Censoring the facts

As the religious censorship scene is rather quiet on the domestic front of late, let us turn our eyes westwards to the campuses of the USA for a moment. David Thompson reports on an extraordinary act of suppression at Tufts University, Massachusetts.

A conservative student newspaper, The Primary Source, has been found guilty of causing “harassment and creating a hostile environment” because it published a spoof advert during Islamic Awareness Week. The advert, quoted in full below, listed a few facts which put Islam in a negative light.

Arabic Translation: Submission

In the Spirit of Islamic Awareness Week, the SOURCE presents an itinerary to supplement the educational experience.

MONDAY: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” – The Koran, Sura 8:12

Author Salman Rushdie needed to go into hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni declared a fatwa calling for his death for writing The Satanic Verses, which was declared “blasphemous against Islam.”

TUESDAY: Slavery was an integral part of Islamic culture. Since the 7th century, 14 million African slaves were sold to Muslims compared to 10 or 11 million sold to the entire Western Hemisphere. As recently as 1878, 25,000 slaves were sold annually in Mecca and Medina. (National Review 2002)

The seven nations in the world that punish homosexuality with death all have fundamentalist Muslim governments.

WEDNESDAY: In Saudi Arabia, women make up 5% of the workforce, the smallest percentage of any nation worldwide. They are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle or go outside without proper covering of their body. (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001)

Most historians agree that Muhammed’s second wife Aisha was 9 years old when their marriage was consummated.

THURSDAY: “Not equal are those believers who sit and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit. Unto all Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit by a special reward.” – The Koran, Sura 4:95

The Islamist guerrillas in Iraq are not only killing American soldiers fighting for freedom. They are also responsible for the vast majority of civilian casualties.

FRIDAY: Ibn Al-Ghazzali, the famous Islamic theologian, said, “The most satisfying and final word on the matter is that marriage is form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person.”

Mohamed Hadfi, 31, tore out his 23-year-old wife Samira Bari’s eyes in their apartment in the southern French city of Nimes in July 2003 following a heated argument about her refusal to have sex with him. (Herald Sun)

If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we’d really like to hear from you! Please send all letters to [email protected]

The judging panel of faculty and students responded positively to complaints from the Muslim Students Association, who were offended by these facts.

To quote Stephen Fry, SFW?

7 Responses to “Censoring the facts”

  1. Marc says:

    I keep saying this, but it’s not just Islam. I got censored in much the same was for quoting the Bible (and in this a “Christian” country)! The reason? Because it caused offence!

    Prof. A.C. Grayling’s comment that it’s about time we reversed this notion that religion deserves respect – and should be protected from ridicule – is long overdue.

  2. G. Tingey says:

    Wasn’t this how the admittedly revolting Nick Griffin was quite rightly acquitted – he quoted the “recital” to the court?

    If you are quoting a religion’s OWN “holy book” or pointing out known facts, what IS the problem, please?

  3. Tim Jackson says:

    The Tufts Daily – the college online newspaper has posted eight responses to the judgement. I think they have locked it without saying so – there must be an awful lot of criticism of this decision that they are not posting.

    I think that this embarrassing spectacle could get pretty big.

  4. tom p says:

    “American soldiers fighting for freedom”? No wonder they got complaints!
    Their use of an individual loony tearing his wife’s eyes out also shoves them on the weak ground.
    If they’d just stuck to the first 7 points and the 9th (or all of the first 9 points since they’re in America and Americans tend to believe that freedom guff their leaders spout) then they’d’ve had a watertight case, but why should any muslim other than Mohamed Hadfi answer for Mohamed Hadfi’s actions?

  5. Marc says:

    The problem with muslims is that their own faith embarrases them. Like Christianity, it’s a pick-your-own religion. You pick the bits that suit you and hope to fuck that no one notices anything else. Just as soon as someone does, you take legal action because you’re offended.

    The problem for religion now is that the internet has made it possible for ordinary Joes to get easy access to those embarrasing passages and re-publish them for anyone to examine. We should remember that when we start pointing finger at Scientologists. Of course they’re fucking nuts, but no less nuts and no less controlling than organisations behind Islam and Christianity. The Hubbardians are just not very good at it.

  6. Ricky Smith says:

    “…The problem for religion now is that the internet has made it possible for ordinary Joes to get easy access to those embarrasing passages and re-publish them…”

    But equally, the problem for the secular world is that religion has equal access to the internet, and can disperse its invidious messages to all and sundry, which is especially effective when viewed by the most susceptible/vulnerable in our society.

  7. Marc says:

    Not something that’s lost on me, Ricky, I can assure you. With great power comes great responsibility.

    I do think that on balance, although the loons can spread their message, the Internet gives the secular world a more equal playing field. Scientology, for instance, much in the news right now, can’t cover up much of what it wants to because of the free flow of information. Sure, it can put its own point, but at least people have some balance of opinion. Previously, religions had very much the upper hand in controlling what we read about them.

    Ironically, the more an organisation tries to cover up things on the Internet (in particular) the more wary people become of it. That said, I can’t see any major religion/cult dying out in my lifetime – including Scientology.