The books seized apparently include:
My First Study Bible by Paul J. Loth, 366 Bible Stories by Robert Brunelli, The Little Children's Bible Storybook by Anne De Graaf.
Several questions come to mind:
Why now? What has sparked this sudden and coordinated seizure when presumably these books, and books like them, have been on the shelves of MPH and other bookshops for many years.
What is fueling this present intolerance? Why is it only now that sensitivities might be offended and not at some point in the past?
Why did the gesture need to be made so public? (Seizing books is pretty gestapo-like and dramatic, don't you think?)
Might the same books be seized in other bookshops, and indeed in Christian bookshops? Otherwise, why has MPH been singled out?
Isn't this move unfair as there are children's books written in similar storybook style (though of course without cartoonish pictures of the prophets which seem to have so offended) aimed at Muslim kids freely available on the market which Christian parents probably would not want their kids to get their hands on? (I was browsing through some very nicely produced books at the Islamic Arts Museum the other day).
Surely in a country as diverse as this where racial and religious harmony needs to be a way of life, such heavy-handed tactics can only be harmful?
The questions won't be answered by any official source, of course. They never are.
Being of the Richard Dawkins school of religious education I have no vested interest ... except that any kind of book banning makes me very very angry.
Update (22/1/08) :
All's well that ends well, it seems.
In a small column on page N20 of the Star today:
Several Christian books confiscated by the Internal Security Ministry here for carrying pictures of Moses and Noah have been returned.This also invites a number of questions ... but I'm sure you are capable of formulating them on your own.
It is learnt that church groups were notified by the ministry that the books, taken away during a routine check by officials of the ministry’s publications unit, have been returned to the MPH bookshop.