JEDDAH – The Ministry of Culture and Information has fined the well-known author and intellectual, Dr. Ayed Al-Qarni, SR300,000 for plagiarism.
The ministry’s Intellectual Copyright Committee found that Al-Qarni had copied some chapters from a book “Thus they defeated the desperate” authored by Salwa Al-Aededan, a young female Saudi writer. He had copied the chapters without acknowledging the source of the material.
Al-Aededan subsequently lodged a complaint against Al-Qarni.
The ministry ordered that Al-Qarni’s book be removed from bookshelves in the country.
In a 1,000-word message to the young female author on his website, Al-Qarni appeared to apologize and admit his mistake, and at the same time tried to defend his actions.
“People of knowledge usually benefit from each other without referring to the source,” he wrote.
To support his argument, he referred to well-known Islamic scholars and intellectuals who allegedly copied the work of others without acknowledging the authors. He referred specifically to Sheikh Taqi Al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taimiyyah, the renowned Islamic scholar who died in 1328, according to Wikipedia; and Abu Mohamed Al-Qasim Bin Ali Al-Hariri, the scholar of the Arabic language and author of a collection of stories, entitled the Maqamat, who died in 1122, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
He said that he when he writes he adds and omits from other people’s work as would any other writer.
“I need not mention that Ibn Taimiyya had copied tens of scholars without referring to them. Does this mean he was incapable? I’m not incapable. I can author one complete book without referring to a single reference. In Bahrain, I was awarded the Prize of the First Arab Author in recognition of having memorized the Holy Qur’an and thousands of Hadith.”
In his statement, Al-Qarni tried to defend his actions. “This book serves as a kind of scientific writing, so what was copied could fall under this category and can’t be considered an exclusive intellectual product.”
Addressing Al-Aededan, he said: “O daughter, take from books whatever you want and leave the rest. I have looked at a hundred times more [information] than you have ever looked at.”