Saturday, March 10, 2007

shocked &appalled

I saw the book that you see the image for it above in the local Family Bookshop display here in MQ.

Now I know that there is hardly any censorship on books as much as there is on magazines, tabloids and other foreign reading material that enters the Sultanate of Oman, but this is just going over the boundary of acceptability in a society that is both considered to be socially and religiously moderatelly conservative.

The GOD Dillusion is a book, to which, its author is attempting to break down the believers beliefs in religion itself while at the same time promoting Aethiesm.

Something of a first.

So, comes the question to my mind: where are the authorities in censoring these material or is it that they are just fond of censoring material that is considered to be only of miniscule affects such as movies and woman health magazines?

This actually says a lot about our censorship body and how seriously it takes its job (not!).


OmanforLife said...

This is a good one...haha. We live in a society that wants to show how "islamic" we are (without being TOO extreme...coughcough) by blacking out or taping over the private areas of a women's body. (and drawing attention to it at the same time... very smart) But when it comes to content of a publication... I can only assume or imagine that the authorities think that we, the people, are completely illiterate and mentally challenged that we only are able to look at pictures. Ah yes...I forgot that we should remember that we are still a third world country...even by our own measurements. How sad.
Well...I suppose that it's better that the public is more informed and has the ability to have some information available to them...rather than have EVERYTHING banned and be kept in the dark (ages). Either's an interesting perspective.

muscati said...

So you want this book banned?

Who decides then what's acceptable for people to read or see and what isn't? It's a grey line. We don't all share the same morals or tolerance levels. I have no problem with books like The God Delusion being sold in Oman. It's not going to turn Oman into an atheist country. Give people credit, they are smarter than that. Bibles are available in bookshops. There are churches in Oman. There's even been a christian mission in Oman for 100 years. Heard of many Omanis converting to Christianity? With active preaching that still didn't happen, so how could a book pose a threat like that?

Like Omanforlife said, I too think people should have access to information so that they can make informed choices. Censorship never works.

Balqis said...

Oh my God if al rashdi reads this, he'll do
i watched the program, was not that bad

Sleepless In Muscat said...


Yes. It seems they are quite the intelligent folk.


There is no such thing as as grey matters. Only undetermined categorisations.

This book speaks about Aethiesm and not about a different relgion. Oman enjoys a religion friendly environment and not a bunch of people who think that God doesn't exist.

I would have stood by your comment and said that it is valid but if I told you that there is also a book that speaks about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) character as only a human and not a prohphet and how the author of that book theorizes on how that the Prophet's character came up with Islam as a religion by bringing in together all past religions' missing factors and indulging them together.

I suppose that would be alright for you too, since you're a Muslim but a reader, too.


Do you mean Salman Rushdi? What's he got to do with this?

muscati said...

SiM, my friend, I believe in freedom of expression. Give people the right to say and read what they want. And let them decide for themselves. If I were an atheist, do you think banning a book like The God Delusion would make me more likely to become a muslim. And if I am a good muslim (or christian, or hindu, or member of any religion), do you think just by having access to The God Delusion I could lose my faith and turn into an atheist? If I want to read Deakins' views I can read one of the many interviews and articles on him online. Or do you think our friends in Omantel should also block those pages as well?

Where would it stop. Today it is atheism, what else would it be tomorrow. Maybe I think poetry isn't moral and it should be banned too. How would you feel about that? Or what about movies, or music?

I am anti-censorship. Even in the example you gave. If someone were to publish a book saying that the prophet Mohammed was nothing but a man who came up with a religion on his own and wasn't divinely guided, so what? Would the existence of such a book mean that it's true? Would it shake your faith in Islam?

So long as we censor views that we don't like, we will remain petty people. Look at the Salman Rushdie situation. The guy wrote a novel almost 20 years ago muslims raised so much hell over it without even reading it. Even now, I bet you that 99.999% of muslims who know the name Salman Rushdie wouldn't be aware that the Satanic Verses was a novel.

Sleepless In Muscat said...


I only agree with you to a limit. That censorship should come down as a responsible affair and not just for the sake of it.