Iraq Sets Measures to Ban Books That Glorify Violence
|September 24, 2013||Filled under Iraq Daily News|
As part of its efforts to fight extremist ideologies, the Iraqi government recently announced the adoption of new measures to ban the import, printing and promotion of books that glorify violence, terrorism and sectarianism. The new measures, announced September 3rd, give the Iraqi Customs Administration the authority to ban the import of books that incite or justify acts of violence, terror and sectarianism, said Iraqi government media advisor Ali al-Musawi.
They also empower the Interior Ministry to detain those responsible for bringing them into the country and to close publishing houses which promote them, al-Musawi said.
The decision comes in the wake of the Customs Administration’s confiscation and disposal of 100,000 books originating from Syria whose texts contained an incitement to violence against certain religious sects.
“Upon inspection of two trucks loaded with books, it turned out they contained poisons that would incite problems and violence inside Iraqi society, which prompted us to impound the shipment for disposal afterwards, and refer those responsible for the import of the books to the courts on charges of threatening civil peace,” Brig. Gen. Mahmoud al-Falahi, director of the Iraqi Customs Administration in Anbar, told Mawtani.
ATTEMPT TO RECRUIT YOUNG PEOPLE
Terrorist groups use these types of books to recruit young people by infusing their minds with misinformation and sectarian ideologies that foster hatred towards others who subscribe to a different ideology, said Ali al-Shallah, a member of parliament’s committee on culture.
Most of these books “are sold at nominal prices to tempt young men to buy them, but the decision to ban the import or the printing of these books will put an end to al-Qaeda’s and other radical and fundamentalist groups’ efforts to disseminate their ideology”, he said.
The Interior Ministry has begun to enforce the decision in co-ordination with the Sunni and Shia Endowment offices and the Customs Administration, ministry undersecretary Adnan al-Assadi, told Mawtani.
The decision is not new, but serious steps have now been taken to enforce it, he added.
The Citizens Affairs office is compiling a list of privately-owned print houses in order to notify them of the decision and the penalties that will be imposed if they print this type of books, al-Assadi said, adding that police started a campaign to confiscate any such books found in local markets.
Additional measures will be introduced in conjunction with this decision, said government advisor on National Reconciliation Affairs Amer al-Khuzaie.
“The government intends to print and promote books calling for unity, reconciliation, renunciation of extremism and terrorism, and to provide help to new authors, especially the young ones, in this field,” he said.
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