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‘The American Intelligence Community has finally
done to the USA
what they have been doing all around the world’.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Censorship of Islamic content in a manga book

Anime News Network's Jason Thompson recently wrote about cases where Japanese manga/anime content was censored, but surely the most troubling example is the case of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which saw censorship of Islamic imagery after a fatwa was declared:
Vanishing Mosques. Arabs love anime; I have Rose of Versailles and Future Boy Conan on Arabic DVDs that I bought in Amman. Arab anime fans also fansubbed JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and presumably liked it, but rue the day that some Salafi guy showed up at the Cairo anime club and saw the scene when Dio, the main villain, is shown reading the Quran. (Of course, in the original manga, he's just reading some random book in a tiny panel—making it the Quran was the animators' brilliant idea.) Egyptian preachers, of course, stoked up public outrage, turning some obscure fansub that probably no one had seen into something everybody in Egypt knew about (sound familiar?). Shueisha not only apologized for the anime scene, they also censored some scenes in the manga when minarets of mosques get damaged in a battle. Now, in all new editions of the manga in all languages, the collateral damage instead takes out water tanks & TV towers.
It was a shameful case of dhimmitude that the publisher decided to do that, but what I can't figure out here is, what was the position of the mangaka (Hirohiki Araki) on this? It's not clear from the news I got. However, in their official news report from the time, it reveals one more galling act of apparent dhimmitude:
Update: Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses novel, was found murdered by an unknown person in 1991 after Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for the death of Rushdie over this book in 1989. A manga called Allah-kun was published in 1969, but has not been republished in over a decade. It is no longer listed in almost any Japanese bookseller. Thanks, mrsatan.
I have no idea what its stance on Islam is, assuming it was about Islam at all, but how about that, another manga book looks like it fell victim to cowardice, all because they don't want to alienate their Islamic audience.

I get the idea that anime is popular in some Arab/Islamic countries because they find some of the sex-based anime a perfect form of escapism in a world where sex is oppressed and censored. But beyond that, it still puzzles me why they'd be fine with the Japanese approach, since despite some chauvinism in some manga/anime, they still depict women as very formidable fighters in combat.
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posted by Avi Green at permanent link#


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