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Doha Debates reveal most Arabs support censorship of arts

An opinion poll conducted earlier this month shows that while some Arabs are against government censorship of the arts, most support it

Sayid Kadry, Friday 22 Jun 2012
Previous episode of the Doha Debates
Views: 2305
Views: 2305

An opinion poll conducted by the Doha Debates television programme reveals that six out of 10 Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts, especially when it comes to nudity or profane language.

According to the poll, conducted between 30 May and 3 June, most said that the existence of regulatory bodies and institutions affiliated with the state is a must, as art could be "inappropriate" and offend "religious beliefs."

Most of those polled suggested that censorship was needed on modern art taught in Arab universities, but most also said that censorship would not be able to stand in the way of artists because thoughts and beliefs live in our imaginations.

The results of the poll came in contrast to the position the majority of people took in the last session organised by the Doha Debates in Qatar, where 58 per cent of attendees believed that censorship ruins art.

In the poll, most of those who supported government censorship of art came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen. Poll samples from less conservative countries in the region returned different results.

Less than half of those poll suggested that government censorship should be implemented on cinema, music, universities and the internet. However, they saw that the rise in the number of internet users in the Arab world would challenge censorship efforts.

Those against censorship saw conflicts with freedom of expression and added that censorship would constrain the messages artist wish to deliver. They said it should be left to the individual to decide what he or she wants to watch or experience.

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26-06-2012 05:47am
Advice; This is OUR land
Alex...go home if YOU don't like it. Where do you people get off telling others what to do in their land? The West imposes it's "ideals" all over the world in countries where decency and morality still are the norm. Meanwhile the West has a rape every 3 minutes, priests abusing children and they continue to kill innocents all over the planet...Hypocrites! Do you not have the intelligence to make a link here between allowing anything to allowed, no rules, no barriers, no censorship...and no control? If humans were able to self govern then fine...but they need guidelines just like children...but that's another topic. Just go home.
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27-06-2012 01:48pm
it's not about "west" and "east", we're all human regardless of where on the planet we live and we all deserve a right to express ourselves! and the streets of Cairo or Mecca are no more moral than anywhere else in the world. Maybe you are the one who is still a child and needs guidlines, but let those who want to grow up and be independant do so without being bullied by your ridiculous comfort zone.

24-06-2012 09:54am
Here's a friendly advice for the 60%: You don't like it then don't watch it, don't listen to it and don't go near it!
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