Debbie Schlussel notes that while Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni claims that his nation bans “any book that insults any religion”, including The Da Vinci Code, there are definitely exceptions that he’s willing to make.
Like Mein Kampf. Oh, and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, both burning up Egypt’s best seller lists.
But hey, other than those…
Update: Not surprisingly, Iran’s doing a fair amount of banning as well: Middle Eastern ban:
It is the second time in two years that Iran has prohibited a publication of international repute for failing to use the term “Persian Gulf” in its maps. In November 2004, it banned the National Geographic atlas when a new edition appeared with the term “Arabian Gulf” in parenthesis beside the more commonly used Persian Gulf.
Tehran believes in aggressively defending the historical term “Persian Gulf” against “Arabian Gulf,” which it regards as a name dreamed up by Arab nationalists. While Iran dominates the eastern side of the waterway, the western shores are held by Arab countries.
Meanwhile, Betsy Newmark looks at more homegrown censorship.
Update: Egypt’s Big Pharaoh has some thoughts on the banning of Da Vinci:
People downloaded the movie from the internet and passed it from one PC to the other. It was even uploaded to my company’s shared network. Banning books and movies will do nothing except raise people’s curiosity who end up doing everything to see the controversial material.
As Michael Medved noted last month, American Christians have only recently begun to understand that their getting up in arms about Hollywood’s product is expected by Hollywood, and deliberately incorporated into its marketing plans.