As the Muslim Brotherhood's first ever President addresses (picture) the UN about Islamophobia CagePrisoners explores the parameters of freedom of expression in a case that saw the first books banned in the UK since Lady Chatterley, in this exclusive interview
In December 2011 bookseller and publisher Ahmad Faraz was found guilty for possessing and distributing books that purpotedly promoted terrorism and was sentenced to three years in prison.
The books in question included works by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, written at a time when Britain was openly supporting Afghan and foreign mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, as well as the famous 1950s work of Syed Qutb, Milestones. This particular edition of Milestones was deemed to 'support terrorism' because it included appendices of thirteenth century exhortations to jihad which themselves were taken from the pre-Qutb syllabus of the Muslim Brotherhood.
At the time of Faraz's trial the Arab world had just been rocked by a series of revolutions that ousted western-backed dictators and brought supporters of the same Muslim Brotherhood into influence and power from Tunisia to Egypt, whose publictions had also once been regarded as 'terrorist' by their rulers.