Libya: Authorities confiscate truckload of books


Authorities in the eastern town of Marj seized a truckload of “un-Islamic” books imported from Egypt on their way to Benghazi, reported The Express Tribune on 23 January 2017.

Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Authority security officials and religious leaders called the books part of a “cultural invasion”, saying that the books promoted eroticism, secularism, Christianity, Shi’ism and sorcery.

Books by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, US writer Dan Brown and Egyptian writer Nagubi Mahfouz were part of the large shipment of books that was already approved for import by the interim government’s Information and Culture Authority, reported Libya Herald on 22 January 2017.

Khaled Najim, head of the Information and Culture Authority, condemned the actions carried out by the Libyan National Army, which controls most of eastern Libya, calling the seizure “a flagrant violation of freedom of thought”.

More than 100 Libyan writers and intellectuals, as well as Paulo Coelho, have also condemned the seizure.


Photo: Ghaith Shennib Twitter


Sources

» France24 – 30 January 2017
Outcry in Libya after police seize books they consider un-Islamic

» Libya Herald – 28 January 2017
Libyan Human Rights Commission slams eastern book siezures

» The Express Tribune – 23 January 2017
Coelho, local authors slam books seizure in east Libya

» Libya Herald – 22 January 2017
Row over books seized in Marj

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