_To What Extent_ Is censorship Defendable

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					                            (TO WHAT EXTENT)
Croatia, Zagreb IB
Made by: Merve Demirbas, Valnea Skansi, Toni Nogolica
Censorship and its forms
Censorship takes many forms; the more obvious
issues like religion, morality and military
&politics are the easiest to spot and deal with.
By definition…
Censorship by religion is defined as the act of suppressing views that are contrary of those of an organized
religion. It is the means by which any material objectionable to a certain faith is removed. This often involves a
dominant religion forcing limitations on less prevalent ones.
It is a form of censorship where freedom of expression is controlled or limited using religious authority.
This form of censorship is practiced in many societies, by many religions.
Early History
   Censorship and the ideology supporting it go back to ancient
    times. Every society has had customs, taboos, or laws by
    which speech, play, dress, religious observance, and sexual
    expression were regulated.
Greek vs. Roman Censorship
   In Athens, where democracy first flourished, Socrates:           In Rome only people in authority enjoyed the privilege
                                                                      of speaking freely.
•   preferred to sacrifice his life rather than accept
    censorship of his teachings                                   •   Public prosecution and punishment occurred
•   defended free discussion as a supreme public
    service.                                                      •   The Roman poets Ovid and Juvenal were both
•   formulated a philosophy of intellectual freedom.
                                                                  •   Authors of seditious or scurrilous utterances or
                                                                      writings were punished.
    Ironically, his disciple Plato was the first philosopher to   •   The emperor Caligula, for example, ordered an
    formulate a rationale for intellectual, religious, and            offending writer to be burned alive, and Nero
    artistic censorship.                                              deported his critics and burned their books.
   In the 5th century BC, the Athenian philosopher                  The far-flung Roman Empire lasted for some four
    Anaxagoras was punished for impiety; Protagoras,                  centuries due to maintaining a policy of toleration
    another leading philosopher, was charged with                     toward the many religions and cults of the diverse
    blasphemy, and his books were burned.                             nations and races it ruled.
   These instances of repression and persecution in                 The only demand made was that Roman citizens, as a
    Athens were not truly typical of Greek democracy, for             political act, worship the imperial person or image;
    usually the freedom to speak openly in private or in              beyond that, all citizens were free to worship their
    the assembly was respected.                                       own gods and to observe their own rites and rituals.
                                                                     To Jews and early Christians, however, emperor or
                                                                      image worship was idolatry, and they refused to obey.
                                                                      They were persecuted and frequently martyred for
                                                                      their religious beliefs.
Church Censorship
Roman Catholic vs. Protestant Censorship
Roman Catholic vs. Protestant
    -Books or sermons that were opposed to         The Protestant Reformation did not itself
     orthodox faith or morals were                  erect a change in the practice of
     prohibited.                                    censorship.
    -Their authors were punished.                  Its leaders—among them John Calvin,
    -The first catalog of forbidden books was       John Knox, and Martin Luther—claimed
     issued by Pope Gelasius in 496.                liberty of conscience and toleration only
                                                    for themselves and their followers.
    -Individual     heretical    books   were
     subsequently forbidden by special papal       When in power, they too attempted to
     edicts.                                        suppress all deviation from their own
                                                    brands of orthodoxy; they persecuted
•    Censorship in this period was concerned        Protestant heretics and Roman
     primarily with suppressing heresy.             Catholics.
•    For the purpose of punishing all such         The English poet John Milton protested
     manifestations, Pope Gregory IX                against such censorship in his classic
     instituted the Inquisition in 1231.            essay Areopagitica (1644).
•    For almost 500 years the Inquisition          Many English people associated licensing
     remained an influential agency of              by church censors with ecclesiastical
     religious censorship.                          supervision, the Inquisition, and
                                                    restraints on religion, education, and
                                                    intellectual pursuits.
Censorship in the Modern World
   The 18th century—a beginning that reflects the influence of the Age of
    Enlightenment and the American and French revolutions.
   Although the new spirit of liberty was first felt in the area of religious
    belief, it rapidly affected political life, science, and literature. The United
    States, France, and England set the pattern and the pace. The Declaration
    of Independence (1776), the U.S. Constitution (1787) with its Bill of Rights
    (1789-1791), and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
    Citizen (1789) became models for the modern world.
   In England Roman Catholics were freed of all disabilities in 1829; Jews
    achieved the same freedom in 1858.
Religious Toleration
          In modern democratic countries, certain basic constitutional
           principles are generally accepted:
       •   A person's religious beliefs and forms of worship are matters of
           strictly private conscience, into which no government act or
           official may intrude;
       •   No religious requirements may be stipulated for any public
           office or benefit; and the state and religion are independent of
           each other.
       •   The principles have established peaceful relations between the
           government and religious systems in truly democratic societies.
       •   Exceptions:
       •   The situation was quite different in Communist countries such
           as the USSR, where religion was not at all, or only grudgingly,
           recognized, and atheism was the established ideology.
       •   Another exception is the kind of theocracy established in Iran
           after the 1979 revolution with the institution of an Islamic
Government Censorship
   In England religious conflict bred general intolerance, which resulted in
    censorship that embraced political as well as religious expression. At a
    time when religion dominated society, every aspect of life was necessarily
    subject to official control.
   In 1662, for instance, a licensing act created a surveyor of the press who
    had power to investigate and suppress unauthorized publications.
   The Toleration Act and the Bill of Rights in 1689 dealt with important
    personal liberties but said nothing about freedom from censorship. To
    publish an unfavorable opinion of the government was still a “seditious
   As the 18th century began, however, English newspapers became more
    numerous, books on a greater variety of subjects were published, and
    arbitrary censorship was slowly reduced.
   Freedom of the press came about gradually as a result of judicial
    decisions and popular opposition to political oppression.
Private Action
   One U.S. industry, the film industry, has for many years practiced a form
    of self-censorship. A system of film classification was begun in 1968 in
    which films were given ratings, as G (general audiences), PG(parental
    guidance advised), PG-13(may not be suitable for preteens), R(under age
    17 not admitted unless accompanied by parent), NC-17(under age 17 not
   In the U.S. many different private groups attempt to influence
    government agencies, businesses, libraries, radio and television
    broadcasters, newspapers, and other communications media to suppress
    material that they consider objectionable. Religious, ethnic, and racial
    groups have tried to prevent plays, movies, and television programs from
    being presented because of elements they deem offensive.
It is based on…

          Religious censorship is usually
           performed on the grounds of
           blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege or impiety
           – the censored work being viewed as
           obscene, violating a religious taboo.
Until recently…

In modern times,
censorship refers
                       Until recently, censorship was firmly
to the
examination of
                        established in various institutional
periodicals,            forms in even the most advanced
plays, films,
television and          democratic societies.
radio programs,
news reports,
and other
                       By the mid-20th century, a
media for the
                        revolutionary change in social attitudes
purpose of
altering or             weakened its existence, however, not
parts thought to        all forms of censorship have been
be objectionable
or offensive.           eliminated universally.
Censorship In Islam : Jyllands-Posten Muhammad
cartoons controversy
The controversial cartoons of Muhammad, as they were first published in Jyllands-
Posten in September 2005 (English version). The headline, "Muhammad's ansigt",
means "The face of Muhammad".
That cartoon…
   The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after twelve
    editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet
    Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on
    30 September 2005. The newspaper announced that this publication was
    an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and
   Danish Muslim organizations, who objected to the depictions, responded
    by holding public protests attempting to raise awareness of Jyllands-
    Posten's publication. Further examples of the cartoons were soon
    reprinted in newspapers in more than fifty other countries, further
    deepening the controversy.
   This led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated
    into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100
    deaths, all together).
Some critics of the cartoons described them as Islam phobic or racist, and argued that they are
blasphemous to people of the Muslim faith, are intended to humiliate a Danish minority, or are a
manifestation of ignorance about the history of Western imperialism.
Censorship in Christianity : Aniconism
in Christianity
   Byzantine Iconoclasm: There were two periods of iconoclasm, or icon-
    destruction, in the Byzantine Empire, in the mid eighth and early ninth
    Theologically, the debate, as with most in Orthodox theology at the time,
    revolved around the two natures of Jesus.
   Iconoclasts believed that icons could not represent both the divine and
    the human natures of the Messiah at the same time, but separately.
   Because an icon which depicted Jesus as purely physical would be
    Nestorianism, and one which showed Him as both human and divine
    would not be able to do so without confusing the two natures into one
    mixed nature, which was Monophysitism, all icons were thus heretical.
During the Protestant Reformation
   Aniconism was also prevalent during the Protestant Reformation, when
    some Protestants began to preach rejection of what they perceived as
    idolatrous Catholic practices which filled its churches with pictures,
    statues, or relics of saints. The Reformed (Calvinist) churches and certain
    sects (most notably the Puritans and some of the Baptist churches) began
    to prohibit the display of religious images.
   Among Christians today, The Amish continue to avoid photographs or any
    depictions of people; their children's dolls usually have blank faces.
Religious Censorship in Turkey
   Article 312 of the criminal code imposes three-year prison sentences for
    incitement to commit an offence and incitement to religious or racial hatred.
•   In 1999 the mayor of Istanbul and current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment under Article 312 for reading a few
    lines from a poem that had been authorized by the Ministry of Education for use
    in schools, and consequently had to resign.
•   In 2000 the chairman of the Human Rights Association, Akin Birdal, was
    imprisoned under Article 312 for a speech in which he called for "peace and
    understanding" between Kurds and Turks, and thereafter forced to resign, as the
    Law on Associations forbids persons who breach this and several other laws from
    serving as association officials.
•   On February 6, 2002, a "mini-democracy package" was voted by Parliament,
    altering wording of Art. 312. Under the revised text, incitement can only be
    punished if it presents "a possible threat to public order.“
•   The package also reduced the prison sentences for Article 159 of the criminal
    code from a maximum of six years to three years. None of the other laws had
    been amended or repealed as of 2002.

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