Middle East studies in the News
Islamists Rule American Publishing Industry [incl. Denise Spellberg, "Alms for Jihad," Cambridge University Press, Khalid bin Mahfouz]
by Warner Todd Huston
America is the land of liberty. It is the place where political expression is protected by law and custom. It is the freest nation on Earth… unless, of course, you wish to talk about Islam. Then, unless you bow and scrape, unless you assert its supposed peacefulness, unless you bend over backwards to make sure that you don't "offend" Islamists, you will be shut down. At least this is true if you wish to publish a book about Islam, it appears.
Not long ago, a book titled "Alms for Jihad" was ridiculously voluntary destroyed, "pulped" being the term, by its own publisher. This unusual action was taken because one activist Muslim took the bookseller to libel court and won saying that he was somehow maligned by allegations in the book. The ridiculous part is that the book was published by Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, Mass. USA) but was sued by Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz in a British court. Neither the court nor the complaintent were American. Yet, this foolish American publisher voluntarily destroyed its entire run and went to the effort to send a letter to libraries to tell them to remove the book from shelves over the verdict of this foreign court.
Alarmingly, Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz has been successful in at least 4 such libel cases against book publishers throughout the world in these compliant, malleable British courts.
Fortunately, some authors are trying to fight back to some extent.
But this is not the end of the matter. Sadly, another American publisher has capitulated in the face of the hatred and threats of radical Islamists. According to the Wall Street Journal, Random House has "abruptly called off publication" of a new book about the sex life of Aisha, the child bride of the pedophiliac Prophet Muhammad.
In fact, for the sum of a $100,000 dollar advance, Random House had already bought the book and had begun to plan the book tour for author Sherry Jones. But, the publisher abruptly changed their decision as word that the review copies sent in advance had brought warnings of unrest. Sadly, it seems an American professor is the one responsible for starting the Islamofascist ball rolling on this one. In an effort to silence the publication of this book, Denise Spellberg, associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Texas, began to send warnings about the book to radical Islamists throughout the world.
After this Professor, a fellow traveler of radical Islam, got done rounding up the many hatemongers in Muslim communities she was in touch with, and her agitators in turn got in touch with the publisher, Random House got cold feet. In fact, they became scared to death.
So much for America being the land of political and religious freedom, the land where anything can be achieved. It has become a land afraid of its own shadow, ruled by the stern warnings of lawyers and the fear of mob action. It has become a land where radical haters who claim to be "religious" can force law abiding citizens to live by foreign courts and ideas antithetical to liberty.
There was once a time when saying the west was not at war with Islam was all the rage. But as each year passes, that sentiment is proving to be woefully naive. If everything we are isn't under siege from without, there never has been a time when we were.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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