Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho joined more than 100 Libyan writers and intellectuals Monday in condemning security forces for seizing books deemed “erotic” or anti-Islamic.
Coelho’s books were among those seized by authorities in the eastern Libyan town of Marj over the weekend.
Security forces there published a video on Facebook over the weekend showing dozens of books imported from Egypt that were seized from a truck heading from Tobruk to Benghazi. “Contacting the Brazilian embassy,” Coelho tweeted on Monday. “There’s little they can do but I can’t just sit and watch my books being burned.”
Brazil’s diplomatic mission to Libya is based in neighbouring Tunisia. The books also included works by Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Naguib Mahfouz and Arabic translations of books by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and American writer Dan Brown.
In the video, a security official and religious leaders in the town denounced a “cultural invasion”, claiming the books contained information on Shiaism, Christianity, and sorcery, as well as erotic material that conflicts with the Sunni Islam followed by most Libyans. Read more