Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Border Burqa

If you regularly follow the news, you know that the Bush administration and Nobel Prize winners don't get along very well, but usually the disagreement involves disputed notions, such as whether the Earth revolves around the Sun or vice versa. However, the latest dispute involves a female Iranian author, Shirin Ebadi, a foot soldier in the real march of freedom, who the Treasury Department is delighted to trip up:
I have wanted to tell the story of how women in Islamic countries, even one run by a theocratic regime as in Iran, can be active politically and professionally. It is my impression, based on the conversations I have had during my travels in the United States and Europe, that such a book would be a welcome addition to the debate about Islam and the West.
Such charming naivete.
So I was surprised and angered when I learned that regulations in the United States make it nearly impossible for me to write a book for Americans. Despite federal laws that say that American trade embargoes may not restrict the free flow of information, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control continues to regulate the import of books from Iran, Cuba and other countries. In order to skirt the laws protecting the flow of information, the government prohibits publishing "materials not fully created and in existence." Therefore, I could publish my memoir in the United States, but it would be illegal for an American literary agent, publisher, editor or translator to help me.
Publish anything you want in America, but you'd better do it without any Americans participating. That's us, free people, yesiree, unable to PUBLISH A BOOK WITHOUT FEAR OF PROSECUTION.

Everybody check their money again. Does it still say "United States of America"?

1 Comments:

Blogger amangler said...

Sounds like a new paradigm: publish AND perish!

4:35 PM  

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