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Thursday, March 30, 2006

What do Radical Muslims, Bahamians, and China have in common?

Censorship.

Well, we now have a western country deciding to shove morality on it’s citizens. No, I’m not talking about same-sex marriage, or abortion, or affirmative action, or any such thing. I’m talking censorship.

Now, this topic has been getting a fair bit of press lately, with the publication of the cartoons mocking Islam in multiple newspapers in Europe, a handful of University student papers in North America, and the Western Standard (more on them below). This time, the censored item is the movie Brokeback Mountain.

The Bahamian government has decided to prohibit theatres from showing Brokeback Mountain as it “shows extreme homosexuality, nudity and profanity, and (the regulatory association) feel(s) that it has no value for the Bahamian public”

I’m sorry – last time I heard a government telling me what was a great value for me, we ended up with a public health care system that doesn’t work, a gun registry that did nothing to prevent crime, and an attempted child registry that wasn’t going to work for the vast majority of families.

The concept of value can be easily determined by the market. If a movie does not have any value, then people will not pay to see it, and it will not be profitable. That’s the way that things work in a democratic society. China has also banned showing this movie – which isn’t completely unexpected for a communist dictatorship, however last time I checked, the Bahamas aren’t communist.

Just ultra-puritan, apparently.

On another note, the backlash of the few against the Western Standard’s decision to run the Danish cartoons isn’t over. Imam Syed Soharwardy, the same individual who went to the police when the cartoons were first published (and was laughed out of the station), has now filed suit with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission.

Now, I oppose the attempt to censure the Western Standard on two grounds. Firstly, of course, I don’t like to see an attempt at censorship. Secondly – taxpayer dollars are now being wasted on this complaint. That’s right, the Imam doesn’t have to put up so much as one penny for this complaint – the lawyers, the court – all paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Outraged? I hope so. Consider a subscription to the Western Standard – help them pay their legal bills, and treat yourself to a good read from the West.

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