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Every Week Is Banned Books Week in Iran

We should not shrink from condemning an ideology that enshrines censorship.

Hannah Sternberg


October 16, 2011 - 12:06 am
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Earlier this month, readers, writers and publishers commemorated the fight against censorship by using the #BannedBooksWeek hashtag on Twitter, part of the American Library Association’s 2011 Banned Books Week. By searching that tag, tweeters can find a list of readers’ favorite banned books, and links to homilies on banned books by The New York Review of Books and the Huffington Post.

Most of their ire is focused on the small-minded librarians and teachers who have tried to ban books in America, or on the travesties of an epoch of censorship that has passed in this country. Love of the principle of free speech makes Americans especially tenacious warriors against censorship. Censorship has been thwarted over and over again in America because America’s free speech protections ensure that those who object to the banning of books can make their voices heard.

However, in places controlled by radical Islamic regimes, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, books are banned and people living under the regimes have little or no power to object. Banned Books Week coincided with the convening of the UN General Assembly. Here’s a look at some of the books banned by the governments whose leaders gathered there:

Next: Who Banned Edward Said? It’s Not Who You Think It Is.

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