Muslim sensitivity causes Malaysian printer to censor pig faces!

Please don’t expect deep thoughts today, as Professor Ceiling Cat is working hard. The last two posts of the day will be semi-humorous ones about religious lunacy and animals.

This first one, from the BBC, shows how far journalists in Islamic countries will go to avoid offending Mulsims.

Look at the picture of these pigs, which was from the International Edition of the New York Times published in Malaysia. It accompanied an article on the rising demand for pigs in the U.S.

_72506786_464-300

WHAT? The faces of the pigs are blacked out (the normal picture in other NYT editions is below); the culprit was the Malaysian firm KHL printers.

_72513115_origThat’s not the only porcine censorship that was exercised.  As the Malay Mail Online adds:

A front-page story in the international NYT yesterday featured a picture of piglets standing in the snow, but the printers of the Malaysian edition, KHL Printing Co, concealed the faces of each animal.

A continuation of the story about rising demand for pigs reared in the open, on page 19 of the paper, received the same treatment and saw the faces of two adult pigs blacked out.

To wit:

piggy_NYT_600_483_100

Of course the censorship was done to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities:

A handful of pigs’ faces have been censored in the Malaysian edition of the International New York Times, it seems.

The black marks were the work of Malaysian printing firm KHL, which blotted out the faces in a story about farming in the United States, according to the Malay Mail. A representative said it was their policy to obscure pigs because Malaysia was “a Muslim country”.

There is no law banning pictures of pigs in Malaysia – a secular country with many faiths – but local media are careful not to offend Muslims who make up two-thirds of the country’s 28 million people, the Malay Mail says.

 The image as it appeared in other countries

A government spokesperson said the images were not outlawed, but that publishers should bear in mind “the sensitivities of various cultures”. There appears to be increasing concern about offending Muslims in the country – last year a TV provider ran a warning ahead of a documentary about Pope Francis, and allegedly cut the words “Ya Allah!” from an Indian film this month.

In 2005 the children’s film Babe was banned from cinemas because of its subject matter, and the similarity of the title to the Malay word for pig – “babi”. Complaints from viewers saw the ban overturned, however, and it appeared on television the following year.

While the Malay Home Ministry has since declared that depicting pig faces does not violate the law, they didn’t say anything about this censorship.

Muslim oversensitivity is well known: remember the British teacher in the Sudan who allowed her class to name a teddy bear “Muhammed,” and was then imprisoned for 8 days and deported, while a mob of 10,000 took to the streets calling for her death?  And of course it’s forbidden in many places to depict not only the prophet himself (viz., the Danish cartoon flap), but any human being. But PIGS???? Muslims won’t eat pork, but does it really distress them so much to see the faces of pigs?

This is institutionalized insanity.

h/t: Steve

83 Comments

  1. Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    What…the…fluff…?

  2. Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Apparently someone posted this on the “comment is free” pages of The Guardian. It was deleted by moderators.

    “Hey-웃 웃-How ya doin’?”

    *I’ve no idea whether the above will look right.
    **I take it you all understand the reference.

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      It was? I am itching to team up with as many people as possible and post the same thing again in guardian comments. Give the moderators the opportunity to reconsider whether it’s worth the trouble.

      Unless the symbols 웃 웃 mean something terribly out of order in a language I don’t speak. Anyone?

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m completely at loss to whatever meaning those tiny men might have in the first place, so not much help here…

      • Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Any way to make one look like it has a halo?

        • kps
          Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Jesus wears a crown of thorns rather than a halo, and Mo wears a turban with a button at the top. The best I can think of is

          Hey-웃⃛ 웃̐-How ya doin’?

          which may or may not end up rendered correctly (and probably doesn’t look like much at this size even if it does). It uses U20D8 COMBINING THREE DOTS ABOVE as the crown of thorns and U0310 COMBINING THREE DOTS ABOVE for the turban.

    • gbjames
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Excellent, Coel!

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    There are no words. Except maybe from Porky Pig: “Ble, ble, ble, that’s all folks!”

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      I always wondered how you spell “ble, ble, ble…” Thanks.

  4. francis
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    //

  5. NewEnglandBob
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    That now lowers the NY Times to the bottom of the barrel papers useful only for lining bird cages.

    • Ryan
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      I believe that the censorship was carried out by the regional printer of the international edition, not by the NY Times.

      • Alex Gee
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        But did the NYT know about it? And what did they do about it once they knew?

  6. Scientifik
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Could anyone enlighten me why Muslims have beef with pigs?

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      They stole it from, and mimic Judaism.

      • Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Another feminist and I were delving in to this –– this loathing by any humans of pigs either as things to be viewed or as things for humans’ sustenance to be eaten –– just last month around December’s end.

        She and I concluded that: The Loathing was one of i) power and control over, of ii) dominion over.

        Who, in all likelihood for centuries and for millennia, was to ( literally ) .be. AT the hearth ? The woman was. She, of the household, was to be there. For hunnerts and hunnerts of years’ worth.

        Thus, what easier and what better way TO KEEP and EXERT control, power and dominion over her THAN: to dictate what the things are that she does there.

        Particularly and most especially with re to: what she does there i) to feed her kiddos and ii) to feed her [ quite hungreh] kiddos with that which is [ likely most ] readily available to her to use with which to feed her children.

        A.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. to make .life. more difficult for her, thus, more structurally immoveable … … in order to keep her in her commanded place.

        =s this ALL does: religion. anywhere.
        Blue

        • Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          That is to say: it idn’t about the pigs !

          At all ! NOT at all.

          It isn’t, and never was, about the porcines’ personalities.

          Blue

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      “Could anyone enlighten me why Muslims have beef with pigs?”

      “have beef with pigs”! LOL

      I think this is similar to the problem of getting down from an elephant’s back.

      • Filippo
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        I hear said that maximizing trade minimizes war.

        Accordingly, Hindu India should sell beef to Muslim Pakistan who in return would sell pork to India.

  7. Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately for Muslims, “محمد‎” is actually a stylized pictographic representation of a certain prophet eating a pig he has just sodomized. The resemblance is unmistrakable, I’m sure all will agree.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • SA Gould
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Then that explains it: the blacked out faces to protect the pigs identities: sex with pigs.

      • Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        That does make sense in a perverted sort of way. Since Muhammad is some sort of omni-spiritual entity, given both his proclivity for pig-fucking and his supernatural capability to engage in the practice, one must naturally assume that he’s raped each and every pig in all of history — past present, and future. Covering the faces of the pigs is just a courtesy to protect the identity of his many victims.

        b&

    • Kevin Alexander
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:09 am | Permalink

      Really Ben? Now you’re accusing the Prophet (please be onto him) with both incest AND cannibalism?
      I think that’s taking islamophobia too far.

      • Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        Nothing’s too much for our Mo’. He’s the Mostest!

        b&

  8. gbjames
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    This is all because of colonialism.

  9. Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    One problem w/ this sort of over-sensitivity is that it makes the rest of the world less likely to pay attention when something that’s worth being upset about happens. This is the same reason “political correctness” is considered a joke. Boy who cried wolf and all that.

    You have to pick your battles.

    • gbjames
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Like cartoons?

  10. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the pigs never gave their consent to NYT, and the malyasians are merely showing due dilligence.

    I think you guys are jumping the gun a bit here…

    • Pete Cockerell
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you regarding the kiddie piggies – won’t someone please think of teh piglets – but the grown-up pigs knew what they were getting into when they put their trotter prints on the release forms. Unmask the bacon-smelling bastards, I say!

  11. @eightyc
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    lolz.

    Does this mean all pigs in Malaysia wear a mask??

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      The other question I have is when they read pig, what images register in their minds? Is it a pig with a mask or just a pig?

  12. Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I remember there were guffaws and titters long ago about pictures of animals in the paper with their genitalia blocked out. This was done to protect the delicate sensibility of some readers.

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but that’s just because animal genitalia resemble Muhammad’s face. Or is it the other way ’round…?

      b&

      • NewEnglandBob
        Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        That’s an insult to animals.

        • Posted January 26, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          How is that an insult to animals? Or are we now passing judgement on Mohammed’s looks, and you know for certain he is uglier than a pig’s nutsack?

      • Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it had anything to do with Muslims. This would have been many decades ago. Probably to protect sensibilities of our Puritan heritage.

        • gbjames
          Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          See! I told you it was down to colonialism!

        • Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          Ah — you mean because it’s Jesus who looks like an animal’s genitals. Now it makes perfect sense!

          b&

  13. Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Index Librorum Prohibitroum v. Pig Masks.

    I’d say it’s just a matter of degree.

    They’re all afflicted w/ serious mental and/or intellectual problems.

    Poor saps.

  14. Ray
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    As a former pig breeder, 4-H, retired at age 15 and moved into town to study and ended up with PhD. Offense is in the eye of the beholder.

    Pigs are smart. They are individuals with personalities a lot like people.(I’ve been doing personality research for 35 years.)

    Some times when I was delivering piglets (clip their very sharp eye teeth with wire cutters, dip their naval cord in disinfectant,), the sow would wrap her very powerful jaws around my ankle. She could have bitten my foot off. Just a friendly gesture: Be nice to her piglets! That was easy. She knew me.

    I had a boar we called Speed. He never wasted any time taking enthusiastic care of a reeved up lady.

    Pigs don’t sweat so to cool off, they do the next best thing, by bulldozing a depression where water can collect and wallow themselves a covering of water and mud, cool by evaporation. (Hippos find a river to submerge in.)

    Pigs are also very sanitary. They poop in only one part of the pen, away from food, usually in front of the gate. Obviously, they know who’s going to walk through there. ;) I always took it as a friendly gesture, sort of like a middle finger. Wear boots and watch where you step.

    Given the unfriendly bias some people show toward pigs, I’d say pigs are the beneficiaries.

  15. lizwinfreyventura
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Butt, apparently, pig asses are ok to view (as there is one shown on the far left of both versions).

    • Filippo
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:28 am | Permalink

      Excellent observation.

      Perhaps it simply has never occurred to delicate Muslim sensibility? Now they know.

  16. stuartcoyle
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t they just supply all the pigs with burquas? Problem solved, no editing required…

  17. gravityfly
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    And Malaysia is one of the more “progressive” Islamic countries…

  18. mordacious1
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    All movies starring Kevin Bacon are also banned. In fact, they play “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and if they can connect any movie or actor, then that movie is banned.

    This is god’s truth. I swear.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      That made me LOL!

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      And they’ve also banned Ken Ham.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        Well, they were bound to get something right, quite by accident, sooner or later, weren’t they?

    • thh1859
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      And their symphony orchestra is not allowed to play music by Mendelssohn.

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      I suppose it goes without saying that Playboar magazine is also banned. (I actually have this on my shelves, and am so glad that someone on the Internet has saved me the trouble of scanning the centerfold of the scintillating Ms. Taffy Lovely)

    • Filippo
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:31 am | Permalink

      I don’t imagine school children are allowed to read about Pigasus.

  19. still learning
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    So, they probably don’t call over-eating pigging out, right?

  20. Sastra
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The oversensitivity of Muslims reminds me of an annoying phase which some preteen girls go through, in which anything and everything “gross,” “lame,” and/or “embarrassing” must be kept away from their delicate feelings and sensibilities. This category –if you allow it — will eventually keep extending and extending until, technically, virtually all things connected to home, family, and daily life are anathema and not to be borne.

    The remedy for this is to tell them to knock it off as soon as it goes over the line of being reasonable and starts to escalate alarmingly. You needn’t pet or feed the dog, fine — but we will not get rid of it. Some compromise followed by enough is enough. Going beyond that and slavishly pandering does no good to anyone, least of all the Delicate Flower herself.

    One gets the sense one is being tested.

    Message to Islam: cut it out.

  21. marcusa1971
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    This is why I don’t bother trying to not “offend” muslims. Any group that is so hyper sensitive, and prone to extreme violence when those sensibilities are “hurt”, has lost the right to any consideration.

    • Dave
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      I wonder whether muslim theologians have an explanation as to why Allah bothered to create pigs in the first place, given that they’re considered so unspeakably horrible? Perhaps they’ve been placed on Earth specifically to give muslims one more thing to be offended by?

      • marcusa1971
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Yep, no doubt it’s one of those “tests of faith” that theists are so fond of.

  22. Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I like pigs very much. I think the ones featured in the press photo makes them look as they they have been involved in some political scandal.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they are the pigs of Angry Birds fame.

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      You never know, maybe they were…

      youtube.com/watch?v=rjfw5mr6fQ8

      (couldn’t find the full movie as link, it’s Charlie Brooker’s “Black mirror” S01E01, “National Anthem”)

  23. worried secularist
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Even piggy banks offend some Muslims, and some appeasers are bowing.

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12574/banks-fear-piggy-banks-offend-muslims

    In Spain a few years ago, some Muslim parents objected when their childrens`classes included study of pork production in the country.

    • Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I suppose a nice, vintage dice game would doubly-offend such a person? After all, we have swine AND dice… the potential to actually gamble is there. And even if one doesn’t gamble porcinely, the potential for actually having fun is there.

      Very difficult for me to believe this is now a VINTAGE game, by the way. Seems like only yesterday that particular game was on the shelves. Now, apparently production has been outsourced to China, land of all things porky, and they’ve updated the game, meaning it now exists wholly made out of petrochemicals. Pity.

  24. thh1859
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    A job for Wonder Warthog.

  25. Jim Thomerson
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Given all this, I was surprised to read sometime back that worldwide more pork is consumed annually than any other meat. I had thought it would be chicken.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      You probably thought that because so many things taste like chicken. ;)

  26. Jeffery
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Blacking out just the pigs’ faces is way, way, WAY beyond absurd- why didn’t they just black out the whole picture; why did they allow the article to go to print in the first place?

    I can hear an Islamic “scholar”: “Westerners think that we consider pigs as ‘unclean’ because of the age-old threat of parasites- that is not so: you see, pig’s eyes are so diabolically cute, with their long, seductive lashes, that we must ensure that viewing these evil, enticing things will not lead our young and impressionable young Muslim men astray!”

  27. footface
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    웃 웃 is Korean. Would sound like “oot oot.” It’s the root for “laugh,” but that’s all I can tell you.

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      woot?

  28. Posted January 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    “This is institutionalized insanity.”

    That really does describe it in a nutshell.

  29. Filippo
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    I wonder if their delicate sensibilities are only moderately offended upon seeing a tapir?

  30. Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Can they stop blocking the streets five times a day for their prayers? That amongst other things, offends me.

  31. W.Benson
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (25 June 2012), Israel only has 26 pig farms, and these are almost all confined by law to non-Jewish communities in northern Israel. Hindu’s refuse to eat beef. I don´t like chicken (filthy animals!) and absolutely detest liver. US news sources have a taboo against showing dead people, except to advance the higher values of war mongering. Each to his own taboo.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      You don’t like chicken or liver, I guess chicken liver is out of the question then? :)

      • Posted January 27, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        Pat de Foie Poulet la Grand-Mre Juive

        Ingredients:

        one pound chicken livers two onions two hard-boiled eggs one tablespoon schmaltz salt and pepper

        Method:

        Chop one of the onions and saut it over medium low heat in the schmaltz with some salt and pepper until the onions start to brown. Add the chicken livers (cut the lobes in half or quarters) and keep cooking just until no longer pink. You may optionally choose to deglaze the pan at this point with a splash of sherry or cognac or the like.

        Dump the contents into a blender with the eggs and the second (raw) onion and blend until smooth.

        Chill and serve with something in the broad theme of crackers. Homemade matzohs are great, but thinly-sliced toasted rye bread is very good, too.

        Cheers,

        b&

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted January 27, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          Similar to what I make but I substitute olive oil for the schmaltz, being a heart patient.

          I don’t use a blender. My grandmother used to say “If it doesn’t have some knuckle blood in it, it isn’t made with love”. (Note: wash grater well. Also used for potato pancake preparation)

          • Posted January 27, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

            Olive oil will work, but it won’t be the same.

            And I have special dispensation for the electric tools: they’re all powered from the Sun, via panels on the roof. Besides, I’m single and I work…without modern labor-saving devices I wouldn’t have time to kvetch….

            b&

  32. Hempenstein
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Maybe this is an inside joke? Mohammed is a pig, ergo any pix of pigs get their faces blacked out in deference to sensitivities/bilities.

  33. bric
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    The saddest thing about all this is that the good people of Malaysia cannot enjoy the thrilling adventures of Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth and his best pal the Empress of Blandings.

  34. Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on π's blog.


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