Sunday, August 05, 2007

Steyn on the disappearance of 'Alms for Jihad'

Creeping one way multiculturalism is so normal today that one hardly notices. But Cambridge University Press's ignoble decision to pulp Alms for Jihad and take the extraordinary step of asking libraries around the world to remove it from their shelves, without so much as an effort to defend against libel charges threatened by someone who, on pretty good evidence, is a solid part of the wealthy Saudi funders of jihad and virulent Islamism around the world - well, that is important.

One thing CUP's unseemly-eager surrender especially signals is the direction that this kind of one way multiculturalism takes Britain. An ever more illiberal Britain, gradually shutting down its own liberal institutions through the manipulation by illiberals of the very mechanisms of its liberalism - yet loudly announcing how liberal it is and, as supposed evidence of that liberalism, pointing to the use of its liberal institutions to stifle dissent from its multiculturalism. Remarkable. It really is one's social and cultural constitution-as-suicide pact.

Yet, to be fair to Cambridge University Press, English libel law makes it nearly impossible to fight off a determined billionaire. Each defendent can be picked off separately. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Cambridge UP would have fought back in any case.

Mark Steyn (the full article is worth reading because it gives essential background to the story of jihadist funding.) Here.


Mark Steyn
Orange County Register
August 5, 2007

The Vanishing Jihad Exposes

... So why would the Cambridge University Press, one of the most respected publishers on the planet, absolve Khalid bin Mahfouz, his family, his businesses and his charities to a degree that neither (to pluck at random) the U.S., French, Albanian, Swiss and Pakistani governments would be prepared to do?

Because English libel law overwhelmingly favors the plaintiff. And like many other big-shot Saudis, Sheikh Mahfouz has become very adept at using foreign courts to silence American authors – in effect, using distant jurisdictions to nullify the First Amendment. He may be a wronged man, but his use of what the British call "libel chill" is designed not to vindicate his good name but to shut down the discussion, which is why Cambridge University Press made no serious attempt to mount a defense. He's one of the richest men on the planet, and they're an academic publisher with very small profit margins. But, even if you've got a bestseller, your pockets are unlikely to be deep enough: "House Of Saud, House Of Bush" did boffo biz with the anti-Bush crowd in America, but there's no British edition – because Sheikh Mahfouz had indicated he was prepared to spend what it takes to challenge it in court, and Random House decided it wasn't worth it.

We've gotten used to one-way multiculturalism: The world accepts that you can't open an Episcopal or Congregational church in Jeddah or Riyadh, but every week the Saudis can open radical mosques and madrassahs and pro-Saudi think-tanks in London and Toronto and Dearborn, Mich., and Falls Church, Va. And their global reach extends a little further day by day, inch by inch, in the lengthening shadows, as the lights go out one by one around the world.
Suppose you've got a manuscript about the Saudis. Where are you going to shop it? Think Cambridge University Press will be publishing anything anytime soon?


Kassandra Troy said...

What's with the misnomer, the euphemism? This has nothing to do with multiculturalism. The best term I can think of, is surrendering Western values to crypto-Jihad-by-stealth.
Good article, thanks.

BooksOnBoard said...

Oddly, Alms for Jihad can still be found as an ebook for $17.38 at For some reason, the ebook still breathes. How do you burn an ebook?

artsontime said...

I just tried booksonboard and the book Alms for Jihad wasn't listed. Also tried all the other on line booksellers. Could you please email me where i cold get the book?

Thanks Much

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