PESHAWAR: Islamic scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi’s books were barred from stalls at a book fair, arranged by the Islami Jamiat-e-Talba’s (IJT) student wing, for being ‘controversial’ among some professors at the University of Peshawar (UoP).
The IJT, under the banner of the Study Aid Foundation for Excellence, organised a three-day book fair on March 13, 14 and 15 at the UoP where 70 book stalls were set up and books exhibited by various publishers from across the country. However, sources privy to the matter, said Ghamidi’s books were barred from the book fair.
According to sources, Al-Mawrid Institute, which publishes Ghamidi’s books, was invited to display them but at the eleventh hour it was asked not to exhibit them.
When contacted by The Express Tribune, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa IJT President Shahkar Aziz said IJT did not consider Ghamidi’s books controversial, but the book fair organiser was asked by the university administration not to allow any stall displaying any controversial works.
An official university letter for holding the book fair in the university premises stated, “No disputed literature/books shall be allowed on the stalls. In case of violation, the event will be cancelled immediately.”
However, the terms and conditions did not specifically point out about Ghamidi’s books being controversial. Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) President Professor Jamil Ahmad Chitrali told The Express Tribune that PUTA had not permitted IJT to organise the book fair nor had been asked to bar Ghamidi’s book stall.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2017.