After the ‘fiasco’ of the World Press Photo exhibition shutdown in Beirut last month, censorship in Lebanon is proving again to be haphazard, unscientific, inefficient and opaque as ever.
Banning Lady Gaga’s album (Born This Way) in Lebanon has been widely reported in Lebanese media (The Daily Star for example) & blogs (Seif & Beirut for example), but no one is able to confirm it! All reports are citing the same British source,The Sun.
It seems the reason is that it offends Christianity, ironically though it mentions ‘Lebanese’ in the lyrics (there are different interpretations to its meaning though). The news, if true, shows how opaque the system is in Lebanon, with no clear way of challenging it. Shouldn’t we have court order to ban things or ability to appeal? Is it useful to be banning things? Is the process transparent that it can be understood or challenged?
And the most important question, can we really ban things in this day and age? Lady Gaga last controversial video Judas just received more than 51 millions views in 1 month. Are going to ban YouTube in Lebanon too? What about iTune downloading?
I am NOT a big fan of Lady Gaga myself, but I really feel this censorship issue is a 19th century thing that we still hold in Lebanon. I know censorship exists all over the world, but it’s the threshold of tolerance we are talking about here (for now). If our ‘intellectual background’ is sound, we shouldn’t be endangered by other ideas?