Letters, Monday, September 3rd, 2012

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Good luck with bid to ban book

I HAVE never read, nor do I intend to read, Fifty Shades of Grey. From the explicit details given in the Echo (August 23), I am convinced that this book should be classed as pornographic literature and, as such, would have been illegal to import into this country.

How can we justify such rubbish to the woman who had to record on her mobile phone the atrocious experience of being raped, or to the father who tried to defend his 14-year-old daughter and her friend from being groomed for sex, or to the family of the 14-year-old boy raped by two men in Manchester shopping centre. The list goes on and on.

We have lots of people living in their own world of fantasy, and pornographic literature like this book would encourage them to carry out their acts of fantasy, creating all sorts of problems.

I would also suggest to the editor of Echo that unless he has had the experience of physical or sexual abuse he has no right to criticise, or make comment on, people who are offering support to victims of such atrocities.

In conclusion may I suggest to the supposedly 40million people worldwide that after reading this pornographic trash, they read the true story of a young Pakistani women who was the victim of a gang rape, punishment for a crime of honour allegedly committed by her brother for which where was never any proof. After the horrific rape, custom dictated she would kill herself. The woman called Mukhtar Mai took the unprecedented act of courage, she took her rapists to court.

To quote a comment in the New York Times: “She has taken a sordid story of perennial poverty, gang rape and judicial brutality and inspired us all. This crime took place in a small village in southern Punjab Pakistan but I am convinced that rape and such crime are a global problem.”

Could I also suggest that anyone interested in purchasing the story of Mukhtar Mai would be contributing to a very good cause of Women’s World Welfare Organisation instead of lining the pockets of people who are becoming very rich out of other peoples terrible misfortune.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish Clare Phillipson and her organisation every success with her campaign.

F. W. Sheils, Rydal Mount, Fulwell

It’s a free society

AS someone who studied English literature at university, I often despair at the trash I see people buying in bookshops.

I’m cynical about the marketing ploys used by publishers, shops and supermarkets to persuade the gullible public into buying their goods. But we live in a free society, and if people want to buy books like Fifty Shades Of Grey, they’re entitled to do so.

I’m against censorship and the burning of books – regardless of whatever material people consider offensive. I remember angry Muslim fundamentalists burning The Satanic Verses at the time of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. A brilliant, humorous novel.

I’m reminded of the burning of books in Nazi Germany, when the works of Jewish and pacifist writers were consigned to the flames.

If Washington police crack down on unofficial bonfires this November, maybe they’ll start with Wearside Women In Need.

J. Ridler, Hylton Road, Sunderland

Phone loss

I WOULD just like to thank whoever has decided to keep my mobile which I lost on August 23 on the X37 bus from Houghton Cemetery to Houghton Church.

I am a pensioner and my phone was my lifeline. It was a present and I can’t afford a new one. Hope you enjoy it and get as much pleasure from it as I did.

Joy Rutherford, Longfellow Street, Houghton

Wonderful staff

MY mother always said: You can only speak as you find”. On a number of occasions during the past fortnight, my wife has had to receive treatment at Sunderland Royal Hospital, initially at the A&E department before being transferred to a medical ward for observation.

The care my wife received was professional, diligent and safe and I cannot thank enough the medical teams who provided it. Everyone played their part: porters, cleaners, care assistants, pharmacists, nurses and doctors.

To us octogenarians, many of them look like bairns, but they certainty knew their job. It is a great asset for the people of Sunderland to have these dedicated teams on their doorstep.

J. W. Clemmet

Tutu’s stand

DESMOND Tutu refuses to share a platform with Tony Blair because of the lies and double speak which Blair used to get us to follow Bush in attacking Iraq. I used to like Tutu, but that has all changed. Now I love him.

B. McGill, South Bents