Friday, August 07, 2009

Jewel of Medina Among Books Banned in Malaysia

22 more books have joined the banned list in Malaysia, bringing the total number of books banned sine 2000 to 397.

From Bernama :
The Home Ministry has issued a ban order on 397 book titles containing materials that could jeopardise public order and obscenity from 2000 to July 2009.

Publication Control Division and Al-Quran Text Division principal assistant secretary Abdul Razak Abdul Latif said 190 of them contained materials that could jeopardise public order and 207 with immoral content.

He said 150 of the books were in Bahasa Malaysia followed by English (142), Mandarin (94), Tamil (nine) and Arabic (two).

Of 22 books banned until July this year, 13 were in Bahasa Malaysia while the rest in English, he said in a statement.

Among Bahasa Malaysia titles banned were Cinta Awak Dalam Sehari, Pengantin Remaja, 55 Masalah Seksual Yang Anda Malu Tanya, Rahsia Dalam Rahsia Di Sebalik Tirai Kamar Suami Isteri and Senggama Kubur.

English titles banned include those published abroad like The Jewel of Medina, The Trouble with Islam Today, Ibrahim a.s And Sarah and Qabil & Nabil.

Abdul Razak said individuals involved in printing, importing, publishing, selling, distributing the books can be charged under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 which carries a jail term up to three years and a fine up to RM20,000.
The complete list of books gazetted as banned in Malaysia from 2000-2009 is online here. Most of the books are the predictable mix of sex manuals and titillation, and books on Islam which don't follow the official line.

The list apparently includes The Jewel of Medina which is not unexpected (and of course there was a whole kerfuffle about it in Britain and elsewhere), but I can't seem to locate it on the list. (Can you?)

The book that I'm saddest about of course is the book edited by Noraini Othman and published by Sisters-in-Islam : Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism.

I see things in Malaysia as becoming less free every day - I almost coughed up a hairball when I read about the possibility that the internet in Malaysia be censored. Freedom of speech is vitally important and must be defended.


Chet said...

The list of banned books is titled "Ileagal Publisher List".


umapagan said...

And the problem with "The Jewel of Medina" is not so much that it's offensive, but more that it isn't particularly good. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't be censored even if it's offensive. Man is rational, his sensibilities not so delicate. I'd like to think of Islam as progressive, open-minded democratic, supports human rights and is certain of the strength of its faith.

Glenda Larke said...

How much longer before Body2Body joins the list?

Ah, Anon, so would I. Instead we get an irrational hatred of Sisters in Islam, their learning and their writings, that borders on the insane.

caving liz said...

Re the internet filter, Friday's Sun had a "good" comment from a Senior Official with the National Security Council.... "It is to keep out pornographic materials and bloggers who inflame racial sentiments. We need to maintain racial harmony. We cannot have full-blown democracy like in the United States".

So now we know the reason !!!

glenda larke said...

And we all know that the way to racial harmony is never to talk about it i.e. never to talk about why there is disharmony; and the way to a pure society devoid of pornography is to make just about everything to do with sex illegal...worked like a charm in every era from Victorian England to Iran (where for example - as we all know - nobody is gay.)

Honestly, do these people ever think?????

Anonymous said...

When the country is going to the dogs and the people in charge are too stupid to reverse the slide, then it's best to divert attention and shift blame to sex, porn, gays, corrupt Western culture...

- Poppadumdum

Anonymous said...

It is fascinating to an outsider that among the books listed as being banned is a translation of the Quran.