Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Free Speech GO TO Hell Thank you Saudis

This is a disturbing article in the publishing world. Books that are critical of Islam are destroyed based on libel laws in different countries
books/59706/ Libel Suit Leads to Destruction of Books
Staff Reporter of the Sun | August 2, 2007

Cambridge University Press has agreed to destroy all unsold copies of a 2006 book by two American authors, "Alms for Jihad," following a libel action brought against it in England, the latest development in
what critics say is an effort by Saudis to quash discussion of their alleged role in aiding terrorism.

In a letter of apology to a wealthy Saudi businessman, Sheikh Khalid
Bin Mahfouz, Cambridge University Press acknowledged that allegations
made in the book about his family, businesses, and charities
were "entirely and manifestly false." The publisher wrote, "Please
accept our sincere apologies for the distress and embarrassment this
has caused."

The press also published a separate apology on its web site
(, and wrote that it would
pay substantial damages and contribute to legal costs. A press
release by Sheikh Mahfouz's London-based law firm, Kendall Freeman,
said Cambridge University Press was also writing to over 200
libraries around the world asking them to withdraw the book from
shelves. The total press run was about 1,500 copies.

The director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, noting that
Sheikh Mahfouz has been successful in as many as four prior lawsuits
against authors, said that Cambridge University Press's apology
had "ominous implications" into researching the financing of

A professor at Emory University, who won a libel suit in Britain
brought against her and Penguin, Deborah Lipstadt, likewise told The
New York Sun that this action by Cambridge University Press was
a "frightening development." She said that it seemed to her that the
Saudis were "systematically, case by case, book by book" challenging
anything critical of them or anything that linked them to terrorism.
She said that she could not think of any publisher that would now
accept a manuscript critical of the Saudis. "This affects not only
authors but readers," she said, adding that "ideas are being chased
out of the marketplace."

The director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy,
Rachel Ehrenfeld, said that Cambridge University Press "capitulated"
and "didn't even try to fight."
Sheikh Mahfouz sued her for her 2003
book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed — and How to Stop It."
Rather than contesting the case in Britain, Ms. Ehrenfeld has taken
to the American courts. In June, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled unanimously in her favor, finding that if an American
writer is sued for libel in a foreign court, that person can appeal
to an American court to request that a British decision not be
enforceable here.

Libel law in England is more advantageous to the litigant than is
American law, which has stronger First Amendment protections.

One co-author of "Alms for Jihad," Robert Collins, who is a professor
emeritus of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara,
told the Sun that he could not comment until he heard from Cambridge
University Press. The other co-author, a former a former State
Department employee and intelligence analyst, J. Millard Burr, told
the Sun that their book mentioned Sheikh Mahfouz 13 times, and in no
place had they labeled him a terrorist. He said that within a week of
Cambridge University receiving a letter charging defamation, he and
his co-author prepared and sent supporting documents to Cambridge
University Press. The authors were not themselves named parties in
the suit.

In the apology letter, which is dated July 30, the intellectual
property director at Cambridge University Press, Kevin Taylor wrote
to Sheikh Mahfouz saying the co-authors relied on a so-called "Golden
Chain" document that "has been long discredited as a reliable
source." Mr. Burr told the Sun he disagreed that such document has
been discredited, and said the document was used in a trial in

The U.S. office of Cambridge University Press was unable to respond
by press time.

But the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday quoted Mr. Taylor
saying "these were very serious charges" and there had already been
at least two other British High Court rulings supporting Sheikh
Mahfouz's position on such matters.

Another similar case in America involves KinderUSA, a charity that is
suing Yale University Press, charging that a book published last year
by Michael Levitt called "Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in
the Service of Jihad" (2006) linked the non-profit to support of

Mr. Burr said of his co-authored book now, "Buy it, if you can find
one," since it was now a collector's item.

The press release from Sheikh Mahfouz's law firm said he would donate
the money from the settlement to the United Nations Children's Fund.
Forbes magazine lists the sheikh's fortune at $3.1 billion, much of
which derives from a sale of National Commercial Bank to the Saudi
government in 2002.

I say Skeikh Mahfouz YOU GO TO HELL!

1 comment:

  1. Until we get off of Saudi oil, we can never truely confront Islam. We are killing ourselves, as usual.