Altered Images: Malaysian printer blacks out pigs' faces

A group of pigs whose faces have been blacked out Image copyright International New York Times - Malaysian Edition

A handful of pigs' faces have been censored in the Malaysian edition of the International New York Times, it seems.

The black marks were the work of Malaysian printing firm KHL, which blotted out the faces in a story about farming in the United States, according to the Malay Mail. A representative said it was their policy to obscure pigs because Malaysia was "a Muslim country".

There is no law banning pictures of pigs in Malaysia - a secular country with many faiths - but local media are careful not to offend Muslims who make up two-thirds of the country's 28 million people, the Malay Mail says.

Image copyright International New York Times
Image caption The image as it appeared in other countries

A government spokesperson said the images were not outlawed, but that publishers should bear in mind "the sensitivities of various cultures". There appears to be increasing concern about offending Muslims in the country - last year a TV provider ran a warning ahead of a documentary about Pope Francis, and allegedly cut the words "Ya Allah!" from an Indian film this month.

In 2005 the children's film Babe was banned from cinemas because of its subject matter, and the similarity of the title to the Malay word for pig - "babi". Complaints from viewers saw the ban overturned, however, and it appeared on television the following year.

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