Last week, the catastrophe of confiscation of books appeared on the surface
again as two books were accused of offending religion. In spite of the fact that the Islamic
Research Institute did not announce the reasons for its decision to ban the book of “Shukran Bin
Laden” [Thank you Bin Laden] by Sayyed Al-Qimni. We tried hard to know these reasons but the
Institute refused to tell them. Nevertheless, all know that the ready-made accusations are:
violating the principles of religion, offending the Companions of the Prophet and similar
accusations that have been previously directed to all books recommended to be banned by the Azhar
over the last years.
The book of Sayyed Al-Qimni includes a number of articles that were
published before in the [magazines of] Rose Al-Youssef, “Adab and Naqd” [literature and
criticism] and Al-Dimoqratiya [Democracy]. No one tries to discuss the contents of these articles
and members of the Islamic Research Institute decided that confiscation is easier than dialogue.
The other book “Tahya Al-Lugha Al-Arabiya…Yasqout Sebawayi” [Long Live the Arabic…shut-up
Sebawayi” [‘yascout’ litteraly means ‘fall.’ It could mean ‘shut-up’ or ‘death to.’ Sebawayi is a
medieval scholar who put down the rules for Arabic grammar] by Sheriff Al-Shubashi was
confiscated as a result of a campaign launched by a member of the Parliament affiliated with the
Muslim Brotherhood. Although this book is about the development of the Arabic language, the
Brotherhood MP played on religious feelings and linked between the book and Islam under the
pretext that Arabic is the language of the Qur’an.