Khamenei under fire for wanting to ban books with 'hidden political motives'
Tehran, July 22 (ANI): Iran's former Culture Minister, Ataollah Mohajerani has lashed out at the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for publicly speaking against books with 'hidden political motives'.
Khamenei spoke out against books, which according to him, have 'a cultural appearance' but have 'hidden political motives', The Telegraph reports.
"Not all books are necessarily good and not all of them are unharmful, some books are harmful," The Telegraph quoted Khamenei's statement on his official website, as saying.
Mohajerani who was culture minister until 2000 attacked Khamenei and said that the supreme leader was worried about 'literary and philosophical books because they might raise questions about his legitimacy of being the highest leader in the country.
"I think that he is very much concerned about books that can either implicitly or explicitly target his position as the supreme leader and also his legitimacy," Mohajerani was quoted, as saying.
In his speech, Khamenei, refused to give more details on which books he deemed as 'harmful'.
"Those responsible in the book industry should not let harmful books enter our book market on the basis that we let them (readers) choose (what they want to read)," Khamenei said.
"Like poisonous, dangerous and addictive drugs which are not available for everyone without restrictions. As a publisher, librarian or an official in the book industry, we don't have the right to make (such books) available to those without knowledge. We should provide them with healthy and good books," he added.
In the recent years, titles ranging from uncensored version of Plato's Symposium to Louis-Ferdinand Celine's Journey to the End of the Night and works by James Joyce, Gabriel Garc¡a M rquez, Kurt Vonnegut and Paulo Coelho have been banned by Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance. (ANI)
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