Egypt's Culture Minister Faruq Hosni said Monday he ordered three books withdrawn from sale that were deemed indecent and sacked the official who published them.
Hosni said he took his decision because the books offended standards of decency, denying press claims that he was influenced by a protest campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood.
"These novels contradict government policy, which bans the publication of anything which scorns religion or undermines decency," Hosni told AFP.
The three novels written by Egyptian authors were published by a government agency whose chairman Ali Abu Shadi was sacked. Two of his subordinates handed in their resignations after the ban was announced on Sunday.
Hosni did not point out the offending passages in the novels "Before and After" by Tufiq Abderahman, "The Children of the Romantic Error" by Yasser Shaaban, and "Forbidden Dreams" by Mahmud Hamed.
In May, Islamists led an angry campaign against the novel "Banquet of Seaweed" by Syrian writer Haidar Haidar and against Hosni for allowing its republication.
The book, denounced as blasphemous, was withdrawn -- CAIRO (AFP)
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