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Poll: Six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts

25 June 2012

An opinion poll conducted by the Doha Debates television programme reveals that six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts, especially when it comes to nudity or profane language.

According to the poll, conducted between 30 May and 3 June 2012, most said that the existence of regulatory bodies and institutions affiliated with the state is a must, as art could be “inappropriate” and offend “religious beliefs”.

In the poll, most of those who supported government censorship of art came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen. Poll samples from less conservative countries in the region returned different results.

The results of the poll came in contrast to the position the majority of people who took in a session organised by the Doha Debates in Qatar, where the question of censorship and its impact on the arts was raised, and where 58 per cent of the audience carried the motion “This House believes that censorship makes a mockery of the arts,” as described here:
Audience of Doha Debates rejected censorship of the arts



The Doha Debates – 20 June 2012:
Opinion Poll: This House believes censorship makes a mockery of the arts


Download the polling data [PDF]



Media coverage:

Ahram Online – 22 June 2012:
Doha Debates reveal most Arabs support censorship of arts
An opinion poll conducted earlier this month shows that while some Arabs are against government censorship of the arts, most support it. By Sayid Kadry

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