The Arabic nations have a rich history that in times gone by was liberal enough to create great works of art, sponsor public works on epics scales and encourage the sciences not seen in the west until the 19th century. Arguably, one of those great artistic masterpieces from antiquity is One thousand and one nights or the Arabian nights.
At least it seems it is up for discussion currently, as claims that it is unsuitable for Egyptian society at all. Lawyers are poised to argue that the stories in One thousand and one nights, are too rude for modern Egyptian society and should be banned. For a moment I had hoped it was a media campaign against book banning, it seemed so surreal. Sadly, I was mistaken.
Would Ali Baba take no for an answer? Would Scheherazade have blindly accepted for fate without thinking what could she do to change her plight? Would Sinbad have even left port if he felt there was nothing left to do or see in the world beyond his country? Could have Aladdin ever escape his fate if not for a mind that asked, ‘What can I do?’ Banning this book with wipe these characters and their stories out of the lives of people who right now could do with their amazing examples.
Like the Taliban in Afghanistan blowing up the two ancient Buddha statues, reactionary conservatism only dictate, “What can’t we do.”. Only a liberal society asks the important question, “What can we do?”. It’s what made the Arab nations great and continues to support the west.
Anyone who encourages a thought process that excludes activities is stifling and negative to the growth and development of any society and needs to be reminded that we only move forward on a ‘Can Do’ attitude.