Egyptian authorities are targeting books written by Muslim Brotherhood members and their allies as they confiscate hundreds of books from mosques across the country, reports Gulf News, quoting religious sources.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed in Egypt, where the Ministry of Waqf (religious endowments) has begun its search of several mosque libraries that, according to security agencies, carry books “by the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan Al Banna, the movement’s late ideologue Sayyid Qutb, and Yousuf Al Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born Qatari cleric recently sentenced to death by an Egyptian court,” the unnamed sources told Gulf News.
Books written by members of Al Jamaa Al Islamia (Islamic Group), an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, are also being targeted.
On Wednesday alone, the Ministry of Waqfs reportedly seized about 2,000 books, allegedly authored by “militant” clerics, from a prominent mosque in Cairo.
“There are strict instructions from Minister of Waqf Mohammad Juma to check libraries of all mosques to cleanse them of books disseminating extremist ideas,” Ashraf Fahmi, a ministry official, reportedly said.
“The ministry will not allow the propagation of any thought alien to the moderate course of Al Azhar,” Sunni Islam’s celebrated seat of learning, he added.
Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt have been targeted by the current Egyptian government, led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, since the country’s military removed the former president, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013 following protests against his rule.
As chief of the Egyptian army, el-Sisi led the overthrow of Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member who had been elected president.
“The Egyptian government has in recent months tightened its grip on mosques, denying the Brotherhood and allied groups a major forum to influence devout Muslims,” notes Gulf News.