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19th August

 Update: Librarians Vs Moralists...


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New Zealand book censor unrestricts Into the River by Ted Dawe, but the moralists are not happy
Link Here  full story: Book Censorship in New Zealand...An embarassing old ban on Bloody Mama
Into River Large Print 16pt A young person's book that has been restricted to people aged 14 and over for two years has been cleared for unrestricted release after an unusual appeal by librarians.

Deputy chief censor Nic McCully ruled the R14 restriction on Into The River, byTed Dawe, was an arbitrary and unfair breach of the right to freedom of expression.

But Bob McCoskrie, director of the morality campaign group Family First director, who originally complained about the book to the Film and Literature Board of Review, has appealed to the board again, claiming it is laced with detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking .

Dawe explained that he wrote the book for teenage boys who don't read books, who come from working-class and possibly Maori backgrounds and who don't have books that speak to them. It's told in quite a confronting language and I don't mince words in terms of what kids do.

Dawe praised librarians at Auckland City Libraries who applied for the R14 restriction to be reconsidered. He said:

Librarians - they really are the warriors for books I had not given up hope, but I didn't really believe they would succeed.

Auckland Libraries collections manager Louise LaHatte said:

The decision of the Board of Review was based on the fact that it dealt with bullying and racism, and we considered that children should be able to read about topics like that because it will help them understand and make sense of their own experiences.

The chronology of the book censorship is as follows:

2013

  • June: Into The River wins top prize in NZ Post Children's Book Awards.
  • July: Internal Affairs Department submits it to the censor after complaints from the public.
  • September: Censor classifies it M (unrestricted) with a descriptive note contains sex scenes, offensive language and drug use .
  • December: Review Board partially upholds Family First appeal and imposes R14 restriction.

2015

  • March: Auckland Libraries ask the censor to reconsider the classification.
  • August 14: Censor reclassifies the book unrestricted with no descriptive note.
  • August 18: Family First appeals to Review Board again.

 

18th August

 Offsite Article: One lawyer vs millions of people who enjoy porn...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
kamlesh vaswani jpg The BBC profiles the morality campaigner who temporarily persuaded the Indian government to block adult websites

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

6th August

  Extreme Intolerance...


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UAE introduces new blasphemy law with 10 years jail for insulting religion...and of course professing atheism is considered an insult to religion
Link Here
UAE flag The United Arab Emirates has passed an anti-hatred law which outlaws insulting religion.

Gulf News reports that the legislation makes illegal any acts that stoke religious hatred and any form of expression that insults religion.

The law, passed by decree at the end of July, prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, His prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards.

Punishments include 10 year jail terms and substantial fines. Provisions in the legislation include a prohibition on expressing doubt about the existence of God.

The UK's National Secular Society president Terry Sanderson commented:

The UAE are using anti-discrimination legislation as a cover to criminalise all manner of dissent- including blasphemy. It is dispiriting, and sadly unsurprising to see yet another crackdown on religious freedom and freedom of speech in the Islamic world.

As with the recent comments from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Islamic Affairs , the language of human rights, freedom and tolerance are subverted in order to further an Islamist agenda, in this case under the guise of an anti-discrimination statute. In fact, this legislation insults the concept of equality by creating discrimination against non-believers.

It's important that attention is drawn to laws like these, particularly given that so many Islamist regimes are intent on enacting global laws against the 'defamation of religion'.

These attempts often cynically hijack the vocabulary of human rights, something which we also see from many groups and activists in the West who lobby for de facto blasphemy legislation.