Middle East Freedom Forum (the book’s publisher) has issued a statement concerning the incident, and it was posted by the forum’s executive director, Magdi Khalil, on his Facebook account. The statement reads: “Some individuals affiliated to religious institutions in Egypt represented in Al-Azhar Institution and Egyptian Endowment Ministry have visited Madbouly Bookstore in Talaat Harb Square, Downtown, and demanded the removal of “Blasphemy in Egypt”- by Hamdi El-Assuiti and Magdi Khalil- with no delay, as it abuses Islam, according to them. They posed threats to the bookstore in case of not removing the copies. Therefore, we had withdrawn the copies from the bookstore upon their request, and in order not to cause any problems for them.”
Hamdi El-Assuiti [Arabic title page suggests this should be Assiuti], a co-writer of the book, in his statements to Tahrir newspaper, said: “The book discloses, in its documentation and introduction, the trespasses are taking place in religious institutions, along with their restrictions on the freedom of thought and expression.” He added: “I was expecting the confiscation transpires immediately upon its publication, but they probably were late to read it.”
“The incident is not based on the law, whereas Endowment Ministry and Al-Azhar Institution have no power over the book’s removal, or distribution ban. The Constitution, in its Article 67, determined one reason for that is to resort to the public prosecution, which is authorized to investigate the book content. Furthermore, what is consistent with the democratic form is to respond to the different opinion, without resorting to ways of threats and confiscation,” ANHRI said.
Most of us probably can't get hold of a copy of this particular banned book, but it might be an appropriate response to go out and read something from the ALA's banned books list. And F**k censorship. [Asterisks to make the point, not for censorship. The word appears here when appropriate: see below.]