Monday, March 05, 2007
Hamas Bans Book of Palestinian Folk Tales
"RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Hamas-run Education Ministry has ordered an anthology of Palestinian folk tales pulled from school libraries and destroyed because of sexually explicit language, officials said Monday, in what critics charged was the most direct attempt by the Islamic militants to impose their beliefs on Palestinian society.
The book ban angered and worried many Palestinians, who long feared that Hamas would use its victory in last year's parliamentary election to remake the Palestinian territories according to its hard-line interpretation of Islam.
The 400-page anthology of folk tales narrated by Palestinian women was first published in English in 1989 by the University of California at Berkeley. It was put together by Sharif Kanaana, a novelist and anthropology professor at the West Bank's Bir Zeit University, and by Ibrahim Muhawi, a teacher of Arabic literature and the theory of translation." (for god's sake read more)
Usually it's the Israelis who ban books in the West Bank and Gaza. But it seems Hamas wants to compete, especially now that their political program is not going anywhere. Why sit around and twiddle their thumps: on with the "cultural" agenda.
The Minister of Education, Nasser al Sha'er has another reason besides "filthy expressions" to justify the ban (he denies the burning part): "the book is written in an informal language, which is inappropriate to be taught at schools, as schools teach the formal Arabic only." (read more)
See I can't comment on this without a string of "informal" curses delivered in my El Bireh accent--the only way I know how to curse-- gushing out of my mouth. So I'll keep my mouth shut, and you will use your imagination.
This is what happens when you give them the Ministry of Education. Remember what the Hamas minister of culture's first order of business was last year? To clean the place of belly dancers!! As if the place was crawling with them. Of course, he wasn't talking about those women belly dancing for their husbands.
In fact, I won't be surprised if this emboldened cultural crack down is something agreed on in Mecca. Give us the cultural sphere and keep the political sphere kind of deal with Fateh.
The article mentions that they are starting to ask women to wear the veil when they go into Hamas ministries (what an expression!) I can't confirm that.
But I can confirm that this book they are pulling out of school libraries (as if these libraries need further impoverishment), Speak Bird, Speak Again, is a classic. The banning, not the sexual references, is what is 3aib!