The Saudi Ministry of Education recently ordered the removal of two books by a leading intellectul of the Muslim Brotherhood from school libraries because of the extremist ideas they contained, a Saudi newspaper reported on Wednesday.
“The books, ‘The Lies About Sayyid Qutb’ and ‘The Jihad in the Way of God,’ are banned from school libraries because of their extremist and confusing ideas that may misinform students,” Abdul Rahman al-Fasil, director general of Boys Education Administration in the Saudi Asir province, was quoted as saying in the Saudi Arab News.
The ban on the two books was aimed at protecting the young students from deviant ideology, said Ibrahim al-Hamdan, director general of the Girls Education Administration in Abha.
Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian author, was the leading intellectual of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.
“The school libraries have been stocking books for a long time without any scrutiny of their content for their suitability for the students,” Hamdan told Arab News.
Saudi writer Abdul Wahid al-Ansari said the ministry did the right thing if the ideas in the two books are harmful to students. Al-Ansari did not rule out the possibility of the presence of several other books in school libraries that might sow seeds of deviant thought in young minds, the Arab News reported.
This is not the first time that the ministry issued orders to withdraw books from school libraries according to a statement by a Ministry of Education official published by the Arab News. It has issued several circulars in the past listing the titles that were not allowed at schools.
“The ministry has also issued a list of books that could be included in the school libraries. Their suitability for schools has been ensured,” the official was quoted by the daily Saudi newspaper as saying. He added that the copies of the withdrawn books would be destroyed or kept in a special warehouse.
The school libraries have been stocking books for a long time without any scrutiny of their content for their suitability for the students
Abdul Rahman al-Fasil, director