1,001 nights lives for another day

As Ursula Lindsey explains in her most recent article for Foreign Policy, the Thousand and One Nights is based on a framing device where Scheherazade must constantly weave magnificent tales to the sultan, Shahryar, in order to keep her life. Recently, a group of Islamist lawyers in Egypt have sought to ban the book due ...

Gustave Boulanger
Gustave Boulanger
Gustave Boulanger

As Ursula Lindsey explains in her most recent article for Foreign Policy, the Thousand and One Nights is based on a framing device where Scheherazade must constantly weave magnificent tales to the sultan, Shahryar, in order to keep her life. Recently, a group of Islamist lawyers in Egypt have sought to ban the book due to its sexual themes. According to these humorless fellows, the publication of the book was linked to the spread of "addiction, corrupted forms of marriage, devil worshipping, incest and rape."

Today, good news came out of Cairo: Egypt's public prosecutor dismissed the Islamists' complaint, ruling that the book had been published for centuries without incident and that it had been an inspiration for countless artists. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised -- after all, Scheherazade has survived far greater threats than this.

As Ursula Lindsey explains in her most recent article for Foreign Policy, the Thousand and One Nights is based on a framing device where Scheherazade must constantly weave magnificent tales to the sultan, Shahryar, in order to keep her life. Recently, a group of Islamist lawyers in Egypt have sought to ban the book due to its sexual themes. According to these humorless fellows, the publication of the book was linked to the spread of "addiction, corrupted forms of marriage, devil worshipping, incest and rape."

Today, good news came out of Cairo: Egypt’s public prosecutor dismissed the Islamists’ complaint, ruling that the book had been published for centuries without incident and that it had been an inspiration for countless artists. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised — after all, Scheherazade has survived far greater threats than this.

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