Kuwait/Lebanon/UAE: Countries ban Egyptian film over religious concerns

Egyptian film ‘Mawlana’ (Preacher) has been banned in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon over backlash from religious clerics amid fears it could “incite sectarian strife”, reported Arab Times Online, An-Nahar and Al Bawaba in February 2017. Lebanese censors objected to 12 minutes of the film, saying it “could incite sectarian strife and provoke […]

UAE: New dance craze leads to arrest

A viral hit across the Middle East, reaching over 21 million views on YouTube since December 2015, of Saudi song and dance craze ‘Barbs’ has led many to post themselves on various social media outlets, including two Emirati soldiers who were arrested for performing the dance in uniform, reported The Washington Post on 11 April […]

Five more countries ban ‘The Danish Girl’

As of 1 February 2016, five more countries have followed suit with Qatar and banned screenings of Tom Hooper’s transgender film ‘The Danish Girl’. Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and United Arab Emirates failed to pass local censor requirements over “moral depravity” and that it “promoted homosexuality and gender transformation”. Sources » Gay Star News – 1 February […]

Morocco/UAE/Egypt: Film ‘Exodus’ banned for “historical inaccuracies”

The Ridley Scott film ‘Exodus’ has been banned in countries across the Middle East. The film, which has been criticised widely for its ‘whitewashing’, has now been pulled in Morocco, Egypt and the UAE. However, the reasons being given for the film’s ban all seem to be different. For instance, in Egypt the Cultural Minister […]

UAE: Lady Gaga concert censored to respect culture

A planned Lady Gaga concert in Dubai in September will be censored to respect cultural traditions, Reuters reported. The article was published in Ahram in Egypt, United Arab Emirates Daily Gulf News, and more. » See on  english.ahram.org.eg

Indonesia: Film censorship board bans the American film ‘Noah’

Indonesia has banned the release of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Noah’, saying the biblical epic contradicts the teachings of the Koran and may mislead people. The ban in Indonesia follows similar moves in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. » See on time.com » Guardian Liberty Voice – 8 March 2014: Academy Award Winning Actor’s New Movie […]

Artist Alert: December 2013 and January 2014 | Article 19

Newsletter from Article 19, published on article19.org on 12 February 2014: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has been curtailed and abused, and […]

Lebanon/UAE: British comedian cancels tour after threats

British comedian and actor Russell Brand had been booked to perform in United Arab Emirates and Lebanon on his ‘Messiah Complex’ world tour, but those gigs have now been cancelled because of threats from religious groups. “I was told that if I went there there would be problems,” Russell Brand told Radio 5live: “The venue […]

Poll: Six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts

An opinion poll conducted by the Doha Debates television programme reveals that six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts, especially when it comes to nudity or profane language. According to the poll, conducted between 30 May and 3 June 2012, most said that the existence of regulatory bodies and institutions […]



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