February 26, 2020
H. M. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said
Al Alam Palace
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
I write on behalf of ADL to express concern about severely anti-Semitic books at the ongoing state-run Muscat International Book Fair.
As you may know, ADL wrote to Oman’s government twelve months ago to raise concern about a broad array of hateful books that were displayed by private publishers at this book fair in 2019. Before the start of the fair again this year, we also shared with your Embassy in Washington a more detailed list in English and Arabic of numerous anti-Semitic book titles that we hoped would be prohibited this time around. I am told that the US Embassy in Muscat has also raised concerns recently about this issue with your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, I regret to report that many of these same hateful anti-Semitic materials continue to be promoted via the Muscat International Book Fair to this day. For example, the event’s online catalog of materials continues to list numerous copies of the foundational anti-Semitic slanders The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The International Jew, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Over a dozen additional anti-Semitic book titles that we had asked your government not to allow after the 2019 Muscat International Book Fair are again being included in the 2020 fair’s online list of exhibited materials.
We know that your government takes considerable effort every day to promote solidarity, love, understanding, and tolerance among adherents of all different faiths, for which we are extremely appreciative. However, allowing these books to be exhibited yet again and under government auspices detracts from the Sultanate of Oman’s global message of tolerance.
If at all possible, we would strongly urge your government to please take urgent action before the fair ends on Monday to remove such hateful content and to penalize the offending private exhibitors in order to make clear that the Muscat International Book Fair in 2020 and in future years is no place for hate.
Thank you for considering our concerns.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO and National Director