10 August, 2008

Harry Potter banned in UAE Private Schools?

I know the following link is a few years old but I found it intriguing:

The bestselling children's book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by JK Rowling has been banned from use in private schools in the United Arab Emirates.

The Ministry of Education and Youth is understood to have made the decision because it believes the story is contrary to Islamic values...

The precise reason for the Potter ban is not known, but tales of the supernatural have reportedly been known to cause unease in some Islamic countries.

The entire BBC article can be read here.

I'm curious to know what the current status is as it's been 6 years since the article was published.


Al-Maawali said...

I kinda understand why it was banned. Because magic and anything related to that is strongly against Islam and in Harry Potter, they make magic sound very casual and even glamorous sometimes.

I am not really for the ban but I understand why.

Tainted Female said...

Harry Potter isn't educational literature anyway... I'm not sure why it matters that it's banned in schools.

hamid said...

they shouldve banned those books and movies and related merchandise from UAE as a whole. But you know why they didnt ?Because it sells! Even money and profit is more important than Islamic values it seems. Very sad.

Yahya said...

I have always had a problem with Harry Potter. Its just way too satanic in its promotion of magic and was surprised that they even showed this movie here. I cant put my finger on it, but its different from Lord of the Rings and Narnia in the themes and morals it teaches and totally support any ban.

allie said...

untrue...when I worked in Dubai, I remember meeting the headmaster of Wesgreen School in Sharjah who said that they had a system where kids were supposed to drop a class or activity period and discuss a book they were reading at that moment - apparently more than half the class used to turn up with one of the Harry Potter chronicles

rosh said...

"..in the themes and morals it teaches and .."

Errr and what morals does Harry portray yahya? Be strong, independent, fight the odds - count on yourself, be thankful for your friends, love your parents - and no matter how tough the terrain, honesty and perseverance shall help prevail?

Evil morals are they? Ignore the magic crap, perhaps see the bigger picture mate.

2 fils.

Mars said...

again, people do realize that this is fiction? and i agree with rosh, magic is a background thing to the values of strength, belief in oneself and friendship.

if these are unislamic, than any book remotely interesting or imaginative should be banned.

kaya said...

How bizarre.
7 books, 6 movies and a heap load of merchandising later , suddenly they discover that the boy is a Wizard and theres magic involved.
Its as bad as the whole Pokémon thing, so many years ago.
What are certain tv programmes teaching? Or even for that matter arcade/console games.
There seems to be no rational train of thought to these decisions.
If anything magic aside there is a prevalent good over evil theme, which is more than one can say abt Grand Auto Theft.

secretdubai said...

It's just fantasy - surely no one should take it really seriously. I remember books from my childhood such as The Worst Witch and all the many Enid Blyton books about magic and fairies, none of which was considered remotely controversial at the time (in fact the only controversies about Blyton's work was that it was considered somewhat sexist and racist by the time the more enlightened 1960s and 1970s had arrived).

Harry Potter is very far from great literature, but at least it has got a lot of children reading again.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just the first book is banned because it's about a magical stone, which is something customs was always on the lookout for when someone I know received geologic samples from abroad for research/education. Seriously. They seemed worried he might try to sell the rocks as magic stones.

nzm said...

Yeah, maybe one stone surrounded by myth, tradition, religion and wonder is already too much to handle.

tenali raman said...

Allie, what children at Wesgreen School read in their free time and subsequently discuss, is not in any way connected with a particular book being included (specifically) in teaching curricula.

The Harry Potter series of books have never been banned in the UAE and are among the largest selling books here as elsewhere. The Ministry of Education (MoE) can clarify wheteher or not they have proscribed the book from inclusion in curricula (i.e., being used as a textbook).

azucenamaryam said...

Good, ban them all!!!

ma sha Allah

allie said...

I disagree tenali. If a book is banned in the teaching curricula, then by logic wouldn't it be banned from reading sessions, reports of which are subsequently graded and included in the student's final report card?

MuslimForever said...

i believe people are becoming crazy, islam banes magic but of course in real life not like harry potter, their just storys and movies and we encourge learning and having big imaginations

unJane said...

There was a similar outcry in the US by right wing fundamentalist Christians when the book was first released. Picketing outside of libraries which receive state funding, etc. It didn't last that long. Fighting fiction seems pretty silly. Just don't read it if you are against its content. Don't allow your children to read it if it doesn't uphold your values. Think for yourself. Ban ignorance.

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