CAIRO: Head of Giza Education Directorate Bothaina Kiskh will be investigated over burning allegedly “violent Islamist” books at a Giza private school, announced the Ministry of Education Tuesday.
Minister of Education Moheb el-Rafei rejected the burning of books, saying that “combating radical thought will not be through burning books.”
The ministry will start a campaign to review and collect books “advocating violence” at 83 schools previously identified as being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood group, without burning them.
A picture of Kishk and officials standing at a playground at the Fadl Private school while watching the burning of books was circulated on social media few days ago. Youm7 reported that 82 books were burnt over allegedly promoting the Brotherhood’s ideology.
Kishk claimed that the burnt books found in the school’s library were “inciting violence” and advocating radical thoughts to students. She told Youm7 that the books were not allowed by the Ministry of Education and that the burning decision was per ministry regulations and after the formation of a specialized committee.
The Fadl School was one of many schools whose administrations were taken over by the government after being accused of affiliation with the Brotherhood. The owner of the school, Mohamed Fadl, told Al-Shorouq that a court ruled March 17 that the 2014 confiscation decision of his school was “invalid.”
The circulated picture and the news of the book burning incident attracted huge criticism among social media users against the “unwise” act, which is not the first of its kind.
In August 2014, it was reported that 36 books allegedly “promoting Brotherhood thoughts” were burnt by security forces in Hurghada. It was claimed at that time that the incident was under the supervision of the Red Sea governorate.
The Ministry of Education itself was recently criticized over removing certain lessons from educational curricula for primary schools, on grounds of its inclusion of “inciting violence and too politically charged” content.
Additional reporting by Mahmoud Taha