Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Malaysia Muslim censors black out pictures of pigs
Photographs taken on pig farm get the censors' thumbs-down
Picture: Wall Street Journal
- Jason Ng for Wall Street Journal
- March 5, 2014
Censors in Malaysia sometimes feel there are things people just shouldn’t see. Nudity is one of them. Pigs, it appears, is another.
Readers of the International New York Times sold in Muslim-majority Malaysia found on Wednesday that the faces of piglets appearing in a front page photograph had been covered with black blocks. A second photograph of the animals on page 19, which accompanied a story about growing demand for pigs raised outdoors, received similar treatment.
The move has sparked a wave of criticism online and deepened concerns about religious sensitivities amid a recent increase in tensions between Muslims and Christians.
“Just like cats, pigs also have rights to be photographed and show off their cuteness,” Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, an activist with the Lawyers for Liberty group, wrote on Twitter.
KHL Printing Co Sdn Bhd, the company that prints the overseas edition of The New York Times in Malaysia, as well as the Wall Street Journal, declined to comment on the censorship, citing a confidentiality agreement with their client. They directed questions back to the International New York Times.
A spokeswoman with the International New York Times said the company was unaware of the censorship before the newspaper was printed. “We are discussing the matter with our printing contacts in the region,” she said.
The International New York Times is distributed as part of a pullout in The Malaysian Reserve business daily. Syed Mohd Fazilla Hussain, the chief executive officer of The Malaysian Reserve, declined to comment.
The Home Ministry, which grants the publication permits all local newspapers must obtain, denies ordering the photographs to be censored.
“The printer understands the sensitivity of our culture and they did it on their own initiative,” an official with the Home Ministry said.
Censorship is not unheard of in Malaysian newspapers. It might even have caused less of an uproar were it not for recent religious flare ups that have heightened tensions between Muslim and Christians and raised concerns about growing Islamization in a country often viewed as a model of moderate Islam.
Pigs are deemed unclean in Islam and followers of the faith are strictly forbidden from consuming pork. Physical contact with the animal, even if accidental, requires a lengthy ritual cleansing ceremony. Muslims make up about 61% of the population of 28 million people in Malaysia.
Full Story: Pigs Lose Face In Malaysia
Source: Wall Street Journal