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The non-political books are also revealing

Reader comment on item: Cairene Book Covers

Submitted by JJ (United States), Aug 1, 2008 at 02:22

In addition to the anti-Israel and anti-US stuff, Cairo bookstalls are full of books about magic, jinns, Quranic medicine, and other material involving magical thinking and an extreme form of irrationalism. The political material fits in quite well with the low level of most of the rest of the literature.

The other surprising fact is how hard it is to find classical Islamic texts, compared to the ready availability of modern books preaching fundamentalist Islam. Of course much of the classical material is more critical and nuanced, and much less accessible. A similar phenomenon exists in the Haredi world in Israel---there is a proliferation of modern books on meticulous observance, while many of the classical texts are not widely available. (Just try to find a copy of R. Gafah's translation/exegesis of Saadya Gaon, for instance.)


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Reader comments (19) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Anti Semitic books in Cairo [78 words]Doris GuttentagOct 27, 2008 16:03141157
Anti US and Antisemetic books in Egypt [94 words]TazeenAug 19, 2008 04:01137002
1I've got a problem with articles like this... [471 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Kevin MorrowAug 11, 2008 16:22136591
freedom of press [14 words]Emad MuhiydeenovichAug 10, 2008 17:19136547
No, it's called hypocrisy!!! [78 words]JaladhiAug 14, 2008 11:45136547
Egyptians and books in modern classical Arabic [468 words]dhimmi no moreAug 2, 2008 07:40136112
The role of books in Muslim countries [118 words]UgriAug 2, 2008 06:07136109
Egyptian sensationalism [285 words]Rebecca MouldsAug 1, 2008 10:32136057
Ever read the Guardian, Kos, Move on, Counterpunch etcetera? [47 words]Nick GoodAug 1, 2008 07:09136049
The non-political books are also revealing [135 words]JJAug 1, 2008 02:22136035
You Can Buy Looney Books in Any Country [17 words]C.Jul 31, 2008 18:24136016
You Can Buy Looney Books in Any Country? [64 words]KristaAug 1, 2008 20:34136016
Here's a really looney book [98 words]onlytruthAug 9, 2008 12:42136016
So Much for the Camp David "Peace" in 1979. [149 words]YnnatchkahJul 31, 2008 14:55136007
Books and Propaganda [300 words]SammishJul 31, 2008 11:36135970
getting the other viewpoint [118 words]G.VishvasAug 1, 2008 07:31135970
what other viewpoint? [112 words]SammishAug 4, 2008 15:43135970
why read books when you have the internet? [35 words]CandideAug 5, 2008 02:44135970
let the criticised have a say too [118 words]G.VishvasAug 6, 2008 04:40135970

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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