A few more items to add to the List of things that offend Muslims today. Our first example is another book banning. In this case because one of the characters is gay. This from the same people who accuse those critical of jihad of "Islamophobia".
Hat tip, IBA.
A book festival in the Middle East that claims to celebrate the “world of books in all its infinite variety” has banned a British author because her novel contains references to homosexuality.
The first International Festival of Literature in Dubai has attracted dozens of world-class authors, including Margaret Atwood and Louis de Bernières, with promises that it will be relaxed, vibrant and diverse. One author has found otherwise.
Geraldine Bedell's book The Gulf Between Us was greeted with enthusiasm by organisers because of its setting in the Middle East, but the mood changed swiftly when they discovered a gay character.
Isobel Abulhoul, director of the festival, wrote to Ms Bedell to tell her that she was not invited. “I do not want our festival remembered for the launch of a controversial book,” she wrote. “If we launched the book and a journalist happened to read it, then you could imagine the political fallout that would follow.”
She explained that the book was unsuitable because one of the characters was a gay sheikh with an English boyfriend and the plot was set against the background of the Iraq War which “could be a minefield for us”.
Ms Bedell, who has lived in the Gulf, told The Times that the book has since been banned from sale in Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. Read more.
Margaret Atwood has withdrawn from the festival in protest. Good for her. There are so few cases of people standing up to the increasing tyranny of Islamic induced self censorship that it's well worth mentioning.
Margaret Atwood has pulled out of the inauguraul Emirates Airline international festival of literature in the wake of a novelist being blacklisted for potential offence to "cultural sensitivities". Other authors due to appear at the festival, including bestselling children's authors Anthony Horowitz and Lauren Child, are now also reconsidering whether to attend.
"I was greatly looking forward to the festival, and to the chance to meet readers there; but, as an international vice president of Pen – an organisation concerned with the censorship of writers – I cannot be part of the festival this year," she wrote in a letter posted on her official site.
Bravo Ms Atwood!
After the United Arab Emirates refused to grant a visa to Shahar Peer, Tennis Channel Chairman and Chief Executive Ken Solomon told The New York Times the channel -- based in Santa Monica, Calif. -- would not televise the tournament in Dubai.
"This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong," Solomon told the Times from Utah. "Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent."
Solomon called the UAE decision "a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision."
Another bravo to the Tennis Channel for recognizing anti-Semitism when it sees it. Sadly, the same can't be said about the cowards at the World Tennis Assosiation.
Check out WHT's follow up to this story, Andy Roddick protests Dubai. Venus Williams Wins.