Monday, June 19, 2006

More Banned Books

Malaysiakini reported on Friday that eighteen more books have been banned in Malaysia by the Internal Security Ministry under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. (Thanks, Animah, for telling me.) The story can also be read on the Bernama news agency's website.

The 18 banned books (with links when I could find them) :

  1. The Bargaining for Israel: In the Shadow of Armageddon (Mona Johulan, Bridge-Logos Publishers, United States (USA).
  2. Islam (Mathew S Gordon, Oxford University Press (OUP))
  3. Lifting the Veil (Trudie Crawford, Apple of Gold, United States)
  4. A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism (Bobby S Sayyid, Zed Books Ltd, UK)
  5. Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab's View of Islam (Anis Shorrosh, Thomas Nelson Publishers, USA)
  6. What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (John L Esposito, OUP)
  7. Mini Skirts Mothers & Muslims (Christine Mallouhi)
  8. The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Karen Armstrong, Harper Collins, UK)*
  9. Kundalini For Beginners (Ravindra Kumar, Health Harmony, B Jain Publishers (P) Ltd, India)
  10. Sacred Books of the East (Epiphanius Wilson, J-Jeiley Asian Educational Services, India)
  11. Sharing Your Faith with A Muslim (Abdiyah Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Bethany House Publishers, USA)
  12. Cults, World Religions and The Occult (Kenneth Boa, Chariot Victor Publishings, UK)
  13. Petua dan Doa Pendinding, Penawar, Penyembuh Penyakit (Awang Mohd Yahya, Unsie Publisher, Kuala Lumpur)
  14. Hakikat & Hikmah 7 Hari Dalam Seminggu (Abu Nashr Al-Hamdanly, Pustaka Ilmi, Batu Caves, Selangor)
  15. Pemuda Bani Tamim Perintis Jalan Imam Mahdi (Abu Muhammad, Penerbit Giliran Timor)
  16. Kontroversi Hukum Hudud (Kassim Ahmad, Forum Iqra Berhad, Penang)
  17. Risalah No 2 Dilema Umat Islam Antara Hadis dan Quran (Kassim Ahmad, Forum Iqra Berhad, Penang)
  18. Siri 7 Amalan-Amalan Bid'ah Pada Bulan Syaban (Ustaz Rasul bin Dahri, Percetakan Putrajaya Sdn Bhd)
The only comment on the banning I could find was on Aiseyman's blog.

There is still no word from the government on why eleven titles (many of them books on Christianity) were banned last year, despite repeated attempts by the DAP to open up the debate. No doubt it will be the same story now.

30 comments:

nyx said...

i think you linked the wrong book for #3. it's not the david icke book, but the trudie crawford one.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963328336/ref=sr_11_1/102-3690570-6060948?%5Fencoding=UTF8

bibliobibuli said...

many thanks nyx - malaysiakini did not give the authors for some of the books so i initially took a guess which book seemed more likely! then i found the bernama list and added authors but forgot to change this link

lil ms d said...

i am going to LOOK for the books then and BUY them.

please lah. some of the rubbish published (go to jalan masjid india) ought to be banned simply for the lack of substance in the books. i mean, have you read some of the local tabloids? warta perdana which is salacious and does not 'benefit' the rakyat's mind?!

eh but i saw karen armstrong's book the other day... i better go buy it.

see you!

lil ms d said...

hi all

maybe you can help me?

i'm looking for history books on malaysia, on the lines of sterling seagrave etc. non-academic but factual and riveting. i have the malay annals etc but would appreciate more info.

thanks!

Chet said...

Sharon - do you know about the 100 Best Novels lists published by The Modern Library? There are two lists - one selected by the ML's board and the other by the readers.

100 Best Novels

Ron said...

I love lists of banned or 'suspect' books: it makes me want to buy or read as many of them as I can.

fathi aris omar said...

I have read Karen Armstrong's "The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam"

I bet it is the best analysis (so far) about religious fundamentalism.

I wonder why it was banned.... Is it because this Govt in love with fundamentalists?

Another interesting read "Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel" written by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

Dean said...

Censorship sucks big time. I feel like buying some of these books and quoting the best bits on my blog. (If only I had an interest in Islam, but I don't.)

bibliobibuli said...

ron, fathi, ms d, dean - i agree that lists of books like this only make you want to read them more - i certainly feel i need to read karen armstrong now!!!

ms d - i have quite a few books on malaysian history which you can borrow - then do take a look at raman's library in the back of the shop - there are so many treasures there - and you could try the badan warisan library, jalan stonor

chet - thanks - have the book but did not know there was also an on online list - will frontpage this later

Dean said...

On the Amazon Site she's quoted: to "prevent an escalation of the conflict, we must try and understand the pain and perception of the other side."

This is exactly the approach promoted by William T. Vollmann, who has written extensively on conflict in the modern world.

But if a book is banned, how can it affect all those to whom it is addressed? I guess her main audience must now be Western. It's appalling. But in Australia we also have censorship. We should concentrate here on pulling down censorship and shaming countries like Malaysia to do the same.

sympozium said...

Ms D - "Out in the Midday Sun" by Margaret Shennan (EXCELLENT as social history!!!); "The War of the Running Dogs" - Noel Barber; Sinister Twilight - Noel Barber, Singapore Burning - Colin Davis; Decade of Change - Bryan Cooper...

Sharon - re the banning...makes one just want to leave the country to a place where there's intellectual freedom. This country is doomed, and we all know why. Houllebecq was right.

The Eternal Wanderer said...

How to encourage a society of open-minded people when the ones leading the people are so narrow and close-minded?

I'm not surprised that books that encourages intellectual debates and understanding regarding religion are banned. After all, the leaders here in this country only believe in one true teaching of a religion and thus, what they believe is law while others who say otherwise are perpetrating the crime of blasphemy. Need I say how inane they could be?

And also any book touches on Israel. Cos Malaysia is anti-Israel. So much for being a country that is supposed to be neutral isn't it? *Sigh*

lil ms d said...

we should stage a protest, and wear books when we do the walk. :)

Lotus Reads said...

Whoa! That's quite a few books they've banned, but like Ron stated, it would only make me even more determined to get a hold of some of those books. I am currently reading "The Caged Virgin" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I know this could be quite a controversial book and whether I agree with her opinions or not, I so appreciate the fact that I can atleast read it and form my own judgment.

Greenbottle said...

i think i understand malaysian govt view regarding islam and her concern not to get the muslims 'mislead' by some nonsensical books purportedly discussing about islam... a fair and good intention but banning books is NOT the way to go...

having said that i'm more than willing to kill any bastards here or anywhere else (if i can get away with it that is...) who wilfully try to insult or denigrate my religion (islam)...but good and responsible and quality writings on Islam are more than welcome by anyone including from the non muslims and even if they present highly negative views on Islam ...and i've read a few of karen armstrong's books and at least hers and a few others here are definitely 'quality' writing and banning them just show the stupidity of the malaysian government...

Greenbottle said...

i meant to say 'misled' of course...in my first sentence above...

Ron said...

Greenbottle wrote, "i'm more than willing to kill".

All that does is perpetuate the negativity that goes with your religion (and any other religion that encourages this kind of action) in many parts of the world.

Wouldn't it better to try dialogue, talk about your point of view and ask about theirs?

To me, banning books (or films or blogsites or whatever), just proves that those doing the banning are so worried about the weak foundation of their ideology, be it religious or political, that a book or two will undermine it.

Greenbottle said...

Ron;

you missed my point...I said if i can get away with it...which of course i won't so i'll never kill anybody (or animals even)...

the point is...nobody should wilfully insult any religion full stop. and i personally feel that censoship of any form is criminal...why..even 'pronography' shouldn't be banned...

dialogue is good but this has been going on for donkey years without much effects...some fools still don't get it that they should not and must not insult other people's sensitivities... so okay...take the example of that idiot salman rushdie... fine..he writes well..i love his books and i love his 'satanic verses' for the fine writing and story...but he insulted me as a muslim and if i ever meet this bastard ok i won't kill this fool but i'm more than willing to kick his face...

Dean said...

greenbottle said: "nobody should wilfully insult any religion full stop"

That's just pure crap, greenbottle. What seems an insult to you may be just common sense to me. Who decides what's an insult? Where do you draw the line? There should be NO restriction on free speach. However, of course, in most developed countries there are such things as libel laws. These laws prevent you from slandering someone. Slander means injuring their standing in the community. This applies, of course, mainly to individuals, and not to religions.

Like those Danish cartoons. I was sooooo pleased that Tim Blair, a journalist and blogger here in Australia, finally published them online so that normal people could take a look and decide for themselves. They weren't so bad. I thought they were kind of funny. If someone drew cartoons like that about the Christian god (I was educated in an Anglican school) I'd still laugh at them.

Those losers who got upset at them are, like Ron said, just too scared that their precious religion will be damaged. It's a form of insecurity.

sympozium said...

How can something like "Religion" be 'insulted' ??? To be 'insulted' means one must have feelings to feel the insult, isn't it? Can "Philosophy" or "Science" be 'insulted'????

Greenbottle said...

good point dean...who decides what's an insult?..in my case I do!...in muslims' case muslims will decide...obviously there won't be consensus as some have thinner skins than others..so it's up to your intelligence/or stupidity how far you want to prod the tiger with a pointed stick eh??

yes, it's difficult to decide where to draw the line... some people will give the right cheek to be slapped after the left one was socked...others have different philosophy...so just use your intelligence when dealing with very controversial issues and different world views... or as they say..bear the consequence of your actions.....

Anonymous said...

Greenbottle,

I notice on your blogger profile that one of your favourite movies is Life of Brian. Don't you think think this is hypocritical of you as the movie is an insult to religion (I believe that Jesus is viewed as a prophet in Islam)?

How would you feel if a similar sendup movie had been made of your prophet?

sympozium said...

Religion should set us free, and not tie us up in chains.

Dean said...

"Religion should set us free, and not tie us up in chains."

If you're lucky, you'll be freed from the need for religion. Religion is a chain that is bound around ignorant people who are unfortunate enough not to have anything else in their lives to sustain them. Good literature -- the enlightened child of advanced liberal humanism -- sustains me when I have spare time.

Greenbottle said...

very perceptive of you 'anonymous'...yes, life of brian is one of my all time favorites... and jesus IS one of islam's prophets... but how can you fault the amazing monty python guys?... i don't feel this film insult any religion... i don't feel insulted...it's the best satire and criticism on religion i've ever seen...it's required viewing for anybody who value satire and parody..this is my point... if you read my earlier postings carefully ...I said that i don't mind any good writings or arts or any intellectual discussions even if they are highly negative towards my religion... but what i will not tolerate is willful insult and disrespect ...it's not hard to understand that i think...

bibliobibuli said...

an interesting discussion has been taking place while i was having my afternoon nap!

i don't believe in censorship and feel the need to stick to that as a principle, ... yet there is for sure stuff that makes me angry. the danish cartoons - some were mildly amusing, but the worst of them were offensive and tasteless and i feel that it was a gross error of judgement on the part of newspaper editors to have printed them. the henry ford books you see in every mamak newsagents here makes me terribly angry since they fan the flames of anti-semitism.

with the banned books ... what is worrying is that scholarly works which could open up useful debate - (the prime example being works by armstrong) have been banned.

among my most dearly held beliefs - intellectual inquiry and the use of reason is central to our spiritual journey ...

sympozium said...

Ah, but Sharon, in terms of tangible results, yours was the more productive afternoon! :-))

Glenda Larke said...

Heavens above! All those books on religion banned! This religion thingy must be really, really bad, uh? Better not to have anything to do with something so corrupting that we are not allowed to read about it. Is there a ban-religion movement I can join?

Anonymous said...

hi sharon

re banned book of karen armstrong: i think its the "history of god" that is banned (cf the battle for god). i know kino and times have the latter on their shelves if youre interested.

rara avis

Anonymous said...

oops. i should have typed you're or 'you are' knowing your aversion for missing aprostophes.

RA