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An Omani writer justifies “book permits” in an article that sparked controversy in the Sultanate | A nation is tweeting out of tune


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Omani writer Ali Al-Mataani published an article in which he commented on the issue of “book permits”, which sparked controversy recently in the Sultanate. To express his support for this move, he was subjected to criticism and sparked controversy among activists.

A few days ago, activists in the Sultanate of Oman expressed their anger after circulating a leaflet of a shipping company, in which it was revealed that it is under new government orders. Will commit to buying books from abroad. Official statement from the authorities and they alert their customers about this new decision to be aware of this.

Ali Al-Mutaaani drew in an article in a newspaper.The youth“The local, he followed what was raised about the circulation of a shipping company about the procedures followed in the Sultanate, like other countries in the world. With regard to the inspection of books offered for sale in the country.

He also indicated that he had continued to clarify the Ministry of Information about not inspecting books for personal use.

Supporting the government’s decision, he said, “Based on the importance of clarifying some aspects in this regard that may be absent from some’s minds, this is not a defense. On the authority of the Ministry of Information, but to clarify the spotless truth that we must realize and for the benefit of the generations that are enthusiastic and aspiring to knowledge and increase, but only lack the correct information.

He continued, justifying this decision, which caused a wave of anger in the Sultanate: “First of all, the search or control of books offered for sale through fairs or libraries. It is a routine procedure followed in all countries of the world, and every country has its own justifications. ”

He added, “There are no political or partisan problems in the Sultanate, according to which we ban political books. Rather, we do not have a political prisoner in the first place.” Our situation in this aspect is clear to everyone. Therefore, it is not necessary to interpret things without descriptions of the existing reality, such as freedoms and others.

No permits for books

Was tagged ”No permits for books“Within a few hours, the Sultanate of Oman’s list of the most popular hashtags will be published.

Activists quoted the “Aramex” shipping company as saying in a mail sent to its customers in Oman that according to “new directives from Omani customs.” Shipments that include phones, medicines and books require prior ministerial approval.

The notice also indicated that shipments of books require prior approval from the Omani Ministry of Information.

Through the hashtag, he recorded hundreds of tweets rejecting and criticizing the decision, considering this a confiscation of freedom of thought.

For his part, Al-Mutaa’i considered in his article that “books are a commodity like other goods subject to inspection to determine what they contain when they are displayed. On Prime Time Zone as a kind of protection for them ”

He explained that this comes “in order to ward off the disadvantages and fallacies that you may carry between their covers, which are not necessarily political, but there are many prohibitions.”

According to him, the state is working hard to preserve its social fabric by repelling books that seek to scratch this untouchable fabric. As the first line of internal security.

Conducting an important project at the same time

The Omani writer added that the Ministry of Information’s monitoring of books offered for sale in galleries and libraries “is a legitimate and important procedure at the same time.”

This must be understood by everyone, for our society is a coexisting tapestry of harmony and love between sects, races, races and factions. Forming a unique and wonderful diversity under the umbrella of Oman, the homeland

In justifying the government’s decision, Al-Mutaaani pointed out that some Omani publications, even literary and cultural ones, and magazines “are, unfortunately, banned in some countries. Nevertheless, we respect the decisions of these countries, considering that they are an internal matter in which we do not have the right to involve ourselves in it, and the reverse is also true. ”

Regarding the saying of some that “books are available on the Internet within the framework of the open skies without censorship,” Ali Al-Mutaani commented that this is of course true.

He continued, explaining: “But the fact that the state permits the circulation of books that touch those red lines to be sold within its borders is something that cannot happen. The Internet is already full of rubbish and precious, and the decision to choose what to look at remains depends on a person’s awareness and moral responsibility towards his family and then his country and his citizens.

Al-Mutaani concluded his article by saying: “We hope that everyone inside and outside the country will know that the Sultanate does not confiscate thought exactly as the Sultan once said. The late Qaboos bin Said, but at the same time we do not allow the prohibitions to which we have referred to approach the borders, values ​​and principles of the homeland. Those are red lines that we cannot accept.

The writer raises a sensation in his article

The Omani writer’s article caused controversy among Omani activists who complained about this decision, who considered it a seizure of freedom of thought and expression.

Activist Ali Daoud shared Al-Mataani’s article in his tweet on Twitter, and commented criticizing: “What a shame! He claims to be a writer, and at the same time, no problem. He has a restriction on selling books! ”

He continued: “It seems that he is not aware of the issue that all his justifications are the same as the justifications for tyranny, exclusion and annulment, and that he believes that custody of what is sold and bought from books will protect us from it!”

While Ali Al-Ajami disagreed with him and defended the writer’s vision: “I think that he is a writer who has his own thought, so not every writer should have an opinion like yours or the opinion of others.”

He explained: “He has the freedom to think and write, even if they disagree with his thought and his writings. Not agreeing to his opinion is your right, but he will remain an Omani writer with an opinion that we must respect.”

Elias Al-Kharousi also agreed with Al-Mutaani and wrote: “I agree with Professor Ali Al-Muta’ni. There are books that are not up to the standard and are not loaded. Content and in its content a lot of intrigue and extracurricular thought does not coincide with the identity and culture of Oman.

He continued: “My brother Ali Daoud, not every reader is able to distinguish the purposeful book and end it with your culture, but others cannot. Let’s be help, let’s go together. ”

The Ministry of Information clarifies

After the great uproar caused by this matter a few days ago, the Omani Ministry of Information came out to clarify the matter.

And she said in an official statement published on her official page on Twitter, and she participated in it through the hashtag: “The ministry wishes to note that importing books for use. Personal does not require prior approval or permission from the Ministry of Information.

She pointed out that the prior authorization applies only to the import of books for the purpose of publishing and distribution.

But this clarification also did not stop the activists’ anger and the debate continued.

The Emirati academic, Dr. Abdullah Baaboud, said that this mention needs to be clarified as well.

The Omani academic continued his questions: “What if an Omani writer or professor or resident of a regional or international publisher publishes and sends him a group? Who wrote it as a gift for him to distribute to friends and colleagues?

He asked, “Are the permits only for importing for the purpose of selling? What does it mean by publication and distribution? Is there a specific number or quantity?

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An Omani writer justifies "book permits" in an article that sparked controversy in the Sultanate |  A nation is tweeting out of tune