Reporters Without Borders today voiced its dismay after Morocco’s communications ministry announced a ban on distribution of the international edition of the French weekly L”Express for an “attack on Islam”.
Algerian and Tunisian authorities followed suit three days after the 31 October Moroccan decision, the US news agency Associated Press reported today.
The 30 October to 5 November 2008 issue of l”Express had a cover page headlined “The shock: Jesus-Mohammed: Their journey, their message, their vision of the world”.
A ten-page article inside presented portraits of the founders of Christianity and Islam days ahead of a meeting in Rome of Muslim and Catholic dignitaries on the initiative of Pope Benoit XVI, to “promote dialogue” between the two monotheist religions.
“It is unfortunate that the communications ministry has on[c]e again chosen to resort to censorship to have a newspaper banned which was only bringing elements to the debate on an issue in the news that is of major interest to its Moroccan readers”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
“This decision is all the more surprising since the Moroccan authorities never stop describing the kingdom as an historic place of dialogue and coexistence between cultures and religions”.
That may be, but it still is, after all, the western most appendage of Dar al-Islam, where this sort of thing is beyond hackneyed.
“It is still more unfortunate that Algiers and Tunis decided to follow in Morocco’s footsteps” it added, wondering “if the kingdom is in the process of becoming an example for the repression of press freedom in the region.”[…]
No, such “sensitivity” and censorship is hardly a product of Morroco’s example; rather, it is endemic to the Islamic world.
Morocco was ranked 122nd out of 173 countries in Reporters Without Borders” world press freedom index, released on 22 October 2008.
Take a wild guess what the predominant religion of countries ranking 123-173 is? Coincidence, or has Morroco simply corrupted them too?