Tag Archives: censorship


Each day we present samples of headlines from the world press and offer our comments.

South Africa, Argus: “Man Held For Sex Fraud”
For doing or not doing it?

Australia, Brisbane Times: “KFC AD Blasted As Racist”
There were no black chickens in the ad.

Qatar, Gulf Times: “New Tobacco Law In City”
Everyone is required to smoke at least a pack a day.

Oman, Khaleej Times: “Metro On Track”
Whew, that is great news, the train is running on the track.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “4 Vehicles Pulled From Mud”
The passengers remained in the mud.

Sweden, The Local: “Ex-Nazi Proud Of Auschwitz Sign Role”
This story really burns me up.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “CIA Bomber Hated US”

China, China Daily: “China: Top Internet Buzz Words”
No, censored, no, delete, etc..

Indonesia, Jakarta Post: “Top Law Expert Dies”
Case dismissed.

South Africa, Argus: “Should Women Be Allowed To Have More Than One Husband”
Is having one husband too much for some?

Great Turkey Monkey Dispute!

We are living in the 21st century, but to some scholars in Turkey the theory of evolution is just that– some silly theory that is propogated by people in the West in order to prove they know more than people in Turkey. The nation’s top science agency pulled its own magazine cover because it featured a story about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution. Huseyin Celik, education minister, said, “evolutionary theory overlaps with atheism, creationism, with religious belief. Given that polls show only 1 percent of Turks are atheists, not teaching creationism claims in biology classes would be tantamount to censorship.”

Dr. Cigdem Atakuman, editor in chief was fired because of her opposition to pulling the cover. In reality, polls indicate barely one fourth of Turks believe in anything akin to evolution, which, in itself is not shocking, given how many Americans want creationism taught in public schools. The damage to Turkey’s image arose from having a prestigious institution caught in this embarrassing mess of trying to deny a scientific concept.

Kuwait Bans YouTube

The Kuwait Ministry of Communication has issued a memo to all Internet service providers in the country asking them to block YouTube access. The popular video website has come under fire from the Kuwait government for its alleged disrespect for the Muslim religion. Among the heretical videos shown was that of a man playing a musical instrument while reciting verses from the Koran and another which offered examples of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. It is not unusual for the Kuwait ministry to issue edicts banning this or that content, usually on the grounds it is offering pornographic or anti-religious material.

The world this century will witness an ongoing fight between forces that seek to suppress and forces that seek to advance the cause of freedom. Central to the issue of censorship is the definition as to what constitutes “pornography.”

Russian The eXile May Be Exiled!

Democracy in Putin Russia allows freedom of speech. A newspaper can print any article which praises Putin and his associates. Russian authorities have warned the impudent English language tabloid, The eXile, they are in hot water and may face penalties. Editor Mark Ames believes “it could be one of the many people we’ve pissed off over the last months or years.” Fedeeral authorities indicated there would be an “unscheduled inspection” during which times the editor will have to discuss certain articles he published. Initially, authorities wanted Ames to produce Russian translations of thousands of article but he said that was impossible. His newspaper covers a variety of topics such as drugs, protitution, politics and entertainment. According to Russian law, a newspaper which claims it is in the business of reporting “entertainment” is not allowed to comment on politics.

Of course, political life in Putin Russia might be more into entertainment than reality. Ames noted with a touch of resentment, “I get the general sense they have decided it is time to shut us down, that they’re not going to tolerate us anymore.” Of course, neither do they tolerate any opposition.

Musharraf Empowers Military Courts To Try Civilians

The Musharraf government has amended the Army Act of 1952 in order to allow military courts to try civilians on charges ranging from treason to endangering the security of the nation. At present, there are thousands of civilians in jail because they attempted to protest the increasingly dictatorial rule of Musharraf. Prior to the change, civilians could only be placed on trial in a military court if one of the defendants was a member of the armed forces. The opposition to the state of emergency is widening as Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Muslim League pledged support to Benazir Bhutto’s proposal for a march for freedom. Previously, he had been an opponent of the Pakistan People Party’s leader.

There is no doubt President Mushharraf has done more to unite the people of Pakistan than any previous ruler of the nation. His heavy handed approach to governing is bringing previously divided groups together in an effort to bring democracy to the country. Ironically, militants are growing in power and it has nothing to do with civilian protests, yesterday a captain and five soldiers were halted at militant checkpoints in the northwest and taken hostage. While Musharraf is harassing civilians, the militants are now establishing check points where they tell the armed forces whether or not they can travel. Oh, by the way, three reporters for the British Daily Telegraph were ejected from Pakistan for using a vulgarity in their description of dictator Musharraf.