28 January 2009

Attempt at Ideological confomity has its ironies

Books sent into the Islamic state of Afghanistan are subject to censorship. A colleague of mine at AUAF and a native of Afghanistan who spent the last 26 years in Germany had several boxes of his books shipped here. The subject matter included math, physics, Afghan and Islamic history, Dari grammar, and political analysis. After they were initially checked, one book was withheld for lengthier scrutiny: a copy of the Qur’an, despite the fact that its translation from Arabic to German was approved by Islamic authorities. No one in the Afghan ministry reads German, so the censors are seeking an Islamic expert fluent in German. My colleague was told the decision might involve a judicial review before it is ultimately settled.