Author: Trevor Mostyn
Publisher: Saqi Books; New Edition (January 18, 2003)
Pages: 240 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
A study of censorship in Islamic societies, concentrating on key events throughout history. The text includes analysis of: censorship in Algeria the "fatwa" against Salman Rushdie Taliban repression in Afghanistan and the 1980 transmission on British TV of "Death of a Princess".
'Balanced ... A persuasive account, well illustrated by first-hand observations and telling details.' John Gee, Middle East International
'Mostyn's poignant anecdotes and reportage serve both to remind every Arab of the truth [about censorship] as it is already known, as well as adding to that knowledge.' al-Hayat
The history of Islam is one of tolerance. Ancient Arab traditions had revered the written and spoken word, regarding poets as magicians in touch with spirits. The Prophet Muhammad, while rejecting these beliefs, nonetheless decreed that the biblical traditions of Jews and Christians be respected. Later, during the dark ages of Christianity, Arabic translations of Greek texts were the lamp that fired the Italian Renaissance.
In modern times it was the secularists who first took control of communications, with Nasser manipulating the media to express his grandiose schemes of pan-Arab nationalism. Socialism and secularism have given way to political Islam today - better understood, or reviled, in the West as fundamentalism. Of late, political Islam has tended to reject the idea of tolerance.
Drawing on a multitude of anecdotes and first-hand accounts, Censorship in Islamic Societies studies the turbulent question of freedom of expression in the Middle East throughout history and modern times, and analyses the political direction and control of such freedoms throughout the region, including Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and Afghanistan.
Trevor Mostyn taught at Algiers University before joining the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) as a journalist in London. Since then he has traveled throughout the Middle East and North Africa, writing for the Financial Times, New Statesman, the International Herald Tribune, Tablet and other newspapers. He has published six books on the Middle East and edited the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Middle East and North Africa.
Also available in hardback
1. Dirty Words
2. The Stirrings of Samizdat
3. Te Deums in a Blood-dimmed sea
4. A Satanic Mess
5. Islam's Creative Centuries and the Age of the Courtly Poets
6: Turning Midgets into Heroes
7. Democracy and Shari'a: Torment or Justice?
8. Dhimmis and Women: Conundrum or Contradiction?
9. Trouble with the Mystics
10. The Pen and the Sword