36 Books Burnt at Egyptian Public Library?

The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported on August 8 that Major General Ahmed Abdallah, current governor of the Red Sea district, ordered that three dozen “Muslim Brotherhood” books at the Hurghada Public Library be burnt:

According to Al Ahram, the books had reportedly been acquired in 2012 — while Mohammed Morsi was briefly president of Egypt. The 36 tomes reportedly “promote” the Brotherhood, and the burnt list includes texts on How to Make a Bomb, The Turkish Experience, and a book on Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.

Al Ahram reported that security services, in conjunction with authorities in the Red Sea governorate, expressed reservations about the books after June 30.

Al Masry Al Youm further reported that a security source confirmed that one book gave bomb-making instructions andanother “paid tribute” to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Edrogan and his party.

Reuters quoted a Samia Mehrez, a Red Sea official, as saying authorities and security forces had burned “a number of Brotherhood books and literature” from the public library.

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According to Reuters, the books had been donated to the library during Pres. Morsi’s tenure.

The Cairo Postthe English-language website affiliated with the sensationalist Youm7, seems to call this into question, writing that, “The library in question, however, has denied knowledge of the incident.”

Kamal el-Helbawy, who The Cairo Post describes as a “Brotherhood dissident,” apparently told website Saturday that he opposes burning books “because they are considered heritage,” unless the books promote “violence, making bombs, killing civilians or army and witchcraft and sorcery.”

El-Helbawy apparently added that “if certain books contain mistakes, they can be countered in other books rather than being burned.”

Why the need to burn vs. simply removing books from active circulation was not specified in any of the reports.

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