A Culture Minister Who Burns Books

Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni is being considered for the position of head of UNESCO, an organization that is committed to the principles of freedom of the press and encouraging people to read. Mr. Hosni has been quoted as saying if he found a book in an Egyptian library that was published in Israel it would be burned. He has supported the boycott of all Israeli books, films, and periodicals in Egypt and has done nothing to support intellectuals from both countries engaging in dialogue. However, he did say if Israel invites him to visit their nation, “I will come.” Why? He specifically made clear no Israel films would be allowed to be show in his nation.

Mr. Hosni may well be an excellent person, but as a representative of the intellectual dialogue so necessary among people, he leaves a lot to be desired. How can one be a Minister of “Culture” who wants to burn books?