Ahram journalist Tarek Ismail releases new book titled ‘Occupy Minds’


In the book, Ismail argues that the occupation or control of the mind poses a greater threat than the physical occupation of land. 

"[One] can expel an occupier from land," Ismail writes, "but ending the occupation of minds is no easy feat. It resembles a malignant disease, difficult to eradicate."

Ismail offers a stark example: during the 30 June Revolution, a young man allegedly threw a child off a roof in Alexandria's Sidi Gaber district, believing the child supported Islam or the banner of jihad.

This incident highlights the dangerous misconceptions implanted in minds, where jihad is equated with violent acts like shootings or harming innocents.

Ismail argues for a true understanding of jihad, which he defines as acts like honouring parents, helping others, and showing compassion for the less fortunate.

The author emphasizes the crucial role of media platforms, educational and cultural institutions, artistic expression, and Al-Azhar scholars in confronting attempts to distort, manipulate, and transform the Egyptian mindset. 

He highlights the importance of such confrontation to the Egyptian mind, claiming that this enabled the destruction of the Bar Lev Line, the crossing of the Suez Canal, and the ultimate defeat of Israel in the 1973 October War.

The writer’s previous books include The State of Terror, Messages of Revolution, and When Ignorant Speak.