Anglican Samizdat

February 19, 2009

An Islamic perspective on Harry Potter

Filed under: Islam — David Jenkins @ 11:37 pm

Would Harry get past the Islamic Gestapo if we renamed him Muhammad Potter? Could the religion of peace bear it?

Some Muslim schools ‘make children despise the West’: Ban on cricket and Harry PotterAdd an Image

Some Islamic schools are promoting fundamentalist views and encouraging children to despise Western society, a report warns.

An investigation by the Civitas social policy think-tank found websites of some of the UK’s 166 Muslim schools are spreading extreme teachings, while a handful had links to sites promoting jihad, or holy war.

Examples include web forums forbidding Muslims from reading Harry Potter books, playing chess or cricket and listening to Western music.

In my early school-days, Lady Chatterley’s Lover was a banned book. As soon as the obscenity trial was over (E. M. Forster and his elite literary cronies had no idea what they were unleashing) and it became freely available, I saved up my pocket money and bought a copy. Naturally, along with thousands of other schoolboys whose hormones were out of control, I read it for its literary merit.

Thinking about it now, it is quite obvious that it doesn’t have much literary merit. And that brings me to Harry Potter: literary merit or not, I read the whole series with enjoyment.

I have a strong suspicion that J. K. Rowling has paid Muslims to ban Harry Potter in an attempt to increase sales.


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