Fact checking: Qatar bans Piglet from Winnie The Pooh books?
TO Qatar, where Piglet has been purged from Winnie The Pooh books. Well, so one site reports. We are told that Qatar says the scared little pig is offensive to Islam. Really?
We’ve been here before. In 2007, Qatar Living featured a story about the shopper who’d found Piglet erased by black maker pens from a copy of Disney’s “My Very First Encyclopedia with Winnie the Pooh and friends”:
Yes, the cuddly cute pink Piglet had disappeared. First, I have no idea who would buy a book that cost about $30 that was marked up like this. Secondly, what the hell were the censors thinking!? Now as a Muslim, I can venture why they did this. But as a Muslim, I think it is totally ridiculous.
The story features no pictures of the drive-by erasing. Gulf Times tells us why:
A DISCUSSION about censorship of a children’s book on community forum Qatar Living has been censored by Qtel, online news portal Qatar Journal reported yesterday. The blocked webpage details a parent’s visit to a local bookshop, where he finds that a copy of a Winnie the Pooh encyclopaedia has been edited to remove images of Disney’s Piglet character. The description is illustrated with photos of the censored book, following which there is a discussion by readers about whether looking at a cartoon piglet is forbidden. In September, Qtel had confirmed that blocked sites fall into three categories: “pornography, political criticism of Gulf countries and anti-Islamic sites”.
The story then took on a life of its own.
The offending books were being sold in Saudi-owned Jareer book store, and it was widely assumed that the books had been censored in Saudi Arabia en-route to Qatar. The pictures aroused some rather light hearted banter, but few believed that moderate Qatar was the source of the censorship.
The matter had been forgotten. At least, until a few days ago, when Qtel decided to censor the images of the censorship of the images…in Virgin Megastore you can still buy children’s books about pigs complete with authentic pig noises.
So. To the Times247 story published on November 21 2012 that Piglet has been stuck in an inky burqa.
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