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August 01, 2004

Comments

Anna in Cairo

I think they probably banned it because it has so much innuendo about the Saudis and their role in 9/11, not necessarily just to please Bush. After all Saudi Arabia is much closer to them.

Anna in Cairo

I just saw this verified on another blog that actually gives the Kuwaiti statement on it. They said that Saudi Arabia was their friend and they did not permit the movie on those grounds.

the aardvark

I'm sure that the attack on Saudi Arabia was the primary reason (at least publicly)... that wasn't really the point of this post. I'm more interested in the principle of censorship than in Kuwait's specific motivations here. It's a common feature across most Arab countries that the press and publications laws explicitly govern political texts which might "insult" a friendly state, or a member of government or royal family. I'd like to see the United States take the lead in pushing for media freedoms against censorship of this type. Faranheit 9/11 makes a nice test case because the Bush administration and its supporters detest Michael Moore and his film more than just about anything... and at the same time they are attacking Kerry for not saying pretty words about democracy in Iraq. So, hypocrisy test: do you criticize Kuwait for banning a movie that you personally detest on the principle of freedom, or do you quietly celebrate and mumble to yourself, "gee, I wish I could do that too."

Anna in Cairo

I wonder if you can even argue that anyone in the American right wing even pretends to support freedom of the press in the ME. After all they demonize all the independent TV stations, attack Egypt for not controlling its press enough, etc. Seems to me they think Muslim countries SHOULD be heavily censored. Also, they seem to think our media needs censoring too. I don't think it's hypocrisy -- I just think they are not for the freedom of the press to begin with. But I do get your point now.

David F.

'It's a common feature across most Arab countries that the press and publications laws explicitly govern political texts which might "insult" a friendly state, or a member of government or royal family.'

I've read that Gulf Co-operation Council member states in particular censor anything that would 'insult' a fellow member state.

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