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Censorship by religion: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Censorship by religion is a form of censorship where freedom of expression is controlled or limited using religious authority or on the basis of the teachings of the religion. This form of censorship has a long history and is practiced in many societies and by many religions. Examples include the censorship by the Vatican of Galileo's support for heliocentric theory and of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.



Religious censorship is defined as the act of suppressing views that are contrary of those of an organized religion. It is usually performed on the grounds of blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege or impiety - the censored work being viewed as obscene, challenging a dogma, or violating a religious taboo. Defending against these charges is often difficult as many religions permit only the religious authorities (clergy) to interpret doctrine and the interpretation is usually dogmatic. The Catholic church banned hundreds of songs and maintained the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited music), most of which were writings that the church had deemed dangerous, until 1965.

Other types of book on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum include works by Desiderius Erasmus, a Catholic scholar who pointed out that the Comma Johanneum was probably forged, Nicolaus Copernicus who argued for a Heliocentric orbit of the earth in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

In Islam

Similar methodology has been carried out under Islamic theocracies, such as the fatwa (religious judgment) against the Satanic Verses (a novel), ordering that the author be executed for blasphemy.

Some Islamic societies have religious police, who enforce the application of Islamic Sharia law. Their authority may include the power to arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing, anyone engaged in homosexual behavior or prostitution; to enforce Islamic dress-codes, and store closures during Islamic prayer time.[1][2]

They enforce Muslim dietary laws, prohibit the consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages and pork, and seize banned consumer products and media regarded as un-Islamic, such as CDs/DVDs of various Western musical groups, television shows and film.[1][2] In Saudi Arabia, religious police actively prevent the practice or proselytizing of non-Islamic religions within Saudi Arabia, where they are banned.[1][2]


  • Depiction of the human form in art Islam
15th century illustration in a copy of a manuscript by Al-Bīrūnī, depicting Muhammad preaching the Qur'ān in Mecca.[3]
A protest demanding Wikipedia remove images of Muhammed from all articles was started in February 2008. The main image in question is a painting of Muhammed in Mecca. Wikipedia refused to remove the images.[4]

See also


External links



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