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ANHRI disapproves of refusal to publish book on Muslim Brotherhood

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 28 September 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) publicly announced its disapproval of the Islamic Studies Institute's refusal to approve the book "Witness to the Muslim Brotherhood", written by the researcher Ibrahim Saleh al-Khowlani.

The book monitors the historical phases of the Brotherhood movement in Egypt, its ideas and its relationships with the country's presidents. The book is free of any religious irregularities and yet it was refused. The Institute claimed that the State Security Investigations (SSI) unit was against the idea of the book in principle, alleging it would "confuse" citizens.

In May 2010, al-Khoulani went to register his book at the intellectual property registration office. He was informed that the book first had to be approved by the Islamic Studies Institute since it contained many verses from the Koran and Hadith.

Al-Khoulani submitted two copies of his book to the research department of the Islamic Studies Institute on 13 May. He waited for four months before receiving a response that the book was free of errors and approved for publishing, but at that point the SSI objected to the theme of the book, alleging it would generate confusion among the public. Meanwhile, the Islamic Studies Institute refused to hand al-Khoulani a written disapproval of the book.

ANHRI said, "It is unacceptable that the Islamic Studies Institute will not approve the book because SSI is against it, alleging that it will cause public confusion. This is neither the role of the Institute, whose role is restricted to checking for religious errors, nor the role of SSI to decide on books".

ANHRI added, "We suffered long enough from the arbitrariness of the Islamic Studies Institute as it has refused and confiscated many books before. Instead of taking a more moderate stance, the Institute forwarded the book to SSI and allowed it to be the decision-maker that refused to approve the book. The Islamic Studies Institute is only boosting SSI and giving it more control over political and cultural life in Egypt, which is utterly resented and unacceptable".

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