Thursday, August 02, 2007

Islam in Action: Libel Suit Leads to Destruction of Books

"systematically, case by case, book by book" challenging anything critical of them or anything that linked them to terrorism.
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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 terrorism.
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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 (http://www.cambridge.org/about/apology.htm), 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 terrorism.
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 Â-- 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....
Continued...

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a load a of this from the Cambridge Website: have you ever seen anything so nauseating? It's watching someone piss his pants in fear in public:

A Public Apology to Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family from Cambridge University Press
http://www.cambridge.org/about/apology.htm

In 2006 Cambridge University Press published Alms for Jihad written by J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins which made certain defamatory allegations about Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family in connection with the funding of terrorism.
Whilst the allegations were originally published in good faith, Cambridge University Press now recognises that the information upon which they were based was wrong.
Cambridge University Press accepts that there is no truth whatsoever in these serious allegations.

Cambridge University Press accepts that the entire Bin Mahfouz family categorically and unreservedly condemns terrorism in all its manifestations, and that at no time has any member of the family contributed to any terrorist organisation, nor has the family ever had reason to believe that funds it has given over the years to a wide variety of charities, including the Muwafaq Foundation, have been used other than for the charitable purposes intended.

Cambridge University Press has given its sincere apologies to Sheikh Khalid and his family for the distress and embarrassment caused, and has undertaken not to publish those allegations or any similar allegations in the future.
To emphasise their regret, Cambridge University Press has agreed to pay Sheikh Khalid substantial damages and to make a contribution to his legal costs, both of which Sheikh Khalid is donating to the charity UNICEF.

More -- the authors of the book stand by their claims and do NOT agree to Cambridge's actions:

Cambridge UP to Pulp Book on Saudi Banker
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/publishing/cambridge_up_to_pulp_book_on_saudi_banker_64272.asp
The book's authors -- Robert O. Collins, a professor emeritus of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and J. Millard Burr, a retired employee of the U.S. State Department -- were not personally named in the libel action, and they have refused to endorse the settlement.
Hooray for Robert O. Collins!

11:38 PM  

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