Ikea gets censored Saudi style

I wasn’t surprised when this headline hit the papers yesterday:

you see, I lived in Saudi Arabia for six years in the early nineties and saw first hand how censorship worked.

I once bought a new recipe book in the book shop (as you know, I do love a recipe book).  Unfortunately the section entitled Pork had been removed.  Literally.  With a scalpel.   48 pages completely removed.

Mr B loves hearing the story of the inflatable globes that were delivered for my boss’s children.   Nothing funny in that but it was funny when the recipient’s spent an afternoon trying to blow them up and then realising that customs had removed Israel.  With a Stanley knife.   On an inflatable globe.

Or when I ordered a new pair of leggings from a catalogue only to complain when they turned up that they were lycra shorts.    It was only when I looked closely at the picture in the catalogue again that I saw the bit below the knee was in fact black marker pen.

Here are some examples from the Guinness Book of Records I bought out there:

That is Sally Gunnell believe it or not!

or how about this gymnast:

Or this figure skater:

Ikea have since apologised and said they shouldn’t have done it.   But they weren’t the first to censor a publication and they certainly won’t be the last.


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  • I am struck by the similarity between Saudi censored women then and virtually every woman you see in the street today in the UK wearing black leggings. Are we destined for more fashion trends to come from the Middle East?

  • I think the UK is being towed round Cape Horn to the Red Sea. It would explain the warmer winters!
    Saudi censorship will be part of some party’s manifesto ere too long; mark my words.

  • That’s crazy, they’re country would be nothing without their women. It’s time that people out there learn to honour and respect that. Picture three is Katharina Witt’s Carmen performance at the Olympic Games, isn’t it?

  • Hehe can’t believe they didn’t think about what a hole in an inflatable globe would do!