Amazon has banned a book by Tommy Robinson. Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims kill for Islam which he co-authored with Peter McLoughlin has now been removed from the store. According to McLoughlin the book was removed from the Amazon
database last month, and even second hand versions cannot now be sold. Despite scathing reviews the author said it was the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran.
Amazon joins a long list of internet giants that have banned Tommy Robinson with only YouTube currently giving him a platform.
Robinson has accused major companies and media outlets, including the BBC , of censorship for removing his content which he claims should be protected under freedom of speech. He wrote:
This is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them.
A spokesman for Amazon said:
As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable. That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain inappropriate content.
It is difficult to see how such censorship will soothe a divided society. Surely it will mean that people leaning towards progressive politics will see less that opposes their viewpoint. But on the other side of the coin decisions like this will
add to the anger of substantial numbers of people sympathetic to Tommy Robinson's views. They will likely feel that the silencing of Tommy Robinson is equivalent to the silencing of his supporters.
Chinese government censors are reading Australian publishers' books and, in some cases, refusing to allow them to be printed in China if they fail to comply with a long list of restrictions.
Publishing industry figures have confirmed that the censors from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China are vetting books sent by Australian publishers to Chinese printing
presses, even though they are written by Australian authors and intended for Australian readers.
Any mention of a list of political dissidents, protests or political figures in China, is entirely prohibited, according to a list circulated to publishers and obtained by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
The list of prohibitions mentions key political incidents, including the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the pro-democracy protests in 2011 and the 2014 umbrella revolution in Hong Kong. The Tibetan independence movement, Uighur nationalism and
Falun Gong are also taboo subjects.
Mention of all major Chinese political figures, including Mao Zedong and the current president, Mr Xi, and all current members of the Politburo Standing Committee is ruled out, as is a long list of 118 dissidents who are not allowed to be
Most major religions are also on the sensitive list, as well as a long list of Chinese, or former Chinese locations, most relating to current or former border disputes. The printer's guidance says these things can be published after vetting by
Pornography was ruled out entirely, but artistic nudity or sexual acts could be censored in 10 working days.
Printing books, particularly those with colour illustrations, is significantly cheaper in China, so some publishers have little choice but to put them through the government censorship process.
Sandy Grant, of publisher Hardie Grant, said he had scrapped a proposed children's atlas last year because the censors ruled out a map showing the wrong borders.(probably to do with Chinese claims about Taiwan or Tibet). European alternatives
were considered economically unviable.
A printing industry source who works with Chinese presses confirmed that the rules, in theory, had been in place for a long time, but that, all of a sudden they've decided to up the ante. They're checking every book; they're very, very strict at
the moment. I don't know how they're reading every book, but they definitely are, the printer said. The change had happened in the past few months.
Buckling under pressure from enraged Christians, DC Comics has announced that it's pulled the plug on a planned series called Second Coming , in which Jesus returns as a superhero.
About 233,000 people signed a petition saying:
Can you imagine the media and political uproar if DC Comics was altering and poking fun at the story of Muhammad -- or Buddha?
This blasphemous content should not be tolerated. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His story should not be ridiculed for the sake of selling comic books.
The plot summary for the first issue, previously sated for March, said:
Witness the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world's favorite savior: the all-powerful superhero Sun-Man, the Last Son of
Krispex!. But when Christ returns to Earth, he's shocked to discover what has become of his gospel 203 and now, he aims to set the record straight.
The writers will now offer the series to other publishers.