 Aug 2017 / 08:11 H.

    CENSORSHIP doesn't help (On the Other Hand, Aug 7) refers. I feel that censorship and banning of books are at times justified to preserve national security and harmony.
    Many Muslim nations banned The Satanic Verses as it was considered blasphemous to Islam. Now one can read it online as it is beyond government control. But, for security reasons, our government banned it.
    Similarly, Taslima Nazreen, who openly claimed that she was an apostate, wrote books insulting Islam. She was given asylum in India, where she was hero-worshipped and now lives in exile holding Swedish citizenship.
    She writes about Islam to earn a living. Bangladesh and other Muslim nations banned her book.
    In India, a book about Hinduism by Wendy Doniger, was banned by the Supreme Court, as the Hindus felt it insulted their faith.
    I remember, Sri Lanka and Myanmar banned an issue of Time magazine which published The Buddhist Terror, an article about the activities of a Myanmar Buddhist monk named Wirathu. As we can see, most nations ban books for various reasons, not just Malaysia.
    In the West, one can write on any subject, except books that portray Jews in a bad light. If one does, all will cry, "Anti-Semitism"!
    I don't hate Jews. My question is why is there selective publishing? There was a news brief on Monday about two Chinese tourists detained for doing the Hitler salute. Where is the freedom of expression?
    Censorship of movies is very important. Many Hollywood movies have explicit scenes.
    Books that hurt the sentiments of any community are usually banned in most nations except the West. And books that are anti-establishment are usually banned by the respective governments (except the West). In China, writers who write anything against the government are punished.
    So, I think censorship is important. But I agree with the writers view on opening conversations and dialogues on issues.
    We can be open on certain matters but topics on religion and custom are considered sensitive.
    Even President Trump does not accept many views from the press. He will just tweet: "fake news"! And that is in the most advanced nation in the world!
    Kuala Lumpur


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