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Qatari school forced to withdraw 'indecent' Snow White book

Education council orders copy of classic fairy tale removed from library after complaints from parent about 'inappropriate' illustrations
The parent was reportedly 'flabbergasted' by the illustrations (Penguin)

A Qatari school has been forced to withdraw a copy of the children's fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs after an unnamed parent complained about its "indecent" illustrations.

The country's supreme education council ordered the book removed from SEK International School's library after investigating the complaints. The parent had said the Penguin edition of the story contained culturally “inappropriate” images.

The head of the private Spanish school in Dafra, Vivian Arif, apologised for the “unintended situation”.

“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," she said.

"SEK International School ... presents its formal apologies for any offence that this unintended situation may have caused.”

“We deeply respect the culture of Qatar, we are committed to the promotion of its values and principles, and we will keep on working so that our school is always a reference for its commitment and service to the people of Qatar,” Arif added.

The book at SEK was removed on the orders of Qatari authorities

The investigators did not specify what was deemed offensive in the book, which tells the story of a princess who befriends seven male dwarfs, and who is kissed by a prince.

The front cover of the book shows the princess and the prince in each other’s arms.

Such living arrangements and behaviour are considered against Qatari traditions.

The al-Sharq newspaper reported that the complainant, the father of a pupil, was “flabbergasted” at “inappropriate” and “indecent” material in the book that contained "sexual innuendos”.

Education officials told the Doha News website that schools in Qatar were required to follow supreme council rules on culturally appropriate learning material.

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