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Banned Books Week: Read ‘The Hunger Games’ or the ‘Koran’

29 September 2011 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Banned Books Week started September 24 and will ends October 1st. I should have posted this earlier but better late than never.

Banned Books Week: Read ‘The Hunger Games’ or the ‘Koran’

By Liz Kelly Nelson

Thanks to the vigilance of the American Library Association (ALA), the list of books banned or challenged in 2010-2011 isn’t as long as it could be, but it’s long enough to keep a person out of books for at least a year. Every year during Banned Book Week the ALA works to keep books considered controversial, obscene or profane on library shelves and in schools.

In the past year, books in danger of censorship include Suzanne Collins’ popular “Hunger Games” series, which was adapted into a screenplay and will arrive in theaters sometime in 2012 to torment parents and others who think it numbs kids to violence. A Virginia school system also tried to ban “The Diary of Anne Frank,” when it received a complaint that the book “sexual material and homosexual themes.”

The ALA asks that from Sept. 24 – Oct. 1, lovers of literature read a banned book. Below, some titles from the 2010-2011 list to get you started:

  • “The Hunger Games,” Suzanne Collins
  • “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Anne Frank
  • “Water for Elephants,” Sarah Gruen
  • “Brave New World,” Alduous Huxley
  • “The Koran”
  • “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger
  • “Push,” Sapphire
  • “Slaughter-house 5,” Kurt Vonnegut
  • “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India,” Joseph Lelveld
  • “My Mom’s Having a Baby,” Dori Hillested Butler

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  1. If some people had thier way no one could have or read books.

  2. I have a Qur’an. 😀

  3. Now I have a great selection of books to buy now!

    But seriously, why would you ban a book?

    I mean, television and the internet are far worse than any book I’ve ever read.

    You see far worse on TV than you do reading a book, why not ban TV than a book?

  4. I have multiple translations of the Qur’an even though I’m not muslim and spent a semester in college studying the book. I wonder how the number of bans/challenges might change if those trying to get a book banned/challenged actually read it? I ask this because I have yet to hear of a case where the challenger actually read the book instead of just going on hearsay. Animal Farm being banned for anthropomorphic animals is a favorite example of this (kind of misses the entire point of the book), but the Harry Potter series is another more recent one. Potter being banned was particularly interesting, as if you read the thing, its actually filled with Christian themes, though doubtless not the brand that the closed-minded dolt who challenged them held.

  5. [3.30] On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that (evil) there were a long duration of time; and Allah makes you to be cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and Allah is Compassionate to the servants.
    [3.31] Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, MercifuL
    [3.32] Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
    [3.33] Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations.
    [3.34] Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
    [3.35] When a woman of Imran said: My Lord! surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.
    [3.36] So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female– and Allah knew best what she brought forth– and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Marium, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.


    i wonder how many copies of satanic verses there are in muslims homes? or libraries at islamic centers?

  7. See, people call the Quran violent, and they pull out like 10 ayahs out of 114 and say “See! They want to convert us! They’ll kill us!” And then of course we have people preaching that “kafir” means “westerner” lollll.

    Westerner=Al Gharbi
    Kafir: unbeliever of God (atheists and polytheists)

    But then they don’t read the rest of it and see how it ties in, and they don’t realize that every ayah has its own explanation, it’s own deep meaning. I mean, i read the Bible and I’m like “what…?” but then I compare it to the Quran, I look up meanings and explanations for every sentance and then I completely get it…because we believe Quran and the Bible are quite similar because jesus and mohammad had similar messages (the oneness of God, the early teachings of Abraham, stories of Jonah, Noah, Moses etc)

  8. elle,

    you may be right in the totality of the koran. but don’t you understand that the reason people pick 10 verses is because those are the ones that concern them. the idea that god would commad torture and crusifing people, is quite disconcerting to kaafir like me. it’s like if you moved in next door to me and i came over and brought you a cake and said welcome to the neighborhood. and the next 18 times we see each other i’m friendly and nice. then on our 20th meeting i said, oh by the way if you ever do something i don’t like, i will kill you. so of those 20 meetings which one would stand out in your mind? would your opinion of me not go from, what a nice guy to that guy is crazy?

  9. m2

    i understand, but here’s the thing: does the bible not preach the same about sinners? And Islam does NOT call for crucifying people. the jews practiced that on Christians. been there, done that. And like i said, kaafir means non-believer of God. Not islam, if you’re a non-Muslim your ghayr Muslim. If your a kafir, your not a mu’min, mu’min is believer of Gd. So m2, your either an atheist, polytheist, or you didn’t understand my first comment.

    And the thing is, people have to look at everything in the Quran. it’s like reading a book and saying “What did Atticus do next?” And then throw it down and say “this book isn’t good! They didn’t tell me what happened.” Now, if you had read on, you would’ve read about the trial and Atticus and whatever.

  10. Astonishing that in 2009 and 2010 people were trying to ban To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and Brave New World.

    But here’s the good news, from the ALA website:

    “Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.”

    Overall, the trend is quite rightly for these challenges to be rejected.

    The Quran doesn’t make it into the top 10 in any year. It’s just not as controversial as “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things”.

  11. elle,

    i’m an athiest. there are a few of us in the west. “but here’s the thing: does the bible not preach the same about sinners?” why is that “the thing”? depends on what part of the bible you are talking about? the old testement is brutal. don’t want to see that as american law either. so in your inturpretation of hudood, is adultry punishable by stoning? are you for cutting the hands off thieves? i noticed on the other article (honor killings) you addressed 4:34 but not the 24th surrah. you did see that bangladesia girl was lashed to death, by accident i’m sure, i mean the death part not the lashing. “and let not compassion keep you from this task” how could anyone image 100 lashs could kill a girl? not to defend the bible, but compare that to “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” or rather compare the hadiths where the prophet stones people to death.

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