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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Turkey, We Have A Problem

I am not referring to the bird, but rather the nation. It seems that some of our old, old literary favorites have undergone a "face-lift" for Islam:

(Hat-Tip: Howie @ My Pet Jawa) And The Telegraph has the story.

Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer and other characters have been converted to Islam in new versions of 100 classic stories on the Turkish school curriculum.

"Give me some bread, for Allah's sake," Pinocchio says to Geppetto, his maker, in a book stamped with the crest of the ministry of education.

"Thanks be to Allah," the puppet says later.

In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan is told that he cannot visit Aramis. The reason would surprise the author, Alexandre Dumas.

An old woman explains: "He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness."

Tom Sawyer may always have shirked his homework, but he is more conscientious in learning his Islamic prayers. He is given a "special treat" for learning the Arabic words.

Pollyanna, seen by some as the embodiment of Christian forgiveness, says that she believes in the end of the world as predicted in the Koran.

Heidi, the Swiss orphan girl in the tale by Johanna Spyri, is told that praying to Allah will help her to relax.

Several more books have been altered, including La Fontaine's fables and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

The clumsy insertions by Islamic publishing houses have caused controversy in Turkey, which has been a strongly secular state since the 1920s.

Other books contain insults, slang and rude rhymes which mock the president and the prime minister.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is Turkey's first Islamic premier, has called for swift action to be taken against the publishers.

The education ministry has threatened to take legal action against any publisher which continues to issue such books.

Huseyin Celik, the education minister, said: "If there are slang and swear words, we will sue them for using the ministry logo."

Time out. Suits for swear and slang words? How about lawsuits for changing what is copyrighted material, thereby altering the stories? For crying out loud, these are literary classics for children and adults. I remember reading the Three Musketeers in elementary school, and I was instructed to read Le Miserables in high school. And now they have turned Muslim on us?

Turkish government officials have a serious grievance to lodge against the publishers of these now-tainted classics. As a secular nation who, like the United states, does its best to keep religion out of school curriculums this is appalling. If I were the minister of education in Turkey, I would order ALL of the books withdrawn from the schools. And if anyone in the Islamic faith has a problem with that decision, they can file it with the complaint department.

That would be the "round file" next to my desk.

If the original authors of these works had wanted an Islamic message in them, they would have written them that way in the first place. I mean, this is not jihadi literature here. Tom Sawyer is not presenting his mischief as some sort of jihad against Aunt Polly. And Aramis as a Muslim? Uh-huh. He was the most devout of the quartet in his Christian beliefs.

While this story is preposterous, it is also alarming. If a secular government like Turkey could allow something like this occur, what nation will be next? England has already banned Piglet from Winnie the Pooh because he offends Muslims. This sort of behavior is asinine. And to someone like myself, who loves to read the great works of the past, it is offensive that someone can arbitrarily alter one of those works to suit their religious needs. If they want that done, then buy the books for your home, but do not integrate them into the school curriculum.



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