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Name: Group art exhibit モSex is Artヤ shut down by town officials in Anville, Pennsylvania   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality ,Language ,Nudity

Medium: Painting ,Photography ,Performance Art

Artist: various artists taking part in the "Sex is Art" exhibit in Anville, Pa

Confronting Bodies: Al Yingst, the Chairman of the Township Board of Commissioners in Anville, Pa.; various town officials in Anville, Pa.

Date of Action: August-September 1997

Specific Location: Anville, Pennsylvania USA

Description of Artwork: The artwork intended to be exhibited in the "Sex is Art" show in Anville, Pa varied. Approximately 30 artists representing 150-200 pieces of work including paintings, drawings, mixed-media, photography and sculpture as well as about a dozen performance artists presenting music and poetry pieces were expected to show their work at the モSex is Artヤ exhibit. Although sex was the theme of the show it was not expected that any of the exhibited art would be sexually graphic and the photographers in particular had agreed not to depict sex acts.



Description of Incident: A group of predominantly local artists in Pennsylvania Dutch country organized a group exhibit titled モSex is Artヤ and rented the Old Anville Fire Hall in Anville, Pa. (near Lebanon Valley College) for the weekend of September 4-5, 1997. This was the third consecutive year these artists had come together to display their work although they had not previously used the Fire Hall. On Wednesday, August 27, 1997, Scott Church, the organizer of the exhibition, was contacted by the Anville Fire Co., which manages the Fire Hall, and told that they were considering canceling the exhibit and inviting him and the other organizers to a meeting on August 28 to discuss the situation. It seems that a post for the exhibition reached Al Yingst, the Chairman of the Township Board of Commissioners, who believed that the exhibition would violate community standards of decency and perhaps involve live sex acts (which it would not). The post in question did not picture any of the art to be exhibited. Yingst called the fire company and objected to the exhibit. On August 28 the fire company and artists met to discuss the exhibit; in the meeting, the fire company agreed to honor the rental contract and both sides agreed that the fire company could post a disclaimer at the entrance stating that they did not endorse or sponsor the exhibition, and that the exhibit organizers would post a warning that material inside could be offensive, ensure that no works were visible from the outside and deny admission to those under 18 not accompanied by a parent.



Results of Incident: Despite the revised conditions Commissioner Yingst threatened to invoke the town's legal authority to stop the show. Yingst's continuing political pressure led the firefighters to limit the exhibition to one and a half hours a day, rather than the whole weekend as specified in the contract. The show was canceled as a result. In March of 1998, nearly a year after モSex is Artヤ was shut down by Anville, Pa. officials, the New Lebanon Valley College in Pa. opened a week-long exhibit of banned artworks including many pieces from the censored モSex is Artヤ exhibition.



Source: National Coalition Against Censorship: http://www.ncac.org/censorship_news/20030305~cn067~The_Arts_Under_Attack_-_Firefighters_in_Pennsylvania_Put_Out_Art_Show.cfm

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Auburn University censors student's sculpture banning it from exhibition   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality ,Nudity ,Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Sculpture

Artist: Jenny Root - senior graphic design major at Auburn University

Confronting Bodies: Auburn University administration

Date of Action: April 1998

Specific Location: Auburn, Georgia USA

Description of Artwork: In 1998, Jenny Root, a senior graphic design major at Auburn University created a two-part sculpture titled モMother/Fatherヤ which she intended to have exhibited in the university-wide juried art show to be shown at Foy Gallery in the Student Union building. In the モmotherヤ element of Rootメs two-part sculpture, white-colored fluid is pumped up through vinyl tubing through the breasts of a latex female torso. In the モfatherヤ element, fluid is pumped up into a latex male genital area and out through the penis-like appendage. The two elements are situated approximately 10 feet apart. Root claims that the intention of her piece of artwork was to bring up the need to accept and love our bodies and its functioning as beautiful and not something to fear or hide. A written artistメs statement of such was intended to be displayed with the work.



Description of Incident: In 1998, Jenny Root entered her sculpture, titled モMother/Fatherヤ, into the Auburn university-wide juried art exhibition (with prize money awarded for winning work) to be exhibited at Foy Gallery in the Student Union building. Initially accepted into the exhibit by the art department faculty based on its artistic merit, Root went about installing her sculpture in Foy Union Gallery. However, soon after the sculpture was installed, the question of whether it was suitable for display in the large and public gallery was raised by administrators outside the art department. On April 14, 1998 Root was informed that her work was being censored because it was considered モinappropriateヤ for exhibition in Foy Union Gallery. The director of exhibitions, Barry Fleming and Dean Nancy Hartsfield, told Root that Auburn University lawyers had reviewed the work and did not want Rootメs piece to be displayed in the show. Root was told that she must remove her sculpture immediately, and that perhaps it could be exhibited in the art building ヨ a less モpublicヤ space.



Results of Incident: After protest by Root and other art students, モMother/Fatherヤ was installed in Biggin Gallery ヨ a less public and less favorable place - which many believe was done to cover any claim of censoring her work. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, the College Art Association, and the National Coalition Against Censorship were all informed of the censorship of Rootメs sculpture. The various organizations joined together writing letters to various administrators at Auburn University protesting the censorship of Rootメs sculpture.



Source: "The Plainsman", Auburn University newspaper published on Thursday April 23, 1998. And, ACLU newsletter from April 23, 1998. National Coalition Against Censorship article: http://www.ncac.org/censorship_news/20030305~cn070~The_Long_And_The_Short_Of_It.c

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Mural censored at Kennedy International Airport for nudity   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: North America

Subject: Nudity ,Religious

Medium: Mixed Media ,Public art

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Artist: muralist, Deborah Masters

Confronting Bodies: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; Kennedy International Airport

Date of Action: April 2001

Specific Location: Kennedy International Airport - New York, USA

Description of Artwork: Deborah Mastersメ 300-foot-long mixed-media mural depicting New York street life resides in Terminal 4 of Kennedy International Airport. Part of the large mural, which was privately financed, is an 8-by-10-foot relief depicting a store selling religious items. Included in this 8-by10-foot section of the mural was a 12-inch sculpture of Jesus on the cross, naked.



Description of Incident: Even though it was not anatomically graphic, the image of Jesus naked on the cross left several construction workers working at the terminal disturbed. One of the workers called the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the national group that has twice protested images it considered insulting at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, called airport officials to complain about the sculpture, then several of the construction workers were asked for their opinion on the issue and the muralist was consulted.



Results of Incident: Within hours of Donohueメs initial complaint to airport officials, the issue was resolved. With a few extra dabs of paint, the artist responsible, Deborah Masters, added a loincloth to the sculpture. Picture above: the revised mural in which a loincloth was painted onto the statue of Jesus. Masters also made a statement claiming that she had meant to clothe the Christ figure all along, but had simply forgotten.



Source: New York Times article printed on 4/25/2001. And, Deborah Masters' website: http://www.deborahmasters.com/articles/blushing.html

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh murdered by Moroccan Islamists in Amsterdam   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: Europe

Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation ,Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video

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Artist: Theo van Gogh (pictured above after being murdered) - Dutch film director, television producer, publicist and actor. He was also a descendant of the brother of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh

Confronting Bodies: Moroccan Islamists; Dutch Hofstad Network; Mohammed Bouyeri

Date of Action: November 2, 2004

Specific Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Description of Artwork: Working from a script written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Gogh created the 10-minute movie モSubmissionヤ. The movie deals with the topic of violence against women in Islamic societies; telling the stories of four abused Muslim women. The title itself, "Submission", is the translation of the word "Islam" in English. In the film, the women's naked bodies are veiled with semi-transparent shrouds as they kneel in prayer, telling their stories as if they are speaking to Allah. Qur'anic verses unfavorable to women are painted on their bodies in Arabic.



Description of Incident: After the movie was released in 2004, both van Gogh and Hirsi Ali received death threats. Van Gogh did not take these very seriously and refused any protection - reportedly telling Hirsi Ali: "Who would want to kill the town idiot?" Sadly, on November 2, 2004 the Dutch film maker was assassinated in Amsterdam by a Moroccan Islamist because of his film Submission, which portrays the submissiveness of Muslim women. The murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch citizen and the son of a Muslim Moroccan immigrant, shot van Gogh eight times and then proceed to slit his throat and stab him in the chest - van Gogh is pictured above lying on the street after being murder. Bouyeri also left a letter with a list of additional individuals to be killed, including Theoメs scriptwriter Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch MP who later fled to the U.S. Bouyeri's letter ends with the following lines: ムI am certain, O America, that you will die/I am certain, O Europe, that you will die/I am certain, O Netherlands, that you will die/I am certain, O Hirsi Ali, that you will die/I am certain, O infidel fundamentalist, that you will die.メ



Results of Incident: The killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, was apprehended by the police after being shot in the leg. Although born in Amsterdam, well-educated and apparently well-integrated, Bouyeri has alleged terrorist ties with the Dutch Hofstad Network. He was also charged with attempted murder of a police officer and bystander, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to assassinate others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted on July 26, 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. The murder led to a wider and more polarized debate about the position of the more than one million Muslims in the Netherlands and how they would be affected. There are non-Muslim Dutch citizens that fear that Holland will lose its traditional tolerance and Western liberalism, becoming increasingly influenced by Islamic viewpoints on these issues. These fears are fueled by population growth studies and projections that show the Muslim community growing much faster than that of the "autochtonen" (autochthonous Dutch). On the other hand, many Islamic Dutch residents feel discriminated against and singled out. The increasing polarization has led to calls from many religious leaders and politicians for calm and improved communication between the communities. In an apparent reaction against controversial statements about the Islamic, Christian and Jewish religions, such as those Theo van Gogh was renowned for, the Dutch Minister of Justice, Christian Democrat Piet Hein Donner suggested the existing Dutch blasphemy laws should either be applied more stringently or made stricter. This had led to a counter call by the liberal D66 party to scrap the blasphemy law altogether.



Source: wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director) And, Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: In Egypt, preacher, Manal Manea is sentenced to three years in prison for atheism and blasphemy against Islam   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus ,Africa

Subject: Religious

Medium: Public Speech ,Personal Opinion

Artist: Manal Manea, a female preacher

Confronting Bodies: Government of Egypt; Egyptian Islamists

Date of Action: 2001

Specific Location: Egypt

Description of Artwork: Manal Manea preached openly about her anti-Islam views. She spoke of the fact that she did not believe in Islam, preached atheism and promoted secular thought.



Description of Incident: Manal Maneaメs anti-Islam beliefs came under scrutiny by the Egyptian government and courts who accused the female preacher of atheism and blasphemy against Islam.



Results of Incident: In 2001, Manal Manea was sentenced to three years in prison for promoting atheism and blasphemy against Islam. Manea was not the only anti-Islamist censored in Egypt for his/her beliefs, the writer Salaheddin Mohsen was also sentenced to three years in prison for writings that were deemed offensive to Islam and promoted atheism in 2001.



Source: Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: In Egypt, writer, Salaheddin Mohsen is sentenced to three years in prison for atheism and blasphemy against Islam   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus ,Africa

Subject: Religious

Medium: Literature ,Personal Opinion

Artist: the writer Salaheddin Mohsen

Confronting Bodies: Government of Egypt; Egyptian Islamists

Date of Action: 2001

Specific Location: Egypt

Description of Artwork: In his books Salaheddin Mohsen writes about the fact that he does not believe in Islam. Against Islam, he uses his texts to promote secular thought and his belief on atheism.



Description of Incident: Salaheddin Mohsenメs anti-Islam texts came under scrutiny by the Egyptian government and courts who accused the writer of atheism and blasphemy against Islam.



Results of Incident: An Egyptian state security court sentenced Salaheddin Mohsen, a writer accused of blasphemy, to three years in prison with hard labor for writings deemed offensive to Islam. The court also ordered that all of Mohsen's books and publications be confiscated for containing what it described as "extremist" ideas. Mohsen was not the only person censored in Egypt for anti-Islam beliefs, the female preacher Manal Manea was also sentenced to three years in prison for atheism and blasphemy in 2001.



Source: Al-Ahram Weekly at: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2001/519/eg6.htm ; And, Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Writer Haydar Haydar declared an apostate and sentenced to death by Islamists in Egypt for his book "A Banquet for Seaweed"   [ Edit ]

Date: 1976 - 1984 ,1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus ,Africa

Subject: Religious ,Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

Artist: Haydar Haydar

Confronting Bodies: Egyptメs Socialist Labor Party; Egypt's Islamist group; the rector of Al-Azhar University

Date of Action: 2000

Specific Location: Egypt

Description of Artwork: In 1983, Haydar Haydar published a novel in Syria called モA Banquet for Seaweedヤ. In the novel, a character says, モThe divine Bedouin laws and the teaching of the Koran [are all] shitヤ.



Description of Incident: In 2000, Egyptメs Ministry of Culture reissued Haydarメs novel モA Banquet for Seaweedヤ as part of a modern Arab classics series that it was sponsoring. In a distorting review of the Egyptian edition of Haydarメs novel, モal-Shaabヤ, a publication of Egyptメs Socialist Labor Party, the columnist Muhammad Abbass called the book an insult to Islam, resulting in one of the biggest riots Egypt had seen in the prior ten years. The police were called out to calm the protestors, which they did with tear gas, baton charges and rubber bullets.



Results of Incident: Legal action was taken against the government officials responsible for publishing the novel and there were calls for the assassinationラor execution by beheadingラof the novelist. In addition, the rector of Al-Azhar University called for a public burning of the book in a public place. The primary reason for this uproar is that Abbas left out an ellipsis in a passage he quoted from the novel. This omission resulted in the words Koran and shit being placed next to each other, and since it is unnecessary to use the verb モto beヤ in Arabicラthey say, in other words, the sky blue rather than the sky is blueラAbbasメ omission made it look like the author was calling the Koran a piece of shit.



Source: website: http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:QsaM1Gg3yw0J:faculty.ncc.edu/LinkClick.aspx%3Flink%3Dhaydar%2Bhaydar%2Bpacket%2Bassignment.doc%26tabid%3D2015%26mid%3D2331+Haydar+Haydar+egypt+writer&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1 ; and, Democracy Frontline at: htt

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Kowetiennes scholar and writer, Alia Shuaib, convicted of publishing opinions that ridicule religion blasphemy in a book she published in 1993, "Spiders Bemoan a Wound"   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995 ,1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Religious ,Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature ,Personal Opinion

Artist: Alia Shuaib

Confronting Bodies: Kuwait Islamists

Date of Action: 1993, 2000

Specific Location: Kuwait

Description of Artwork: The text under question is a line of poetry from Alia Shuaibメs book, モAnakeb Tarthi Jerhanヤ (モSpiders Lament a Woundヤ) published in 1993.



Description of Incident: Shuaib, a teacher of philosophy at Kuwait University, maintains that the only part of her book モSpiders Lament a Woundヤ that mentions God is the phrase "God's secret map." However, Kuwait Islamists objected to the text citing moral and religious offences.



Results of Incident: Shuaib was found guilty of "publishing opinions that ridicule religion" and blasphemy and was sentenced to one month in prison and several fines. Yehya al-Rubaian, the book's publisher, was also given a suspended two-month sentence and was fined the equivalent of $328 for publishing the book without prior government approval. The writer and publisher have appealed the ruling.



Source: Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597 ; and, http://leb.net/~aljadid/culture/0529staff_01.html

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Kowetiennes writer, Laila al-Othman, convicted of using indecent language and defamatory expressions in novel.   [ Edit ]

Date: 1976 - 1984 ,1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Language ,Political/Economic/Social Opinion ,Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Literature

Artist: Laila al-Othman

Confronting Bodies: Islamist group in Kuwait

Date of Action: 1978 to 1984, and 2000

Specific Location: Lebanon, Kuwait

Description of Artwork: Laila al-Othmanメs book モThe Departureヤ in which she uses words such as "lustful" in describing the relationship between one sea wave and another. According to al-Othman, she had not intended this language to have a sexual connotation.



Description of Incident: In 2000, モThe Departureヤ, which reportedly had been approved by the Kuwait government censors in 1984, came back under fire. An Islamist group brought a lawsuit against Laila al-Othman for using defamatory expressions and indecent language in her book.



Results of Incident: In 2000, Laila al-Othman was convicted of using indecent language and defamatory expressions in モThe Departureヤ. She, along with the professor Alia Shuaib - who was found guilty of publishing opinions that ridicule religion -, were both sentenced to one moth in prison for moral and religious offenses.



Source: http://leb.net/~aljadid/culture/0529staff_01.html ; and, Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Al-Azhar University compiles a list of 196 books to be banned on moral and religious grounds   [ Edit ]

Date: 1995 - 2005

Location: Middle East and Caucasus ,Africa

Subject: Religious ,Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature ,Textbook ,Print Journalism

Artist: various authors censored

Confronting Bodies: The Islamic Research Center at Al-Azhar University

Date of Action: 1997

Specific Location: Egypt

Description of Artwork: 196 books written by various authors



Description of Incident: The Islamic Research Center at Al-zhar University has legal authority to censor, but not to confiscate, all publications dealing with the Koran and Islamic scriptural texts. In recent years the Center has passed judgment on the suitability of nonreligious books and artistic productions. In 1997, Al-Azhar University compiled a list of 196 books to be banned on various moral and religious grounds.



Results of Incident: Al-Azhar University censored and banned 196 books due to their moral or religious content



Source: Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Indian poet Muhammad Alvi excommunicated   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion ,Religious

Medium: Literature

Artist: Mohammed Alvi of Ahmedabad - Urdu writer, poet and Sahitya Akademi award winner

Confronting Bodies: Mufti Shabbir Siddiqi of Ahamdabad

Date of Action: April 4, 1995

Specific Location: India

Description of Artwork: The piece of work under question is a poem by Mohammed Alviメs in which he writes, "Agar tujh ko fursat nahin to na aa, Magar ek achcha nabi bhej de Qayamat ke din kho na jaye kahin Yes achchi ghadi hai abhi bhej de. (O God, if you are too busy to visit us, send us a good angel to guide us; and send him now instead of on the Day of Judgment).ヤ



Description of Incident: According to Mufti Shabbir Siddiqi of Darool Ulum Shahe Alam, a religious school of Ahamdabad, Alviメs line of poetry, written 17 years earlier, was "an attack on the Faith and derogatory to the Prophet". On April 4, 1995, 17 years after Alvi wrote the controversial poem, Mufti Shabbir Siddiqi issued a fatwa of excommunication against Alvi.



Results of Incident: Alvi was declared a kafir and was excommunicated. Fearing excommunication from the faith, Alvi tendered an apology.



Source: http://www.indolink.com/Book/book33.html And, Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Scholar, historian, and author Saiidi Sirjani murdered in Iranian prison   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature ,Print Journalism

Artist: Iranian writer, poet, scholar and journalist Ali Akbar Saiidi Sirjani

Confronting Bodies: Iranian Government, specifically the Iranian Ministry of Security and Intelligence

Date of Action: 1994

Specific Location: Tehran, Iran

Description of Artwork: In his various writings Saiidi Sirjani - a Iranian scholar, historian, author and political activist - criticized the government Iran and was outspokenly against Islamic fundamentalists.



Description of Incident: Saiidi Sirjani was arrested on March 14th, 1994 and charged with openly criticizing the government, among other things. A spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Security and Intelligence stated that the arrest was for "drug use, fabrication of alcohol, homosexual activity, contacts with spy networks, and having received money from Western ムcounterrevolutionariesメ". There is some evidence that he was killed by Saeed Emami's "Unlished" group in the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Security and Intelligence of Iran. It is believed that Sirjani was murdered in prison for publishing his works outside the country after they are banned in Iran.



Results of Incident: In 1994 imprisoned author and historian Saiidi Sirjani mysteriously died. Suspected to be an assassination, officially, Sirjani died from a heart attack while in a "safe house". The same diagnosis was made for Ahmad Mir Alaメi, a distinguished translator, whose body was found in the streets of Esfahan in 1995.



Source: wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Akbar_Saidi_Sirjani And, Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the victim of an attempted assassination by Islamic extremists   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995 ,1995 - 2005 ,2006-present

Location: Middle East and Caucasus ,Africa

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion ,Sexual/Gender Orientation ,Religious

Medium: Literature

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Artist: Naguib Mahfouz (pictured above): Egyptian novelist, recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Confronting Bodies: Young Islamic extremists in Cairo

Date of Action: October 1994

Specific Location: Cairo, Egypt

Description of Artwork: Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian writer, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. "Chitchat on the Nile" (1971) is one of his most popular novels. It was later made into a film featuring a cast of top actors during the time of president Anwar al-Sadat. The film/story criticizes the decadence of Egyptian society during the Gamal Abdel Nasser era. It was banned by Sadat to prevent provocation of Egyptians who still loved former president Nasser. Mahfouz's prose is characterized by the blunt expression of his ideas. He has written works covering a broad range of topics, including socialism, homosexuality, and God. Writing about some of the subjects was prohibited in Egypt.



Description of Incident: モChildren of Gebelawiヤ (1959), one of Mahfouz's best known works, has been banned in Egypt for alleged blasphemy over its allegorical portrayal of God and the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In 1989, after the fatwa for apostasy against Salman Rushdie, Egyptian theologian Omar Abdul-Rahman told a journalist that if Mahfouz had been punished for writing his novel, Rushdie would not have dared publish the Satanic Verses. Sheikh Omar has always maintained that this was not a fatwa, but in 1994 Islamic extremists, believing that it was, attempted to assassinate the 82-year-old novelist by stabbing him in the neck outside his Cairo home. He survived, permanently affected by damage to nerves in his right hand. Subsequently, he lived under constant bodyguard protection. Finally, in the beginning of 2006, the novel was published in Egypt with a preface written by Ahmad Kamal Abu Almajd.



Results of Incident: Mahfuz survived the assassination attempt but was permanently affected by damage to nerves in his right hand. Subsequently, he lived under constant bodyguard protection. In July 2006, Mahfouz sustained an injury to his head as a result of a fall. He remained ill until his death on August 30, 2006 in a Cairo hospital. Mahfouz was accorded a state funeral with full military honors on August 31, 2006 in Cairo. His funeral took place in the Al Rashdan Mosque in Nasr City on the outskirts of Cairo.



Source: wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naguib_Mahfouz And, Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Bangladeshi author and doctor Taslima Nasreen threatened by Islamic fundamentalists   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995 ,1995 - 2005 ,2006-present

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion ,Religious

Medium: Print Journalism ,Literature ,Personal Opinion

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Artist: Taslima Nasreen, a Bangladeshi poet, writer, columnist and doctor (pictured above)

Confronting Bodies: Bangladeshi Islamic Fundamentalists

Date of Action: 1990-present

Specific Location: Bangladesh

Description of Artwork: Bangladeshi poet, writer, columnist and doctor Taslima Nasreen took on writing about women's oppression. In her poetry and newspaper columns she criticizes religion, traditions, and the oppressive cultures and customs that discriminate against women. According to Taslima, the religious scriptures are out of time, out of place. Instead of religious laws, she maintains, what is needed is a uniform civil code that accords women equality and justice.



Description of Incident: Taslima Nasreenメs strong language and uncompromising attitude against male domination stirred many people, eliciting both love and hatred from her readers. She is detested by Islamic fundamentalists who launched a campaign against her in 1990, staging street demonstrations and processions. They broke into newspaper offices that she used to regularly write from, sued her editors and publishers, and put her life in danger, a danger that only increased over time. She was publicly assaulted several times by fundamentalist mobs. No longer was she welcomed to any public places, not even to book fairs that she loved to visit. In 1993, a fundamentalist organization called Soldiers of Islam issued a fatwa against her, a price was set on her head because of her criticism of Islam, and she was confined to her house. The government confiscated her passport and asked her to quit writing if she hoped to keep her job as a medical doctor in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. She was thus forced to quit her job and go into hiding.



Results of Incident: Due to all the serious threats to her life, Taslima Nasreen was forced to go into hiding. But the international organization of writers, and many humanist organizations beyond the borders of Bangladesh, came to her support. News of her plight became known throughout the world. Some western democratic governments that endorse human rights and freedom of expression tried saving her life. After long miserable days in hiding, she was finally granted bail but was also forced to leave her country. Taslima has since been living in exile in Europe. She has written twenty eight books of poetry, essays, novels, and short stories in her native language of Bengali. Many have been translated into twenty different languages. Her applications to the Bangladesh government to be allowed to return have been denied repeatedly. One Bangladesh court sentenced her in absentia to a one-year prison term. The Bangladesh government has recently banned three other of her books, Amar Meyebela ( My girlhood), Utol Hawa (Wild wind) and Sei sob ondhokar (Those dark days).



Source: Taslima Nasreen's official website: http://taslimanasrin.com/index2.html and Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


Name: Iranian cartoonist Manouchehr Karimzadeh in prison for illustration   [ Edit ]

Date: 1985 - 1995

Location: Middle East and Caucasus

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting ,Print Journalism

image description
Artist: Manouchehr Karimzadeh

Confronting Bodies: the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Date of Action: April 1992

Specific Location: Iran

Description of Artwork: Manouchehr Karimzadeh is a cartoonist for the scientific revue "Faradヤ. In 1992 he illustrated a piece for an article that criticized the state sport in Iran. The illustration was of a soccer player who slightly resembles the political leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.



Description of Incident: On April 11, 1992, Manouchehr Karimzadeh was arrested for his illustration in an article criticizing the state of sport in Iran. Karimzadeh was accused of blasphemy and insulting the memory of the political leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.



Results of Incident: Karimzadehメs first trial was conducted in secret before the Islamic Revolutionary Courts. (Revolutionary Courts are used when the authorities deem the likely punishment levied by general courts to be insufficient.). Karimzadeh and the editor of the newspaper that published the cartoon were first sentenced to one year in prison, fifty lashes and a fine. In 1993, the Supreme Court ratified the lower court's guilty finding, and sent the case back to the lower court for retrial. After the second hearing, Yazdi announced, in October, that Karimzadeh's prison sentence had been increased to 10 years.



Source: Democracy Frontline blog: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597 And, Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1994/WR94/Middle-03.htm

Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship

Date Input: Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Date Edited


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