Generations have read and enjoyed the adventures of Snow White, the fairy tale princess who escaped the murderous grasp of her super-vain stepmother and, in doing so, made seven loyal friends and also managed to find her one true love.
But it seems the plot, or at least its illustrations as imagined by Disney studios, were way too sexual for one concerned parent in Qatar.
The Gulf country's supreme education council recently ordered a Penguin edition of the story to be removed from SEK International School's library after receiving complaint from a pupil’s father who complained about its "indecent" illustrations. (On the cover, Snow White can be seen in her prince’s arms, staring lovingly into his eyes). He also objected to some phrases as well as “sexual innuendo” included in the content.
“The school took immediate action and removed the book from the library and has revised and enforced the procedures to ensure that this type of incident will not happen again," said Vivian Arif, the head of the private Spanish school, before apologizing for the “offence.”
As per its official website, the SEC wants to adhere to "international best practices, while preserving and taking into account the Islamic values and local traditions."
Qatar, like many other Muslim countries, is very strict when it comes to culture and the distribution of related material. Be it books, movies or television, everything has to be in accordance with the religion’s code of conduct.
Just last week, the government of Qatar banned the Oscar-nominated movie The Danish Girl, which is biographical drama about a transgender Danish artist Lili Elbe, who was the first known recipient of male-to-female sex reassignment surgery.