The ancient Arabians regarded the poet as a magician in touch with spirits.
The Prophet Muhammad rejected their traditions and drew up a charter offering freedom of conscience to Muslims, while respecting the biblical traditions of Jews and Christians.
During the dark ages of Christianity, Arabic translations of Greek texts were the lamp that fired the Italian Renaissance.
Modern history saw control of communication move to the secularists, with Nasser manipulating the media to express his grandiose schemes of pan-Arab nationalism.
Socialism and secularism have given way to political Islam today, better understood, or reviled, in the West as fundamentalism.
Although the history of Islam is one of tolerance, political Islam has tended to reject this tolerance of late.
Drawing on a multitude of anecdotes and first-hand accounts, this concise history of censorship in Islamic societies studies the turbulent question of freedom of expression and analyses the political direction and control of such freedoms in a number of countries, including Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and Afghanistan.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 216 pages
- Publisher: Saqi Books
- Publication Date: 10/05/2002
- Category: Social & cultural history
- ISBN: 9780863560415
- Hardback from £26.85