A book by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna has been confiscated by the organisers of the Cairo Book Fair currently taking place in the capital, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Islam Bayoumy, director of exhibitions at the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) and director of the Cairo International Book Fair, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that during the inspection of the book fair wings, the Follow-up Committee found five copies of a book by Banna dubbed “Hassan al-Banna’s Sayings” in the wing of the Moroccan publishing house of Dar al-Rashad.
The books by the Brotherhood founder, which are banned, were found to belong to the Moroccan publishing house Dar Al-Rashad. The publishers were warned against selling the material, with threats of closure if they did not comply.
The 50th edition of the Cairo International Book Fair is taking place from Wednesday, January 23 until February 5 in the Fifth Settlement district instead of its usual place in Nasr City, hosting over 600 publishing houses from across the world. The book fair’s cultural agenda is full of diverse events and activities, including 419 cultural events and 144 artistic events.
Since the 2013 military coup, Egypt has witnessed a dramatic suppression of freedom in the country and an increase in regulatory legislation; action justified by the government as necessary for “national security”.
In 2015 the head of the religious sector at Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments, announced that the ministry would burn all the “poisonous books” written by Muslim Brotherhood scholars, including those by Hassan Al-Banna, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and Sayyid Qutb, as well as books written by other Islamist groups.
Despite this crackdown, support for the Brotherhood remains across the region, with many crediting Al-Banna as the inspiration for a variety of Arab political parties, and the continued popularity of Islamism as a political vision.