Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Whitewashed Tom Sawyer converts to Islam

Interesting approach to multiculturalism going on in Turkey, a country aspiring to enter the European Union:

Pinocchio and friends converted to Islam

Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer and other characters have been converted to Islam in new versions of 100 classic stories on the Turkish school curriculum.
"Give me some bread, for Allah's sake," Pinocchio says to Geppetto, his maker, in a book stamped with the crest of the ministry of education.
"Thanks be to Allah," the puppet says later.

In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan is told that he cannot visit Aramis. The reason would surprise the author, Alexandre Dumas.
An old woman explains: "He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness."
Tom Sawyer may always have shirked his homework, but he is more conscientious in learning his Islamic prayers. He is given a "special treat" for learning the Arabic words.

Pollyanna, seen by some as the embodiment of Christian forgiveness, says that she believes in the end of the world as predicted in the Koran.
Heidi, the Swiss orphan girl in the tale by Johanna Spyri, is told that praying to Allah will help her to relax.
Several more books have been altered, including La Fontaine's fables and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

[The government is outraged, and will be swinging into action... not out of concern for literary heritage, but because some of the books contain sly insults to the government.]

Other books contain insults, slang and rude rhymes which mock the president and the prime minister.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is Turkey's first Islamic premier, has called for swift action to be taken against the publishers.
The education ministry has threatened to take legal action against any publisher which continues to issue such books.
Huseyin Celik, the education minister, said: "If there are slang and swear words, we will sue them for using the ministry logo."...

This story puts previous news from Turkey in a potentially new light. Recently another mainstay of western litterature was banned for being the "wrong version"

Turkey seizes Pippi Longstocking in Kurdish

Over 1,000 books about Pippi Longstocking, the world-famous fictional children's character, translated into Kurdish have been seized by Turkish authorities in Istanbul, the Swedish news agency TT said Thursday.
The shipment was impounded because it lacked the documentation required by Turkish customs authorities and did not have the necessary license from the Turkish education ministry, TT said.
The 1,208 books, including 25 different Pippi titles, were sent August 7 from Sweden by Komak, an organization that runs an education project for Kurds in Turkey, TT said.
The books had been set for delivery to libraries in five Kurdish villages.

Flagrant disrespect for western cultural tradition: I guess as far as Europe's elite governing class are concerned, they'll be even more convinced that Turkey is fully prepared to join the EU!

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