Egypt denies banning ’brink of revolution’ book

Egypt denies banning ’brink of revolution’ book

CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt denied on Sunday that it had banned a book by a British journalist about Egyptian politics and society entitled “Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution.”


An information ministry official said reports the book had been banned were “not true,” the official MENA news agency reported, despite declarations to the contrary by the book”s author and publisher.


British author John R. Bradley and publishers Palgrave Macmillan said on Wednesday that a bookshop in Cairo had cancelled an order for the book after Egyptian government censors said the book was banned.


However, the unnamed ministry official told MENA that “the information minister (Anas al-Fiqi) authorised distribution of the book inside Egypt when it was submitted to him for a decision.”


“A special committee as is the case with all foreign books, had read Bradley”s book and then submitted it to the information minister who authorised its distribution,” MENA said.


The official said the ministry “does not ban any books except those that are an affront to religious or moral values.”


“Bradley”s book was not previously banned in Egypt and was distributed as soon as it was reviewed by the information minister,” he said.


According to the publishers, the book “examines the junctions of Egyptian politics and society as they slowly disintegrate under the twin pressures of a ruthless military dictatorship at home and a flawed Middle East policy in Washington.”