Radwan Al Deeb from Aldiyar:
The noise in reaction to the censorship of Hotel Beirut is undeserved. Those who are making this noise should know the amount of reputational damage they are doing to Lebanon and to the Lebanese security bodies, unless of course the aim of these campaigns is to serve narrow political interests that have nothing to do with freedom
Mr. Al Deeb is missing the point of the “noise”. The freedom of speech campaigns are not specifically for “Beirut Hotel”, a film that may well turn out to be bad, tasteless and boring. The campaigns are aimed at the trend of censorship that has been taking hold in Lebanon for the silliest, most embarrassing of reasons.
Mr. Deep talks about soiling Lebanon’s reputation, but he forgets that it is the act of banning itself that is putting Lebanon’s name in the gutter. The amount of damage to Lebanon’s reputation that came from censoring Lady Gaga and Dan Brown, two of the world’s best-selling creatives who have legions of fans, is immeasurable. In fact, the loud campaign against censorship is improving the reputation of Lebanon because it’s telling the world that many of us are not happy about what’s going on.
We have the right to ask: Who is deciding to censor what and on what basis? What are the criteria being used? Did we sign on to that?
Frankly, the language employed by Mr. Deeb is similar to that of the censors themselves: Condescending and patronizing. As an opinion writer, he should have known better.